Author Topic: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick  (Read 4474 times)

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Drunken Housewife

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another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« on: April 14, 2014, 06:48:31 PM »
The parents of a 5 year-old send out a mass email after a birthday party informing all that in lieu of thank you notes, they are making a donation to the child's preschool.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/fashion/social-qs-Questions-about-the-privacy-of-a-child.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0 (last letter). 

This strikes me as all kinds of wrong.  In general I'm not a fan of in lieu donations (make your donation on your own, rather than double-dipping). This seems extra lazy and teaching the kid poor manners. 
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Tea Drinker

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 07:11:30 PM »
Definitely rude: requests for "donations in lieu of" are reasonable when someone is asking me to donate to X in lieu of giving them Y. "Instead of sending flowers to the funeral, please donate to this charity" assumes that I want to do something to remember the deceased and/or console the family, and says that in this case, they would be comforted to know that money was going to cancer research, or hospice, or something else relevant.

The difficult grown-up thing to do would be "Dear So-and-so's Parents, I think you misunderstand the nature of donations in lieu of. If you are donating in lieu of sending me a thank-you note, you should send me an individual note asking me to choose a charity." If I or my child was invited to another gift-giving event by that family, the child would get a nice birthday or Christmas card, and during or after the party, the parents would get an email saying "in lieu of troubling you or your child to write a thank you note, I have donated to Charity of My Choice." (Snarky Tea Drinker wants to put that note in the birthday card, but I'm not going to do that to a six-year-old.)
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Drunken Housewife

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 07:22:03 PM »
Tea Drinker, thank you for raising donations in lieu of flowers at a funeral.  That strikes me as the only time I would rather give a donation instead of the "normal" thing.  I figure the bereaved only need so many flowers, and the rest could be in the way and even a nuisance.  I am happy to donate to the expenses of the survivors (with funeral and often medical bills) or an educational fund for any minor children or to a research fund for a particular disease, etc..   

Are there other instances like that where it seems generally good and polite to ask for donations in lieu? 
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Idlewildstudios

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 07:31:38 PM »
So instead of thanking the guests for their gifts, the parents are making a donation to the preschool?  Am I reading it correctly?

The two things aren't even remotely related.  " Instead of properly thanking you, I'm telling you I'm not going to thank you *and* toot my own horn about my generous donation to my kid's school." What?!

I can understand asking for guests to donate *instead * of bringing a gift, but this is just bizarre.

Truly rude in my opinion.  Poor kid is going to wonder why none of her friends give her gifts next year.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 07:33:41 PM by Idlewildstudios »

LeveeWoman

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 07:34:57 PM »
So instead of thanking the guests for their gifts, the parents are making a donation to the preschool?  Am I reading it correctly?

The two things aren't even remotely related.  " Instead of properly thanking you, I'm telling you I'm not going to thank you *and* toot my own horn about my generous donation to my kid's school." What?!

I can understand asking for guests to donate *instead * of bringing a gift, but this is just bizarre.

Truly rude in my opinion.  Poor kid is going to wonder why none of her friends give her gifts next year.

They're making a donation to a charity in the name of the class which is just as bad.

photochick

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 08:08:07 PM »
I don't terrible mind donations instead of gifts at birthday parties for children, my children don't actually need more stuff at our house but instead of thank you notes. That's all kinds of wrong and tacky. Plus how much money does it really cost to send thank you notes?  A few dollars, that's such a great donation (sarcasm). 

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 08:38:41 PM »
I don't think that "thank you" notes are obligatory for a child's birthday party gifts, providing the guests were thanked in person at the party.  So really there was no reason for the parents to send an email. They just as easily could have used the email to say "Thanks for coming to little Alfred's party. He's talked about nothing else since" and kept their donation private (cuz who cares?).

I'd file the incident under "odd behavior" and forget about it.
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pwv

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 09:39:22 PM »
They are too lazy to drive to the store to buy the thank you cards and then drive to the post office to buy the stamps and then go home and spend time teaching their child how to write a thank you, not to mention the price of gas to drive to the store and post office.

Grlniteowl

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 10:00:15 PM »
I've been to a wedding where this was done, charity donation instead of thank you notes.

purple

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 10:20:22 PM »
I don't think that "thank you" notes are obligatory for a child's birthday party gifts, providing the guests were thanked in person at the party.  So really there was no reason for the parents to send an email. They just as easily could have used the email to say "Thanks for coming to little Alfred's party. He's talked about nothing else since" and kept their donation private (cuz who cares?).

I'd file the incident under "odd behavior" and forget about it.

I agree with this.

GrammarNerd

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 11:47:35 PM »
To me?  It seems like they know that they should write TY notes, but they're going to try to appear all altruistic by saying that they're going to make a contribution in lieu of TY notes.  I mean....seriously?  If you don't want to write TY notes, OWN IT.  Don't put it off and make excuses.  If you want a tax deduction (or kudos from other people or whatever), then OWN IT.  But don't push off your responsibility for writing TY notes and try to make it seem like it's something done to benefit the greater good, when it's NOT.  It's only done b/c (seemingly) you're too lazy to write the notes and you want to get some credit for making a donation, so you say that the donation is in lieu of the TY notes.  Lame. (to me).

I think this person saw the 'in lieu of' thing and TOTALLY got the wrong idea of the proper way to use it..

ddawn23

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 03:58:50 AM »
Oh, you're donating $20 to something that's vaguely charity-like and which directly benefits your child? How magnanimous of you!

I assume they're not planning to donate the time writing and addressing the thank you notes would have taken by volunteering at the school.

Ceallach

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 04:14:02 AM »
I can't get over the ridiculousness of this.  The point of a TU card isn't the cost, it's the sentiment.   Idiots.   Not only that, lazy idiots.  I hope their friends decide not to bother giving them gifts in future.    If you want to give to charity, give to charity, don't make it in lieu of something completely unrelated!
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LeveeWoman

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2014, 07:55:37 AM »
Oh, you're donating $20 to something that's vaguely charity-like and which directly benefits your child? How magnanimous of you!

I assume they're not planning to donate the time writing and addressing the thank you notes would have taken by volunteering at the school.

We don't know whom it benefits because the charity is not named, but I wonder if the parents think it somehow benefits all the preschool class because it makes them look good in the eyes of the charity. But, that only applies if all the guests go to the same school. But, even if they do, it's still not the same as taking the time to actually thanking each one individually.

FoxPaws

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Re: another twist on the "donations in lieu of" shtick
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 11:00:02 AM »
This would strike me as less tacky if they left out the charitable donation altogether and just sent a mass thank you email. It's the trying to get brownie points on top worming out of their social obligations that grates.
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