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My dilemma. Please help.

1498 Views 20 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  an758GnQExU249
My book, Exercises for Therapeutic Riding, has been available almost three years. I have been donating 25% of the proceeds to the therapeutic riding place I used to volunteer for. It says that on the cover. The guy in charge of the organization suggested that I write this book. I don't want to donate anymore . . . I just sent them a check for more than $100 and no thank you. I'm a thank you person. I like being appreciated. If my donated money isn't appreciated, I'm done.

This isn't a solitary event. I quit the board of directors a year ago for similar reasons.

Can I do this? Just change the cover and be on my way? Not send them any money anymore? Do I need to feel guilty about this? Please comment.

P.S. Therapeutic riding is horseback riding for disabled children and adults.
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Honestly, even though we all like to be thanked, the best act of kindness is one that is done quietly and with no expectation whatsoever. Indeed, that's an ideal (and I am far from the ideal in my own life), but it's the definition of a good deed. It's what the Bhagavad Gita advises, for example: the action is its own reward, the action for the own sake.

But if you find the money is being misused, then you have every right to change your mind and change the cover too.

My half cent.
Personally, I think you can do whatever you choose. It's been three years.

If you feel uncomfortable with the change, a compromise might be to donate to a different therapeutic riding organization, one that appreciates your help.
Unless you signed a contract or entered into some verbal agreement that locked you into forever (or until such-and-such date) donating as part of some condition of writing/publishing that book, you don't owe them crap.

Remove their name from everywhere it occurs on your website, the cover, etc. and move on.

However, just for whatever it's worth, if you think they do good work and value the outcome of their efforts, you might consider not worrying about displays of gratitude on their part. Maybe they are busy? Maybe $100 isn't high enough to catch their attention. Whatever. I mean, charitable giving is more about doing what's right than expecting thanks anyway. Sure it's nice, but, well, in the end, think about how small your feelings or mine are when it comes to wanting a "thank you" as opposed to having to endure the every day of some of the people that group helps. Plus, that group isn't just helping people, they have all the time, effort and expense of the animals to deal with (I'll be the insurance is insane for that). Your $100 could so, so, so easily just have slipped under the radar by accident. Think about it. And, again, even if they just didn't bother, it's about helping people. You don't need a thank you. You did something good. That is its own reward.
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You no longer feel a connection with this charity, for whatever reason.  I say stop, or alternately, find a different charity you will feel good about and put that on the cover.
Richardcrasta said:
Honestly, even though we all like to be thanked, the best act of kindness is one that is done quietly and with no expectation whatsoever.
John Daulton said:
You don't need a thank you. You did something good. That is its own reward.
I get this. I totally do. But, I have been donating for three years under these conditions. I quit the organization because I felt it was badly run. It still is. The no thank you was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. And I can't donate to the other organization in town, because as stupid as it sounds, I still feel a certain amount of loyalty to them and that would be a huge slap in the face.
People are jerks and/or busy.

If it's a good cause and helps people in a way you care about, keep giving.
Donate to these guys then:

It's easier for large non-profits to give appropriate thank yous to small donors which is not always possible for a smaller & poorly run facility.
The only dilemma is in your head and in any materials you've put out that say you're donating to them.  Take it off the cover, out of the blurb, out of any intro and off your website or wherever else you've said it and move on.
You've said you don't want to donate to them anymore. I would listen to my gut. Or search for another group. lists rescue groups for all types of animals, including horses. That isn't the same as therapeutic riding, though. There must be hundreds of other worthy groups out there. You've done well and kept a promise to yourself. It sounds like it's time to move on.
You didn't sign a contract. You no longer what to give, so don't.
At the very least they should have given you some sort of acknowledgment with a receipt for tax purposes.
You didn't sign a contract - then there is nothing holding you.

What you have - up until now - is a VOLUNTARY contribution.

You gave it of your free will.

Now - if you've truly decided you DON'T want to give anymore - take it off the cover and get on with your day.

Three years of donations is a lot. If they aren't thankful for that - if they are still trying to guilt you out of another donation - tell them to blow it out their what-have-you. Life's too darn short to spend your day feeling guilty about something that isn't your problem any longer.

My two bits.
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I think you can walk away at this point.  The "thank you" (or absence of it) is not really the point.  Usually these kinds of agreements have a finite run.  Three years is more than enough.
Agree that you've done your part. You shouldn't feel any guilt leaving. I say this as a mom of a daughter with cerebral palsy who benefitted greatly from a therapeutic horseback riding program. The key here is that this particular program was well run, as opposed to the previous program we'd used that was not.
Jerri, You are asking two different questions in your post.
One, the legal angle.  Unless you signed a contract with them (or perhaps there was a gentlelady/gentleman agreement in place, orally) you can walk.  If you signed papers and /or there is  trace of promises you made to the organisation, it's getting more complex than just changing a cover.
The second question, the emotional one -  you have all the details and you should answer that one.  Do you feel you owe them?  Were your sales driven by the 25% donation promise you have on the cover?  I guess that's up to you to decide.

Bottom line, if it's only a matter of legal liability and if that's a moot one, then you should start working on your new covers right away.

ETA.  If you don't feel comfortable with doing a sharp 180, consider lowering the % donation to 5% etc.  that should send a signal to them.  But to be franc - from my pov, the lack of a thank you note should not be reason for killing this relashipnship.  I would look long term and think what else - if anything - could come up as a result of continuing working with them.  The fact that the guy suggested you write the book is intriguing in itself.  
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Sure you can quit donating money to them. However, you risk serious problems if you don't remove the claim from the cover. Change the cover at the beginning of month-X. Make donations for all months-(X-n) when the cover claim was displayed. Stop donating when the proceeds for month-X arrive.
If you're continuing to donate because of guilt - then stop. Giving isn't about guilt, it's about helping a person or organization that you believe in. If you still think their work is important - then keep giving. Otherwise, do as other folks have recommended and find another cause that you believe in.

Is the photo on your cover from the riding center? If so, you may need to rework your cover. Just a thought.
From what you said, I think it's fine if you stop giving money to them.  Good luck on whatever you decide to do.  :D
As long as you continue to donate from the sales you make before you change the cover, I see no moral quandary.
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