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LLDM
Oct. 30, 2009, 12:06 PM
When is it okay to solicit donations?

When is it not?

How should disagreements on such things be handled?

Discuss.....

DiablosHalo
Oct. 30, 2009, 01:50 PM
I've not been in the midst of the latest donation sagas but... I feel...

It is ok to solicit donations when one has suffered a catastrophic loss. The level that would make a situation catastrophic is different for each individual. Loss meaning loss, not death of horse. So... loss of use, surgery bills beyond their means (could be $2k for some and $50k for others), loss of income until able to get back on their feet, theft/fire, etc.

It is not ok to solicit donations when one is: too lazy to get it together. This encompasses a very large range of things so I will keep the very long list to myself and let others add on as they see fit.

Again- this is just my feeling on the subject. This is what I think about and how I decide whether or not to donate to a certain situation.

eta.. disagreements on the subject. ugh. I donate to those situations I know of personally or come personally recommended by a small circle of friends or associates. That way there is no drama involved- I feel I 'know' the situation well enough to base my decision and donation on. I definitely do not feed into the drama and the stories. Everyone has friends and enemies and it is distasteful to kick someone while they are down esp on a public board with no recourse.

retreadeventer
Oct. 30, 2009, 04:25 PM
I like that definition - catastrophic loss.

I think donations and fund raisers are caveat emptor anyway, just like anything else some one solicits for. Vacuum cleaners. Internet service. Cell phones. Slapchops.

Oh, and I never re-donate to someone or someplace that didn't acknowledge my first gift with a thank you or "we got it" note or message somehow. I don't expect lavish praise, but receivers should thank the givers as a matter of course. That's just courtesy and manners. When I don't want to be thanked, I give anonymously.

KCsToo
Oct. 30, 2009, 04:31 PM
My opinion? Ask away... :D

(If I have a problem with the situation of the person asking, I simply don't donate. FWIW, I feel good about how I choose to manage my charitable donations.)

OTOH, I would have a very hard time asking for myself, and I pray that I don't find myself in such a situation.

blaster
Oct. 30, 2009, 05:04 PM
It is ok to solicit donations when one has suffered a catastrophic loss. The level that would make a situation catastrophic is different for each individual. Loss meaning loss, not death of horse. So... loss of use, surgery bills beyond their means (could be $2k for some and $50k for others), loss of income until able to get back on their feet, theft/fire, etc.

.

Whilst I would never endeavor for anyone to be in a catastrophic situation, I feel that many create their own mess. Just because we can save a horse on an operating table, doesn't mean we "should".
And even if your heartstrings allow you to go that route, please be infinitely wealthy.

LLDM
Oct. 30, 2009, 06:57 PM
I generally don't begrudge anyone who asks for help. In my mind, it isn't an easy thing to do. But since I come from a very non-profit family background/mindset, I have some things that are ingrained in me.

First on that list is to never, ever get angry or upset when someone questions you or your motives when you are asking for money (or anything else for that matter). Even if you are asking on behalf of someone else. Never act like you or your cause are somehow more deserving than anyone else. Be humble, be honest, and be grateful. Because really, there is always someone else that needs the money, help, etc. more than you or your cause. Really.

That doesn't mean that you and your cause are not worthy. You are doing what you can, when and where you can. No one person can save the world. People will help you because they can somehow relate to you (or your cause) and helping you will make them feel like they are doing a good thing. That's because they are doing a good thing. Your donors can't save the world either. Everybody helps the best way they can.

I think it is always wrong to attack people who question. Simply because it doesn't help. In the end treating a questioner with respect will only help your cause more in the end. Disrespecting a questioner makes many people curious as to why the solicitors and supporters are defensive. Taking the high road increases support. Attacking and defensiveness lose ground for the cause.

Ask any professional charity or giving-based organization and they will support this methodology. It has been proven effective.

Whether or not one chooses to give or not is highly subjective. I really don't feel like there is a right answer. But there are those who are really scammers. And the only way to find them out is to question the validity of their causes and/or their bookkeeping practices. If no one ever questioned them, we would never know that they are scammers. And since one doesn't know before they question - then everyone should just expect it. It is all part and parcel of asking for help from strangers. And if you want or need the help badly enough, it is a small price to pay. It generally isn't personal, although sometimes it is. If someone can't deal with that, they shouldn't ask or let people ask on their behalf. Being pissed off about it isn't helpful.

