By: Keith Kappes
Carter County Times
A few years before my wife’s death last summer, she and I devised a method of keeping track of our charitable gifts during each calendar year. With our children grown and gone, we wanted to help as many good causes as we could but we had begun to suspect that some of those groups were not acting in good faith.
For example, I recently sent a modest donation to a health-related charity at the end of the year and three others solicited me within a month. Charities usually deny that they share mailing lists or even names of actual donors but I no longer believe they actually practice such confidentiality.
My wife taught Native American students in Utah before coming to Kentucky in 1970 to attend graduate school and find a wonderful husband. She saw a magazine article about a boarding school for such children in Montana. We agreed to make an annual gift to that school which is operated by a worldwide church based in Europe.
Within a month we began to be bombarded by that school and two others in the same religious organization. I was struck by the irony of receiving cheaply made trinkets as donor recognition gifts from these Native American children who I felt clearly were being exploited by the non-profit groups operating their schools.
But my biggest disappointment came earlier this year as respected and long-established American charities thanked me for gifts in 2022 and then began soliciting me again on a monthly basis for additional donations.
I’ve helped raise funds for worthy causes for the last 50 years and I fully realize what a great asset they are to our communities. But, at this point, I am very close to deciding to focus my giving on my church and to local charities that really need the money and are sincere when they say “thank you”.
Contact Keith at email@example.com.