AFP Letter to the Editor: Calgary Herald, Feb. 15

I read George Brookman’s recent op-ed (A plea to charities to end the cheap bribery) on premiums, those items that charities send to donors for free to encourage them to make a gift, and I feel for him. Canadians get lots of mail these days, especially from charities wanting you to support their causes. I too get a lot of solicitations, and it can feel a little overwhelming.

But I also know that all those charities are committed to changing the world. Every day, they’re helping our communities get stronger, and transforming lives. And through the mail, they’re offering you the chance to get involved and help make that change—to be part of that change.

Charities send premiums because they work, and at the very least often make you remember their name and cause. But the decision to engage still rests with you. You have to ask yourself: Is this a cause that I want to support?

Is this a cause that is important to me and I want to hear more about?

If the answer is no, then take the premium and throw away the rest. Maybe you’ll feel differently in the future and remember the charity’s name and cause. But if the answer is yes, then you have an amazing opportunity to help build a house. Or teach a child to read. Or provide new career paths for the unemployed—or whatever the cause is.

And that’s what makes Canada so great. We have the second largest charitable sector in the world, and it’s because of the generosity of so many Canadians across the country like you. We want to help others, and charities give us these opportunities to do just that.

So, take control of your charity and philanthropy. Follow your charitable passions. Read the solicitations you want and take the opportunity to change the world.

Wayne Steer
Director of Fund Development
FRESH Start Recovery Centre
Calgary, Alberta
Immediate Past President
AFP Calgary & Area Chapter

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