31 May 2016

last chance!



good morning, friends!

it has been an interesting experiment offering a giveaway connected to a fundraiser. i have been quite surprised, and, to be blunt, quite disappointed, at the level of response. having hosted giveaways that have drawn hundreds of submissions before, i wasn't expecting the added requirement of giving just a tiny amount to support refugee relief to cause such a significantly lower rate of engagement. perhaps it's an interesting bit of societal commentary about the allure of getting something for nothing! 

many, many thanks to those who have donated!! since we will be traveling back to london this evening, i will announce the winner of the $75 pinkblush gift card tomorrow morning. the random selection will happen at 10am gmt, so you have a bit more time to make a donation and enter the giveaway! please do share this opportunity with anyone you know who would be interested in the awesome prize (we all have a couple friends who are pregnant or looking for a good maternity gift, right?!) or just in contributing to a very worthy cause. 

remember, the steps for giveaway entry are:
2. donate $3 or more to refugeepoint via my go jane give page.
4. check back here tomorrow to see if you won! 

good luck and happy tuesday! 
xo

37 comments :

  1. I thought your giveaway idea to support refugees was very well meant. For me personally, the maternity gift card would not go to use. Perhaps the specificity of the store had something to do with engagement as well?

    Keep up the positive vibes, every little helps xx

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    1. totally - i thought of this too.
      thanks for the support!!

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    3. Had to reply back - Your blog is a bright spot in my feedly. Thanks for sharing your take on all things travel, life and family. Loved the idea behind your post, love the positivity. xx Steph

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  2. And maybe you need to explain who refugeepoint is? Not knowing almost stopped me from participating. I don't care just for the purpose, but also which organisation it is. Or is it obvious to the main percentage of your readers?
    Kerstin

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    1. hi kerstin -

      thanks for the insight. one really neat thing about go jane give is that it helps those of us eager to give, but overwhelmed by the wide array of charities, to chose a worthy organization. i should have included more information about go jane give's recommended charity system, and this link, which provides lots of good context about refugeepoint's work:
      https://gojanegive.org/choose-your-cause/?show=119
      i am also going to send some feedback to go jane give that they should make the charity name clickable on fundraiser pages, so donators can quickly access information about the organization.

      thanks again!

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  3. I do not understand your desire to convince others to donate to your charity of choice? Is it so you can feel you are responsible for giving more to that charity? I understand that LDS tithe to their church but other Christians like myself give a portion of my tithe to my parish, some to diocese, some to other charitable efforts through my parish and some to charitable efforts of other faiths or more secular organizations. Not everyone will ask for food, clothing, shelter, medical through org that associate with my faith. Some charities are local and some are larger entities I can check with charity navigator or guidestar how the money taken in is spent. Many put more thought into donation than just what they can possibly get out of doing so. You can't have a child in school, attend a religious building one day a week, go to the grocery store or food chain without having an opportunity to put a small amount of money in a cup, bottle, or basket for a good cause. Do you really think most people need a gimmick to give? People already have their charities of choice already working for this particular cause.

    It could also be that many of your readers are not pregnant.

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    1. hi kms :)

      on your last point, see my reply to comment #1 above. i agree (although i also think the prize would be awesome for anyone who knows anyone who is pregnant, or anyone who hopes/plans to be pregnant!).

      in response to the rest of your comment: i think you may have missed the sentiment of this endeavor, and this most recent reminder post. i certainly recognize that many, many people give generously in many, many different good ways! at the same time, i personally am always on the lookout for additional ways to help and serve, and i assumed others are as well. and i think the concept of "lifestyle giving" that go jane give is encouraging is truly awesome! my "giveaway for good" is intended to simply offer another tiny opportunity to contribute a sliver of abundance to those in dire need. i guess i had hoped that, of the many, many blog readers that would enter a giveaway like this, a good amount would appreciate this bonus opportunity to do a little good in the world.

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  4. It helps to realize that just because people aren't giving to your fundraiser, doesn't mean they aren't giving. It probably just wasn't the right means for them to donate. I prefer to give money straight to charities I have researched and trust. The refugee crisis can be helped in many ways.
    I have no desire for maternity clothes and am already donating so your giveaway didn't interest me.
    And I admit it felt a little off that you received free clothes and a free gift card and then expected other people to give to a cause you have chosen in order to receive what was supposed to be given freely. Then you reprimand your readers for not giving enough. You can't make any judgments really on your readers' motivations or financial situations or charitable involvement, you simply don't have all the facts so it's better to remain judgment free.
    Maybe this is more about your pride being hurt that people didn't do what you want?

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    1. oh dear - i'm not sure how this came across as a reprimand - and i'm so sad that it did for you! how did my small mention of surprise and disappointment so quickly become classified as assuming and judgmental?

      i absolutely recognize that many, many people are giving in many, many good ways, and that i have no idea anyone's reasoning for choosing to not take part in this particular giving endeavor. and rather than just take the free things for myself, i thought it would be great to use them for a cause greater than promotion on a blog. i thought others might also find value in giving for something free as well (and some have).

      thank you for sharing your perspective - it keeps me informed on how my intentions could be judged and misconstrued. i hope this reply helps to clear things up!

