Friday, May 13, 2016

Laid Bare: Bathroom-bedroom police are after your money

© 2016 Christy K Robinson 
When the American Family Association boycott of Target began in May 2016, it was not about who uses which restrooms (because Target has locking restrooms for baby changing and disability access), it was about *FUNDRAISING* for the AFA. 
It's not about transgender people threatening your vulnerable daughters in a public restroom, or exposing their genitalia to impressionable children, somehow twisting children to an inevitable fate of gender reassignment. Do you know that in the AFA-generated hysteria about predators in the ladies' room, the AFA sent straight (but obviously pervy) men into women's restrooms to prove it could be done? Well, they had to send operatives in, because transgender people are not preying on others--they're answering nature's call behind the stall door, like everyone else.

As a public relations and marketing writer earlier in my career, I was told how effective fundraising works, and this AFA campaign is classic. The AFA's "philanthropy" strategy is to:
1. Create fear and outrage (Perverts! Deviants! LGBT! The gay agenda! They're coming for your children!);
2. Organize a petition from which to build a database;
3. Put the petition signer into an appeal cycle so they get hit again and again for ever-larger donations;
4. Ask for money (Urgent! Now! We must stop this outrage!);
5. Suggest giving amounts starting with a high figure and ending with a blank ($1000, $750, $500, $250, $___) and offer credit/debit card convenience or a special envelope for direct mail;
6. Cha-ching!
From the May 13, 2016, WaPo article: "The AFA is also asking for a “tax-deductible” donation of $5 to reach those “who have not heard about the boycott” in an attempt to gain two million signatures. The statement contains a claim that one anonymous donor gave the association $50,000." 

Right. That last statement about the anonymous donor? See Number 5 above. Because the $50K is from "Anonymous," there's no accountability. Maybe there was a donor, or maybe the figure is a planted suggestion. Again, classic fundraising tactic.

When fundraisers and marketers discuss that database, they talk about "giving units," not human beings who are giving sacrificial individual donations or pledging their estate to a charitable trust. Yes, it's that cold.

The AFA reported to Charity Navigator that $25.3 million of their $28 million income in 2014 was from donations. Do they spend those donations on improving family life or feeding/housing/teaching/medically treating children (that would be a big, fat NO), or do they spend their millions on getting their extremist candidates elected, lobbying legislatures, and creating bathroom laws? You know the answer.  
The AFA is not the only fundraising operation that uses the above strategy. Recognize the steps I've outlined above, and give responsibly, where your donations can have the best effect.
When you make donations or support charitable trusts, do so with a heart for the people Jesus mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount, the people who are "the least of these," or the poor widow who has only mites to put in the offering. Like the men and women Paul thanked in his epistles, support the poor, and support the pastors and missionaries as they spread the gospel. And as a responsible adult who knows that bills must be paid, please support your local church. 
But fear mongers and bigots? No. Deprive them of the fruits of their greed. Don't be a sucker.

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