Accosted by two hyper college-aged people outside of the Ralph's on Barrington the other day, I figured I had some time to hear out their spiel. The guy started talking to me about Save the Children, Forbes most efficient charitable org or something like that. They go overseas, build schools, dig wells, I don't even know. I nodded politely and said, "Oh, so you're like an NGO."
"What's an NGO?" he asked. I looked at him quizzically and his partner quickly jumped in, "Yes, we're an NGO!" She started talking to me about how I can sponsor a child and he or she will write me letters. I asked some questions about the structure of the org---do they work with local government? Are they an independent entity? Then I asked if they had been overseas and participated in the projects.
"We actually don't work for Save the Children," they admitted. What?? They worked for a third-party fundraising org.
"So you just go out and fundraise for whichever charity you get assigned to that day?"
"Well,we don't HAVE to," they hedged. But you kind of do, I thought, in order to get paid.
A week later, different people, same fundraising org accosted me on my way out. I said something like, "You guys don't even believe in your cause. You're getting paid to convince me to donate."
The fundraiser guy objected and said, "Do your research!" as I walked away. Are you serious, guy? Research is all that I do.
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