I spent today working from home, some days its the only way I can actually get work done. But the opportunity to give came calling despite my geography. I was home when the Scottish SPCA phoned this afternoon asking for an increase in my monthly giving. I took the opportunity and increased my donation by £1 a month. I enjoyed talking to the man who phoned, who told me in his Scottish brogue all that the Scottish SPCA has achieved in the past year, and I can afford an extra £1. It felt good to be reminded of what my bank account does every month.
About an hour later, there was another phonecall. I picked up the receiver and said hello. All I could hear was chitchat in an echoing room. I said hello again, still no answer, so I hung up: the two sides of telephone giving within an hour. The personal and the impersonal. It gave me pause.
My chat with the man with the Scottish brogue not withstanding, there is something unsatisfying about giving money on a monthly basis automatically through the bank. It’s just so impersonal and so out-of-mind. This type of giving enables charities to keep doing things that desperately need doing, but as all that is required is the shifting of bits of digital data from one computer to another, the giver doesn’t even have to pay attention…well, it doesn’t do much to connect us, even when there are membership mailings and magazines. I couldn’t even tell you off the top of my head what I give to which charities anymore. It seems to me that for giving to work the changes it can bring about, we need to know we’re doing it.
I will continue to donate on a monthly basis, but I’m going to have a think about how I can do this more consciously.