I am sorry that I offend some people. (okay, not really, truth be told) But I do not believe there are any sacred causes. No one or no thing is above scrutiny when they are asking for donations - whether for themselves or on behalf of something or someone else. Especially if we are taking about an individual and not a registered, legally vetted charitable organization.

I will also mention that there are some problems inherent with giving to a real 501c3 as a way to get a tax deduction when giving to an individual. It's really rather circumventing the point. If you feel strongly enough that an individual deserves some help, then by all means donate. But expecting a charitable deduction for something like that is, well, in my mind anyway - a bit tacky. Charities are supposed to be for the truly needy - like hungry people and starving animals.

I do feel strongly about these things. How easy it would be to keep a thread positive and donations coming in - if only people answered questions with polite answers and naysayers with respect. Here's a thought... it's not the first negative post that turns a thread negative. It's all the "how dare you" reactions. Without them, the people who do have uneasiness with the whole issue generally do leave it alone.

My long winded not so humble opinion.

SCFarm

LexInVA
Oct. 30, 2009, 07:04 PM
Well said.

CANTEREOIN
Oct. 30, 2009, 08:00 PM
Well said... really well said!

ozzy24
Oct. 30, 2009, 08:53 PM
Whilst I would never endeavor for anyone to be in a catastrophic situation, I feel that many create their own mess. Just because we can save a horse on an operating table, doesn't mean we "should".
And even if your heartstrings allow you to go that route, please be infinitely wealthy.


If we are able to save a horse, then why wouldn't we? Isn't that our duty as horse people that care deeply about our partners? If your horse was in that situation, wouldn't you want someone to help you out? Maybe some people do bring it upon themselves, but in the end I'm sure they learn their lesson and regret their mistake and also, it was not the horse's fault.

asterix
Oct. 30, 2009, 10:12 PM
If we are able to save a horse, then why wouldn't we? Isn't that our duty as horse people that care deeply about our partners? If your horse was in that situation, wouldn't you want someone to help you out? Maybe some people do bring it upon themselves, but in the end I'm sure they learn their lesson and regret their mistake and also, it was not the horse's fault.

I don't think it's that simple. I ADORE my horses (and all my pets) and would do ANYTHING for their comfort and wellbeing...but I can absolutely conceive of situations where "saving" the horse was not in its best interest. I am sure many of us can relate to this -- I know an aged horse who went through very, very tough medical intervention to "fix" a problem -- the horse spent months in real pain...and is now living a pretty compromised life...for probably another 1 or 2 years until its age and condition catches up to it.

Having the financial werewithal does not equal good decision making. Add to that your ambition to succeed in the sport (as in, this is the horse that can take me to a ** star, or ....), and decisions can easily stray from what is best for the horse.

Not sure this is relevant to the discussion, but I think saying we should save all horses at all costs is too simplistic for this issue.

ozzy24
Oct. 31, 2009, 01:51 AM
I don't think it's that simple. I ADORE my horses (and all my pets) and would do ANYTHING for their comfort and wellbeing...but I can absolutely conceive of situations where "saving" the horse was not in its best interest. I am sure many of us can relate to this -- I know an aged horse who went through very, very tough medical intervention to "fix" a problem -- the horse spent months in real pain...and is now living a pretty compromised life...for probably another 1 or 2 years until its age and condition catches up to it.

Having the financial werewithal does not equal good decision making. Add to that your ambition to succeed in the sport (as in, this is the horse that can take me to a ** star, or ....), and decisions can easily stray from what is best for the horse.

Not sure this is relevant to the discussion, but I think saying we should save all horses at all costs is too simplistic for this issue.


I could not agree with you more! I was coming from the understanding that the previous poster meant that we should not help the horse because the rider had screwed up or because they had their own bills to pay. I failed to realize that the poster meant that if it was in the best interest of the horse then the horse should not be saved, although euthenization would actually be a form of saving IMO. Nothing matters to me more than my best friend. He is the best thing that ever happened to me and he has given me so much. I owe him everything.

eventrider
Oct. 31, 2009, 07:51 AM
I have a question I have wondered for a while about fund raising/donations. When a rider solicits funds for an event or a trip overseas (say to get their horse to Burghley) and after the fund raising is done they decide to not go, what is the right thing to be done with the funds? I cant imagine that these riders mail back a check to every single person who donated, and we usually never hear another word about what was done with the money. In some cases it is because not enough money was raised and in some cases the horse wasn't ready or able, but I dont think that matters really. What are your thoughts?

