Your Secret Donor Hates You
I have a friend named Tim. He’s an investment banker in Manhattan, makes a ton of money and likes to give to those who are less fortunate than himself.
Tim loves the concept of charity. Unfortunately, after 15 years of writing checks to New York’s nonprofit organizations, Tim hates charities.
He’s tired of having his name sold to groups similar to the one to which he donated. He’s tired of getting phone calls on his private line from charities he’s never heard of. And he’s tired of writing a healthy check to a nonprofit, only to get a solicitation letter from it a mere month later.
So, what’s a guy like Tim to do? Stop giving altogether? No. Thankfully, Tim still sees the needs in his community and is imbued with a philanthropic spirit his parents taught him. He hasn’t put his money back in his pocket and gone home — yet. But he has taken the first step down that path.
Tim gives to charities anonymously.
This is an unnatural act for a man of Tim’s age (late 30s) and profession. It wouldn’t hurt his career to be seen on donor lists in annual reports reviewed by his superiors. Tim doesn’t give anonymously like The Atlantic Philanthropies founder Charles Feeney did — because he’s publicity-shy and wants to conceal his identity from the press. Tim does it because he’s sick of charities and their customer-unfriendly tactics.
And Tim is not alone.
The online-giving portal Network for Good states that 20 percent of the people that use its service do so anonymously. A donor that uses the site to make a charitable gift gets a receipt from Network for Good, and the charity gets the donation. But Network for Good can conceal the donor’s identity from the recipient group.