Donation shouldn’t be like window shopping

 


Window shopping also known as retail therapy (read shopping) is often implied as a medium to make ourselves feel good. Science proves shopping releases happy hormone like serotonin which lightens our mind, an experience similar to eating chocolate. A 2011 study by Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/health/retail-therapy#does-it-work) quotes that unplanned shopping seems to relieve stress which goes beyond the initial period of purchase.

If that’s the case and we have nothing to worry on the impulsive spendthrift attitude of an individual, why not channelize the same to donations. Have you ever walked in on store and analyzed the placement of the items. Accessories are generally put in front of the counter to induce impulsive buying because no one walks in the store with the sole idea of buying accessories, they get picked up once the dress is being finalized and generally maximum commission is being generated through it. Window shopping is a boon to the retailers.  But again, why don’t we channelize the same to crowd funding for NGOs... well, these days, books are being judged by its covers.

There is a thin line of difference between marketing campaigns and inducing emotions in a 5-10 seconds reels to guilt a person into donating and that difference, my friend, is sustainability. How many times has it happened that you spend on a dress while browsing on internet or roaming in a mall just because the discounts were wholesome only to regret on its usage later. Window shopping can definitely uplift your mood temporarily but you are sure to second question your choice later (even if the deal was splendid). On the other hand, donation for NGOs is like picking the right doctor for your need. You can’t go and see an endocrinologist if you have pain in your liver.

U need to get your hands dirty, research and then contact the specialist. Similarly, you need to pick the issue you are passionate about and you wish to make a difference for. Here while referring to donations, I imply the holistic experience that comes with it- researching on the issue, tracking the past activity of the NGOs, understanding your involvement in fast tracking (in cash and kind) the goal of an NGO and thereby following up on the progress. It is not about the amount you are putting in, it is about how much involved you are in the process of assisting an NGO accomplish it goal. And many a times, their goals are as simple as having an extra pair of hands to put posters across the room or brainstorming on ideas to involve the homeless children on Christmas.

Doing social service is a two edged sword, if helps the one in need and it makes one feel good about oneself. But to accomplish the latter, we need to immerse ourselves fully into the cause. A guilt induced donation (in money) help us feel good about ourselves momentarily. To gain satisfaction of we actually doing some good, water the seed till it becomes a sapling. Impulsive contributions can help them for one specific cause, only find themselves helpless again. Generally, they don’t have the money and resources to put in for campaigning for every specific need of theirs. For the operations of NGOs to sustain our interest needs to be sustained and window shopping plays on our impulse, not interest. We mentioned in our previous blog, how building trust is important before we link ourselves to a cause and how we, at Ur Gesture, indulge in various activities which act as a tool for our patrons to take their time and decide. We are trying our best to have causes you can identify with and to have genuine NGOs to represent that cause.

But we aren’t selling accessories (read cause), we are asking you to adopt. Adopt a cause, we will take care of the rest.

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