Christan

retreadeventer
Oct. 31, 2009, 09:53 AM
... Never act like you or your cause are somehow more deserving than anyone else. Be humble, be honest, and be grateful. Because really, there is always someone else that needs the money, help, etc. more than you or your cause. Really.

That doesn't mean that you and your cause are not worthy. .... Taking the high road increases support. Attacking and defensiveness lose ground for the cause. .... It's all the "how dare you" reactions. ......SCFarm


The only thing I would like to add to this excellent post, is the fact that often, people who criticize are seen as not really knowing all of the facts behind the need. Sometimes a response will attempt to bring light to the backstory. Sometimes if you have been on this board a while you know stuff that newbies may have missed.

Ajierene
Oct. 31, 2009, 10:28 AM
A lady I worked for sent her 20-something gelding for colic surgery during the time I was working for her. My trainer happened to be working at New Bolton at the time also. He had liposuction while he was there (none of this lady's horses get grain and they are all very um..rotund..).

I mention this because we had a conversation about it (boss and I). She said she did not understand why people didn't just get colic surgery for their horses whenever they need - or any other 5 figure medical incident. She came from old money and loves her horses. She is not the type to donate to someone who has a horse or human medical issue - but wonder why they don't just have the money to handle it.

If you go into the horse care section, you will see some people criticize others that suddenly find themselves in a situation where they cannot care for the horse and the basic premise is that they should have a plan and money set aside for something like colic surgery. Then people want to donate to young riders with horse related medical issues. What's the difference? I have nothing against donating, but there seems to be a split between aspiring rider or pro rider and their responsibilities towards sudden issues (horse or human medical issue, sudden issue such as flooding, car repair, etc), and what the average citizen is responsible for in these same instances.

I am not against donating, but I do vet the people and organizations I donate to and am much less likely to donate to individuals in the case of incidents mentioned above. I don't see human medical bills as a big deal - no matter the size, you can get the bill reduced due to hardship and pay $10 a month for the rest of your life if need be. Horse bills depend. As far as I know New Bolton offers payment plans also. As a pro, you should have your property insured for replacement value, not cost (in other words, if you have an old truck who's blue book value is $2,000 - spend the extra money to insure it so that you get the $40,000 it would cost to replace it, not the $2,000 it is worth).

I think this partially comes from my family background. One side of my family escaped war torn Europe and the other brought themselves out of poverty. No one was there to help them if something happened that made their life harder and they were 'expected' to just work it out somehow, so I have a tendency to 'expect' others to do the same.

Donating to causes or organizations is only done after proper vetting. Any non-profit worth its salt will mail out year end financial statements to its board members and higher level donators. They can also make them available to people who ask. I would never donate based on the word of someone on this board, or other relative stranger, without vetting for myself.

JER
Oct. 31, 2009, 12:19 PM
I don't see human medical bills as a big deal - no matter the size, you can get the bill reduced due to hardship and pay $10 a month for the rest of your life if need be.

Reality check.

In 2007, 62% of all personal bankruptcies in the US were due to medical problems. And 78% of those filing for bankruptcy due to medical bills had insurance.

(Just for comparison, in 1981, only 8% of all personal bankruptcies in the US were due to medical bills.)

Ajierene
Oct. 31, 2009, 03:35 PM
Reality check.

In 2007, 62% of all personal bankruptcies in the US were due to medical problems. And 78% of those filing for bankruptcy due to medical bills had insurance.

(Just for comparison, in 1981, only 8% of all personal bankruptcies in the US were due to medical bills.)

Thank you for that Harvard Study.

But the truth is those bankruptcies do not come from medical bills, they come from expenses related to a medical incidence, such as having to hire a babysitter, losing work time, spouse staying in a hotel, etc. The medical bills themselves are not really an issue.

There is also a difference in having a medical issue such as the ones investigated by the Harvard Study - major car accident, cancer, stroke, terminal illness.

Compared to a pro rider falling off his horse. If you are going to participate in a sport, you need to be aware of and plan for the dangers of said sport. If you do not, I do not see where it necessarily warrants tons of money in donations.