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    2. Another reader who also saw your reprimand as judgmental and rude. You don't know anyone's circumstances, and you certainly don't know if they tithe in other ways. I am 7 months pregnant, so the gift card actually appeals to me, but I didn't enter because I give money to charities of my choice and I think it's odd that you're asking for donations for a gift card you received for free.

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    3. I almost hate to chime in, because I don't want you to feel ganged up on, Charity. But I have to agree with Emma and Kala. Your post really comes off as a shaming and I was quite surprised by it.

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    4. thanks for letting me know - genuinely. i definitely did not intend to reprimand or come across as shaming, and i made zero claims about understanding anyone's circumstances or giving patterns. i hope that, in turn, assumptions will not be made about me that would cause me to be unduly reprimanded or shamed.

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    5. Agreed. I appreciate you clarifying!

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    6. I must be having a thick moment, because I don't understand why it's odd to "ask(ing) for donations for a gift card you received for free."

      Surely that's what anyone organising a raffle or draw does? If I fund raise at school I ask the local rugby club for an autographed ball or shirt to raffle. Or I ask a local shop for a hamper. All fundraising is asking people - and if you don't make much then is it wrong to be disappointed?

      {You can tell it's half term - commenting on a blog on a week day!}

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    7. Those are all gimmicks. And verbal disappointment at the response isn't exactly a 'thank you and a smile'. Complaining about the response is judging readers. She got no slack about her fundraising in this method until she began to judge readers for not being responsive to it. You are guilting people to consume something they would not normally buy in effort to trick them into donating. It seems very inefficient to me. Some people are very deliberate with their donations. Donations are from their budget. They are balanced. They are not a few dollars here and there. If you are always looking for opportunities to give perhaps you are dissatisfied from your current favorite charities?

      Refugees certainly need financial support but also consider they need a welcome.

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  5. Hmm - I hadn't supported this because I have no need of maternity clothes! But you post did make me pause. I had a little research and decided to make a small donation. You have presented the charity - and asked for support. I enjoy reading your blog - and you've taken the time to organise something. So why not?

    Of course people don't need a gimmick to give. Of course people are giving in many other ways - tithing or through monthly direct debits to chosen charities, plus lots of spur of the moment donations. But people do respond to a little prompt. If I organise fun activities at school for Children in Need or Comic Relief then parents donate. If I go do to door with envelopes on Christian Aid week - then some people will give - and those who tell me they have no change in the house also get a thank you and a smile from me.

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  6. Readers must have seen the post, thought it was “super neat”, but quickly moved on to the next shiny, bright thing before they could let their “hearts be pierced” and donate...

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    1. oh man, i am sincerely so sorry that my word choice on a "travel-guidy" post many weeks ago is still irking you! and if this did happen to some readers, that's okay. i assume that we are pretty much all very well-intentioned and wanting to do good in the world in some way or another :)

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  7. But if we're all so very well-intentioned, *WHY* hasn’t there been more of a response to this special-snowflake giveaway!?

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    1. hence my surprise! plenty of reasons are legit, but like pol pointed out, sometimes people appreciate a little prompt or reminder - i know i do!

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  8. Yeah this post isn't motivating anyone to enter. Apparently we are all selfish because we don't give $3 to your cause. Do you really think it's the $3?

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    1. there have actually been several more donations and entries today, which is great.

      as expressed above, i don't claim to assume anyone's personal reasoning for choosing whether or not to enter. and i did not claim that anyone was being selfish.

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  9. Hey Charity! I'm always leary of these fundraising sites, as they often take a cut off what's raised (GoFundMe being a prime example). My preference is to donate to the Canadian Red Cross, Presbyterian World Service and Development or a local charity (in my city, Edmonton, Alberta, Catholic Social Services, the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers and Multicultural Health Brokers working very closely with refugees) where possible.

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    1. thanks for sharing your perspective, katybelle, and that's really wonderful that you've found organizations that you feel really great about donating to.

      zero money raised on the go jane give platform is absorbed by go jane give itself. however, their api partner does take a small cut of the donations, and donors can volunteer to contribute to go jane give's operating costs on top of their donations. you can read more here: https://gojanegive.org/term-and-policies/

      thanks for reading and contributing your comment!

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  10. Yeah I don't think it was wrong to do a giveaway based on getting a gift card you got for free. And if you noticed, no one had anything negative to say when you posted it. I think it's your response that has got people going a bit. I'm quite particular about where I give my money. And a gift card was not enough of an incentive to me to give to a platform I don't feel strongly about. To be honest, Go Jane Give seems overly complicated, I prefer to cut out the middle man (such as fundraisers, giving in order to receive something etc.) and give money straight to aid organizations I trust.

