But matching gifts appear from time to time, sensible or not, and that presented me with a dilemma. The reason that I'm on the USO mailing list is that I already support the USO with a monthly recurring pledge of $10, which I set at the level because it made sense alongside my other charitable activities, and which I made recurring rather than lump-sum because the USO told me (as many charities do) that they need to get money each month to be solvent. In isolation, that makes sense.
Now, enter the matching gift:
- If I give $10 a month to the USO, that's $120 a year.
- If I throw in an extra $50 under the matching program, that means that I gave $120 + $50 = $170, and the USO got $120 + ($50 x 2) = $220.
- If I end my monthly pledge and wait for a matching gift opportunity, I can give $120 and the USO gets $120 x 2 = $240.
- Should that opportunity come at a time when I have the extra $50 to spare, the net gift would be $170 x 2 = $340.
I've apparently been costing the organizations I support a lot of extra cash through my commitment and diligence. It's time to rethink my charitable giving strategy.