DEAR HARRIETTE: I get requests for donations online all the time. I see birthday fundraisers on social media, charity efforts to support various causes, etc.
Recently, I saw a campaign to support a friend’s children’s school. This looked good, and I am happy to support a friend. My question is whether this leaves me vulnerable to other people who know me and will wonder why I chose this campaign over theirs. I like saying that I made the contribution, but I do not like others judging me because I didn’t choose their charity. How can I handle this? -- Wanting To Give
DEAR WANTING TO GIVE: You can stand confident in the knowledge that you have the right to choose your charity of choice. If others ask you why you chose a particular charity, share your reasoning. If they ask why you chose this one over theirs, tell the truth. It could be that you learned about this one first, you feel close to the child who is attached to the charity, you have a personal affinity for the charity -- or whatever else. If you are new to philanthropic giving, you can say that as well -- this is new to you, and you were attracted to this project.
Part of the reason people donate anonymously is to avoid scrutiny from others, either by virtue of the amount of contribution or the affiliation. Whatever you decide, feel confident about giving to a good cause. And don’t allow yourself to be bullied into giving more than you can afford or to charities that do not draw your interest.