Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Miss Manners: Don’t ask your friends for donations for your charity

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Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I created a charity a few years ago to provide cultural activities for underprivileged children. We are both retired and see this as an opportunity to give back.

The charity has grown quickly and my husband now wants to start sending fundraising letters to our friends, asking for donations. Our friends know we run a charity and we frequently discuss our work. I hesitate to ask for money; a number of our friends donated without being asked.

My husband keeps urging me to send them letters. This seems rude to me. No advice?

Many people share your husband’s belief that a good cause excuses bad manners. This is not the case with Miss Manners. Indeed, it is a common fundraising technique to overcome the embarrassment people may feel when turning away friends and colleagues, among whom they live and work (and who are likely to know their financial capabilities). .

But at what cost, socially? Even generous philanthropists do not experience social pressure. And at what cost, financially? Those who contribute purely as a service to you, rather than out of genuine interest, might then reasonably expect you to contribute equally to their favorite charities.

Your friends know you run a worthy organization, and some of them have been encouraged to contribute. Your example and your enthusiasm are effective ways to attract attention without risking embarrassment.

Dear Miss Manners: A young woman I am related to got engaged this year and the couple moved to another state. I was told that they were going to get married at the city hall of their current hometown, with only their parents present, and that they would later throw a big party for friends and relatives back in our Original condition. Although disappointed not to see them get married, I understood their decision and looked forward to celebrating at a later date.

Their plans were constantly changing (the bride was under a bit of pressure from her future mother-in-law) and the wedding eventually took place in a larger venue with 50 guests from both sides of the family, many of whom made the trip to be there. . While I always go along with their personal plans to have the wedding they want, I can’t help but feel a little snubbed and am no longer interested in attending a party next year that I’m now considering like a money grab from “B”. List.” Am I too sensitive? Should I find a way to decline gracefully?

To refuse gracefully is easy. Simply thank them for the invitation, express your regret for not being able to attend, and wish them good luck.

You don’t even need to explain to Miss Manners why you feel insulted, even if she is perplexed. It seems to him that the bride has appeased her mother-in-law by organizing a small wedding, while keeping the plan for the bigger celebration she wants. So if you’re the bride’s cousin, you haven’t been insulted. If you are his mother, you were.

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday to Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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