Question 14: FlyerTalk Cares!

Old Nov 9, 11, 8:40 am
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Question 14: FlyerTalk Cares!

What emphasis should there be on FlyerTalk involvement in charities? We have a forum called FlyerTalk Cares! where members can post causes near to their hearts. We raised the most money for the Captain Dahl fund in FlyerTalk's history, and the Kiva team is active. Beyond that, requests receive minimal response.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 9:04 am
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I don't feel that FT (as an organization) should have a particularly active role/involvement in charities. While I encourage and respect individual member's desire to raise money for charities/foundations/etc., I think that's where FT's role should end. I welcome and encourage the community-at-large's charitable endeavors, but I don't want to see FT get involved at an institutional level. Sorting out which charity/foundation is "worthy" of FT's institutional support vs. the ones that are not "worthy" would be enormously time-consuming and somewhat thankless. Trying to explain why FT supports one cause and not another isn't apt to foster "community". I'd rather see a community forum that gives members a chance to show their individual support for their favorite causes (without commercializing them).
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Old Nov 9, 11, 10:18 am
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While I'd love to see more members contribute to charities, I recognize that not everyone has the means to do more.

I think the FlyerTalk Cares forum is a way to allow those who do have the means to contribute and who want to help charities of which they otherwise might not be aware. I don't think FlyerTalk should put more effort into vetting charities, in part because most people can find out about charities through any number of websites and they can decide if it is a worthy cause or not.

It also allows each individual to determine their level of interest, rather than saying FlyerTalk supports this charity, but not that charity. It's part of what I like about Kiva. While you can be a member of a team, you aren't obligated to fund certain loans. You still can select which loans you want to fund.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 1:40 pm
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I have no issue with Flyetalk supporting charities provided they meet the guidelines set forth by F/t and with that, I would like to see "FlyerTalk Cares" made more visible as I'm sure that there are many members who don't even know it exists as with more visibility could come more contributions/donations.

But that's where it stops as what I would not want to see (and not saying that F/t does this by any means ) is a hard sell for contributions. All of the members of F/t have very very different financial situations (i.e. many of you know I have been out for work for 3 years and money is tight at times) and it should be left up to the individual to say "hey, I want to contribute". But again, it's all about visibility and making members aware that F/T Cares exists. How to do that, well that's a discussion for the next group of TalkBoard members . Yes, that's a politician's type answer but without knowing the rules & regs set forth, I can't say how to do it .
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Old Nov 9, 11, 2:00 pm
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FlyerTalk Involvement with Charities

FlyerTalk Involvement with Charities is important..

One of my life's passions is involvement with non-profit organizements who serve.. to better the people and communities around us.. A philanthropist by nature, my heart is to contribute to charities through financial means and voluntary works..

A significant portion of all profits from my businesses are financially donated to multiple charities each year.. Causes such as Salvation Army, Mustard Seed, RYM, CSC, STARS (Helicopter Ambulance), YFC, CFAN, Gideons, Samaritan's Purse, Terry Fox Cancer Foundation, Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, etc. I've also served as a consultant for various charities, and have been able to find significant costs savings for charity operations.. One year, just by introducing a new printing method to a charity director, the charity saved over a $100k in the operation year alone, with the savings perpetual for years thereafter.. Currently my services is offered as a director at the community association we are resident in.

Being passionate about charities and belief that generosity is important to human character.. similarly extends to my complete support of FlyerTalk Cares, and the development of generosity amongst membership at FlyerTalk. FlyerTalk members are already generous as we all exchange and contribute information reflecting our passion for Miles and Points.. It is generosity that drives the content and community here on FlyerTalk!
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Old Nov 9, 11, 2:00 pm
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I wouldn't mind a separate forum for Worthy Causes. People could post which causes they think are important and members could decide whether to participate or not. Charity work should always be fully voluntary and not compulsory. Obviously this forum would need moderators to keep it from becoming commercialized.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 2:20 pm
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Personally, I feel FT should not be endorsing specific charities. There are many worthy causes and I think FT should allow members to publicize those. Beyond that, I think members should decide how to donate their own money.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by RichMSN View Post
Personally, I feel FT should not be endorsing specific charities. There are many worthy causes and I think FT should allow members to publicize those. Beyond that, I think members should decide how to donate their own money.
Great idea, Rich!

I agree. It's totally worth considering creating a charities forum.

When the TB was last deeply involved in FT Cares! it was an utter debacle. Some charities were not PC enough and folks got pretty worked up.

So imho, there should be no standards for charities. If a member is involved or wants to make a pitch, let them talk about it in a thread in a forum set aside for it.