    If you wanted to express disappointment rather than judgement, then aim your comments inward, not out. Instead of easily misunderstood statements hinting at "the allure of getting something for nothing" and being critical that others aren't giving a "tiny amount to support refugee relief," focus on yourself "what could I have done to get a better response?" or really connect with readers "why didn't this work for you?". I don't think anyone would have responded negatively if you had looked inward for answers or asked non-judgmental straightforward questions.
    A bit more humility in writing and thought would go a long way to reducing a negative reaction. And it would produce a genuinely interesting and honest discussion. Whenever people start feeling judged communication tends to break down.

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    1. I think Meg explains the situation really well. "i have been quite surprised, and, to be blunt, quite disappointed, at the level of response" may be an accurate description of your feelings, and an appropriate thing to say to loved ones, other bloggers interested in doing similar giveaways, or privately to blog readers who are interested in the results of your experiment.

      When you say that publicly to your audience of intended donors, however, it comes off like a parent telling a child "I'm not angry with you, just very disappointed." The implied message is that the child should feel ashamed of their choice and use those feelings of shame and guilt as motivation to choose better next time. I understand that that was not your goal with this post, but I had to reread it a couple of times before I could see it in the light you likely intended.

      When experimental business ventures fall flat the responsibility lies with the venturer to figure out what went wrong -- was it a problem with the product, the messaging, the target audience, the timing? I agree with Meg that approaching your blog readers with "What could I have done better?" would be a more productive and less off-putting approach than "How could you fail to see the value of my idea?"

      It is not a comfortable exercise to receive honest feedback, and I think you've gotten a lot of it unsolicited on this thread already. I will be interested to see how you incorporate it in the future if you choose to continue your experiment with fundraiser giveaways. Good luck!

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    2. thank you both for your insightful comments. what you are saying makes sense and is indeed valuable feedback. i guess i just didn't think that a couple of sentences expressing general feelings would come across with such strong connotations. i should have been more thoughtful in my writing - i just have a few other things on my mind and plate right now and didn't take the time to be.

      for what it's worth, i think that there has been an interesting and honest discussion here, which i have learned from, and hope others have as well. and also to be clear, despite how anything came across, i genuinely was not actively choosing to be critical, and the experiment definitely didn't "fall flat." i think it has been positive in several ways, and as expressed, i am excited about the donations that have been made.

      thank you, again!

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  11. Meg, you are so on point....thank you, thank you!

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  12. "It's an interesting bit of societal commentary about the allure of getting something for nothing!" - yes, it certainly is - especially coming from the girl who never met a free sample in a store or market she didn't like...

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    1. haha, totally fair point. no doubt i am no exception to this societal tendency - i love me some free samples! and i am definitely allured by blog giveaways with no special requirements. at the same time, i also appreciate opportunities to give and serve, and because i know many others do as well, i am excited about combining this giveaway with one such opportunity.

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  13. Sheesh, I wasn't expecting such angry comments (really, she makes a simple comment and you jump all over her about judging and reprimanding?!...hello pot calling the kettle black) but what's not a surprise are your soft words and turned cheek. You are just the best. You are making me think about how to be better at that in my own life. Really listening and trying to understand someone else's thoughts and feelings whilst wading through the anger and muck from their history and life's experiences. You'll be an excellent mother :)

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  14. Ugh! What's with this "shame on you" tone? If you didn't get the kind of "engagement" you were expecting I think that means you should look at how you (not your readers!!) could do things differently next time.

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    1. hi jenny! please see replies to similar comments above. i'm saddened that a "shame on you" tone came across, and i have learned from the response to this post.

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  15. Charity--I love your blog and therefore, I bet if I met you, I'd love you too. I am living vicariously through you with all your travels because I too have wanderlust and fear it will never be tamed! Nor do I want it to be. I didn't contribute to any give-away because I'm not pregnant, nor do I want to be so don't need any maternity clothes. Also- I am unsure where I stand on the refugee issue, so choose to donate my money elsewhere. I love free things and free samples and everyone else here who posted does too. It's very easy to hide behind a computer and comment in a nasty tone, knowing that in your good nature you will read them all and rise above some of these people. But, keep your chin up...you meant well and did a good thing. In the meantime, keep sharing photos of your journeys. I like to stop by sometimes daily to check in with what you are up to. I live in Gilbert, AZ but don't know your family. Keep up the good work here and enjoy your continued baby-moon! love from AZ!!

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  16. I am sorry that your words were perceived as they were. I too admit that I had a raised eyebrow when I read what you wrote, but decided to keep reading before taking exception to your post.

    One of the things I personally thought of (and please take this in the context it's meant and not in a mean way) but I don't know that it was the refugee aspect that turned people away. Your particular give away was very particular to a certain group, which I am not a part of, and to me, it's great that you are trying to help, but it almost seems like there wasn't real personal sacrifice yourself. You were giving away something that you yourself didn't put any money or time into. Your sister gave parts of her talent, your niece offered up an hour of silence and you asked your readers to donate for an item that you received for free. There's nothing wrong with that, but I personally am more inclined to donate when I feel a personal connection and a little sacrifice from the person requesting the donation as well.

    However, anything you give, whether it's $1 or $10,000 is still giving, so don't let anyone make you feel differently, and don't let a number feed you with disappointment.

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