Although it’s International Women’s Day, this isn’t about mother nature’s monthly gift… it’s about the journey of setting up my first direct debit donation.
I’ve worked in the charity sector for almost 3 years now and I’ve not yet started a direct debit – something I feel terribly guilty about. I’ve spent the last year looking for that perfect charity to give my cherished £3 a month to. It seems silly to care so much about such a small amount of money when I’d easily throw it away on an extra serving of guac in my wrap, but to me this was a symbol of my first real job, having a real wage and having the choice to spend my money wherever I damn like.
I’ve spent a year looking for my perfect charity. Working at GOOD Agency, I have exposure to many organisations. I know how where their funding goes, and I know so many heart-breaking stories that make me want to donate everything, including my cat, to a person in need, but nothing seemed like it was enough. I knew my £3 wouldn’t make much of a difference, but I wanted to feel like I’d really changed something.
Who would have thought it would take a huge media scandal to make me drop my purse string and sign up to a lifetime of giving?
When the Oxfam scandal broke I immediately felt angry. I know the misconceptions around charities and how they run, and I knew this news would damage the industry even further. I found myself arguing with friends, sticking up for Oxfam, and the other charities who came under fire, even though I had no connection or loyalty with any of them. It seemed so bizarre to me that you would hinder the many due to the actions of the few (I channelled a bit of Corbyn in me there).
And that’s when I decided to make my first monthly gift.
Because I not only wanted Oxfam to know that people would stand by them, but I felt my measly £3 would fill that much needed gap when thousands were cancelling their regular gifts by the minute.
This meant I fulfilled both my protesting desires, let a charity know they’re still loved and helped ensure that vital funding isn’t cut.