I think Kiva is the exception. That's a cool community building enterprise and belongs in CommunityBuzz, IMHO.


One thing that I really turns me off, by the way, is how some folks raise money for charity by badgering their Do or Seminar or IBB customers and then use it as a marketing tool for their Frequent Flyer businesses: "look how great my event is, we raised $53 for blind puppies!!!".

FT should never, ever get into that nonsense.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 2:35 pm
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I think that the current setup is perfectly fine in regards to charity. People have the option to search that thread and donate to a charity if they would like. I agree with RichMSN that we should not (Flyertalk) endorse any charities. We should let the people of Flyertalk choose whatever charity they would like to donate to, if any. I feel that people will be more pressured to donate to an endorsed charity rather than one that is not.

Delta747
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Old Nov 9, 11, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Delta747 View Post
I think that the current setup is perfectly fine in regards to charity. People have the option to search that thread and donate to a charity if they would like. I agree with RichMSN that we should not (Flyertalk) endorse any charities. We should let the people of Flyertalk choose whatever charity they would like to donate to, if any. I feel that people will be more pressured to donate to an endorsed charity rather than one that is not.

Delta747
I am a football referee and am the VP of a large officials' association. I've decided to organize one of those loved/hated (depending on who you are) pink whistle / lanyard / wristband drives next season. Three things I will tell people up front:

(1) This is strictly voluntary. If you want to do this, fine. If you don't, fine.

(2) I prefer that people and crews pick their own charities. If they don't, I'll be happy to lump the funds with the ones I'll send to my charity, but I'll only do that after being sure the people area fine with my choice.

(3) I'm going to announce and describe it once at the first meeting next year and after that, I'll simply remind people I have whistles, etc. if they're interested. No pressure.

My working experience started with a manager who told me I was virtually *required* to donate to the United Way. That's made me ultra-sensitive to any coerced or forced or EVEN *endorsed* charity giving. Let people post to a charity forum (that posters who aren't interested can ignore) and keep FT out of the donation business.

I'm OK with Kiva in CBuzz, just like koko, BTW.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 6:19 pm
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If there forums where you can post charities, that's great.

FlyerTalk supporting charities? Eh, not so much, FlyerTalk is a place for talk about Travel (and of course OMNI).




By the way, I fully support charities, I just don't feel FlyerTalk should get fully involved.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 7:26 pm
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What several of the TalkBoard members above seem to be missing is that there is already a FlyerTalk Cares! forum that does what several of those above have advocated. It allows members (with a certain minimum criteria) to post information about and links to charities they support. Members are then free to read through the posts and choose which charities they would like to support on an individual level.

This solution seems to be a good idea in theory. Perhaps it's not working as well in practice, and there may be some things we can do to make the forum and its goals more visible. I'm always available for feedback from any FlyerTalk members who are passionate about this subject and have ideas.

I believe allowing members to continue to support their own causes outside of the FlyerTalk corporate structure is the best way to move forward with this issue. There is too much potential for disagreement if it is managed centrally. I was not on the TalkBoard when this subject was the TalkBoard's responsibility, but from what I've heard, there was some bad blood over this subject previously. I do not believe that returning to something like that is in FlyerTalk's best interest.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 9:44 pm
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I find the current rules for posting on FlyerTalk Cares quite thorough, fair, and helpful to donors.

The only further exposure I would like to see is an occasional (maybe once each December) FT-wide announcement sticky for a brief period and a mention in each issue of TalkMail. This announcement would say something to the effect of:
"Thinking of making a charitable donation? Click here to see which charities your fellow FT members recommend."
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Old Nov 10, 11, 5:22 am
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I also think creating a separate charity forum is the way to go.

There are so many charities...all over the world...not just US based...and I know I would more than likely support something in my home country rather than international, as people/per capita funds/donations differ from place to place.

I think it split into Countries or Regions around the world would be great...and if people choose to do so, they can...if not they don't.

People come on FT for support...we do not want to make people feel guility if they cannot donate.

Yes we know Flyertalk Cares...but if it cares about one, it should care about all...and this is not realistic or possible.

Let the members decide and let the members contribute and post their causes.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
What several of the TalkBoard members above seem to be missing is that there is already a FlyerTalk Cares! forum that does what several of those above have advocated. It allows members (with a certain minimum criteria) to post information about and links to charities they support. Members are then free to read through the posts and choose which charities they would like to support on an individual level.
Thanks for beating me to posting that.

The FlyerTalk Cares forum is something that is under the Community heading.

Anyone who has 180 posts/180 days can post a thread about a tax-exempt charity.
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