I’ve been getting a fair number of requests for charity donations recently, in the form of signed books and other considerations, so I’m going to post this now so people can refer to it later:
I am a big proponent of charity and charitable giving but I typically restrict my involvement in charitable giving into two categories:
1. Initiatives I begin and oversee myself (including auctions, pledge drives, etc);
2. Initiatives that people I know well directly oversee or play an active role in (Child’s Play, Worldbuilders and Con or Bust are examples of these).
The reason I tend to restrict my involvement to these two categories is simple: I don’t typically engage with charities I don’t know about, I don’t have a huge amount of time to research, and thus I prefer to focus on charitable initiatives I already know about and/or have someone I know and trust vouching for. Likewise, I have a limited amount of material to give away for charitable purposes, and I am legendarily scatterbrained when it comes to fulfillment.
For those reasons, if you solicit me for goods/participation for your charitable event, if I do not know you and/or your charity well the answer is very likely to be no. Indeed, assume that the answer is “no,” unless you hear otherwise from me, within a couple of days. This is entirely due to me, and not you; please don’t take it personally (although if you do take it personally, I’m not sure how you think that will convince me to want to have anything else to do with you).
If you are determined to get something from me for your charitable event/fund drive, the simplest way to do this is to come up to me during a public appearance and have me sign whatever thing it is that you want me to sign during the appropriate time of the appearance (for example, during the signing period would be fine). I typically have no problem signing whatever you might have for me then (although please don’t over do it — respect any signing limits we impose at the particular event).
Please be aware that if I sign something for your intended charity in this manner, it does not imply an endorsement of your particular charity. It means I signed something you put in front of me, which you then donated to the charity of your choice.
I recognize that this all sounds a little harsh but please recognize I do get a fairly high number of solicitations for signed books/objects, autographs and personal involvement in various charitable initiatives. I could not accommodate all of them in any event, even if I had the time to vet them all and decide which ones I am interested in supporting. Also — and please understand this is not meant to cast doubt on your request– I have been solicited before by people who claim to be doing something for charity who have then turned out to be scammers of some sort or another. This has made me doubly careful of who I am seen associating with, charity-wise. This is even the case with people who claim to be supporting a charity I have on my own personal “support” list; if I don’t know you, I don’t know that the money accrued from the donation I provide will go where you say you will. Again, this is about me, not you.