WHY it's so very important to become a member
Did you ever contemplate WHY it's so very important to become a member of those (animal rights) organizations whose work you agree with?
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Well, besides the obvious financial factors there's actually a bit more to it than that. Don't get me wrong, donations are absolutely everything. Still, I would like you to consider the additional long lasting effects of a membership.
Three good reasons to become a member:
1) Immediate financial support
The money will immediately help fond whatever work(s) the organization is behind.Although one annual membership fee may not seem to be a whole lot of money in itself, many membership fees are. Besides, it's important to remember that every bit and scrap actually means a world of difference to those in need.
2) Future financial security
Furthermore, the expectation of so and so many annual membership fees each year enables the organization to plan it's future work, campaigns, events etc. in a larger scale. This is a financial security which should definitely not be underestimated.
3) Send a signal
Having a lot of members sends a very important signal to politicians and the general public alike. It shows commitment, support and determination. Politicians may take this rather heavy sign of support into consideration when negotiating among themselves, campaigning, and when dealing with the organization in question. As for the general public it's not much different. Seeing how numerous others support a certain cause may very well sway more people into joining and in other ways help those in need.
Personally, I'm beginning to loose count of the animal rights organizations I'm a member of either personally or by a family membership. These memberships are very high priority to me.
I support small organizations, because I figure they have less administration costs than the bigger ones, and that more money will therefore go directly to the animals. I support the big organizations because they hold a lot of power by e.g. being well-known and having a large PR-budget.
In my opinion the world needs as many hands on helpers as possible as well as advocates to constantly remind everyone how (bad) things are. Put together the illustrative posters, videos and the likes from one organization might very well lead people to also join another one without needing much convincing. That way organizations with similar agendas supplement each other while staying independent.
I know that some organizations regrettably practice certain politics which I do not in any way condone. This is a really difficult dilemma since I'm essentially paying them to keep practicing them as long as I'm a member or donate money. I don't take such things lightly, believe me! Somehow I have to rely on the good that they do to outweigh the bad, and I stay a member while continuously approaching them with my concerns about the specific issues. I.e. I keep questioning and seek to change from within. In some cases I might sort of understand where they are coming from, but since I still strongly disagree I'll keep reminding them.
Lastly, I'd like to address some of the issues which I know many people have with memberships:
- I'm not comfortable being bound like that- Please don't look at it like being bound cause you really aren't. You can always (after serious consideration I'd hope) terminate your membership. It's not like when you e.g. got tempted and began subscribing to a magazine because of some initial package deal and then forgot you did and ended up having a hard time getting out of it. Charitable organizations are not allowed to play such pranks on you.
- It's a lot of money, I can't afford it- Some people have a lot more money than others, and to some even the smallest amount is crucial. The rest, please remember that the fee in most cases is annual. Furthermore, most organizations' membership fee is actually relatively low. Let's say you abstain from going to the movies (popcorn and everything) one time, that'll about pay your membership.
- How can I be sure that my money will actually end up helping animals, and not go towards administration or into someone's pockets?- You can never know anything for certain unless you actually handle the organization's finances yourself. Still, most organizations make a point of clarifying how exactly the money is spend; e.g. by making their financial statements public. I suggest you look at these, do they seem genuine? Also consider what else you know about the organization from the medias and other people. Don't believe every bad rumor, it might not be true or it might belong to the past. But if you are suspicious, it may help to learn as much as possible about the particular organization or getting involved in it's work.
I bet there are a lot more concerns at play when people don't become members of an organization they actually agree with. Sometimes people just haven't gotten around to it and only need to be asked. Other times the importance of memberships simply haven't occurred to them.
A long story short: No matter what the reason might be, I strongly urge you to carefully choose the (animal rights) organizations whose politics you agree with and become a member. Memberships are very important. Also donate what little or big you can every once in a while, and consider volunteering at shelters etc. It not only feels good, it actually makes a huge difference.
When a member you'll most likely receive one or more magazines etc. per year. Online newsletters are quite expensive, but paper magazines and postage is even more costly. Consider letting the organization know that you'll prefer reading their magazine etc. online, hereby making sure that even more money is spend on the animals.
Charitable organizations are important in order to fend for the weak. Historically speaking they share the responsibility for opening people's eyes and changing their ways as well as having laws that protect animals from exploitation being passed and enforced.
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Posted in Recreation and leisure Post Date 01/08/2017