Suggested donation v. admission cost

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Suggested donation v. admission cost

If a non-profit organization states something to the effect of "$5 suggested donation" or "we ask for $2 donation" what does that mean to you? If you have a family with lots of small children, would you feel obligated to donate the full "suggested" amount? If it was a charity where you regularly volunteer your time and make a monetary donation annually, would it change your opinion?

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I think it's great if you can pay the full amount...but I'll admit I haven't always.

I think whether you pay for little kids depends on the type of place it is (so many entrance fee places don't require you to pay for children below a certain age). So for instance a hands-on kids museum I'd pay for all of them...but an older kid learning museum, I probably wouldn't pay for my nearly 2 year old.

I also have sometimes only put in a portion to start and then at the end as I was leaving dropped more money it because I really felt like it was worth while.

Edited because I forgot the last question: Not sure...being as I haven't been in that situation. Part of me would be less likely because I would feel like my large donation covered it...but if it was something extra special (new exhibit, special fundraiser) then I would probably because it's outside their normal setup.

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I usually end up paying more, cause thats just the way my husband is. Not that we have a ton of money, but he grew up surrounded by people who had way less than him and he was taught that if you can, you always pay at least the amount asked for, or more, in these situations to cover the cost for the people who cant pay the suggested amount. I guess I agree with that, except that I feel the cost of people who cant pay is already worked into the suggested price, so I usually just pay that (its not like we are made of money).

If it was a charity that I worked with and donated to regularly? Not sure, but I would think that I would be happier to pay the whole amount because it is going to something I believe in and I know the money is getting to its target, trust the organization etc.

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If I can pay the suggested donation I will, but there are times when I am very hard up for money that I am not able to. I have gone to play group which has a $2 suggested donation and not paid cause we just couldn't. I know the organisation would rather DD be able to play whether I can toss in the $2 or not. I also have put in extra at times that I can.

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I usually pay more, because generally the suggestion is pretty inexpensive and we can afford it. I also figure that there are some who can't/don't pay it, so I do my part to make up for them. I have only seen it at two places near us, a zoo and a fantastic playground......both places that I personally like to support as we enjoy them.

I will admit that your question made me think "Wait.......just because you are a family with lots of small children why would one pay less?"...because I don't believe that choosing to have children (or many of them) is an excuse to not do ones part to pay for/support the things that one chooses to enjoy/participate in.

Again, because the "suggested donation" is generally so small I will generally pay it (even if I were on the board or something), as I see it as a per use thing. If somehow I had zero cash in my wallet I would probably not stop at an ATM though, I would just make up for it next time I went.

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We always do a little more than the suggested donation. I don't run into it a lot. I have no problems asking for a military discount from businesses, but when it comes to fun things to do that are run on charity, I think supporting them is more important than other things that we might use that money for. It wouldn't change based on how many or what age my children were, but if I donated annually and volunteered my time, I probably wouldn't donate each time we went unless we were taking a slot that someone else would be using.

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If I don't have the suggested donation, I don't go. I love being able to donate more than the suggested. I was once on the receiving end of people's kindness and it makes me feel awesome that I am now able to be on the giving end.

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If I absolutely could not afford it, I would just pay what I had. If I had extra money I would pay more though to help out the people that can't pay a lot.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I usually pay more, because generally the suggestion is pretty inexpensive and we can afford it. I also figure that there are some who can't/don't pay it, so I do my part to make up for them. I have only seen it at two places near us, a zoo and a fantastic playground......both places that I personally like to support as we enjoy them.

I will admit that your question made me think "Wait.......just because you are a family with lots of small children why would one pay less?"...because I don't believe that choosing to have children (or many of them) is an excuse to not do ones part to pay for/support the things that one chooses to enjoy/participate in.

Again, because the "suggested donation" is generally so small I will generally pay it (even if I were on the board or something), as I see it as a per use thing. If somehow I had zero cash in my wallet I would probably not stop at an ATM though, I would just make up for it next time I went.

It was a rescue barn. The family was Grandma and all the grandkids. We discussed their suggested donation and looked at the cost of carrots for the horses. Grandma's donation was slightly less than the suggested so we could feed the horses. Instead the lady told us we shorted her and it wasn't a suggested donation (as the website said) but the cost of admission. Thus, we didn't get the carrots.

Anyway, DD1 volunteered there from September until March when we found out she needs surgery on her spine. She plans on going back after the surgery.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

It was a rescue barn. The family was Grandma and all the grandkids. We discussed their suggested donation and looked at the cost of carrots for the horses. Grandma's donation was slightly less than the suggested so we could feed the horses. Instead the lady told us we shorted her and it wasn't a suggested donation (as the website said) but the cost of admission. Thus, we didn't get the carrots.

Anyway, DD1 volunteered there from September until March when we found out she needs surgery on her spine. She plans on going back after the surgery.

I don't understand the first paragraph. Who thought they were shorted? The rescue barn people, or the grandma? And why didn't the horses get carrots? Are you the grandma or the rescue barn lady or neither in this situation?

Anyway, typically if we didn't have the suggested donation amount, I wouldn't go. But if it was a place we went all of the time, I might go and then just make up for it the next time. I think if it was a place that I often volunteered at, I would be even more likely to pay at least the suggested amount, because presumably it is a "cause" that is close to my heart and I would want to give them the support and I would be well aware of how much they need the money.

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So, I have a specific example that I'd love to hear you guys respond to.

A few years back we were visiting San Francisco and just walking around. One of the buildings at a little museum in it and there was a box as you entered with a suggested donation price. The museum was definitely on a teenage/adult level, took about 10 minutes to walk through, and the s.p. was $5.

To me that was expensive for such short time....if I'm remembering correctly we paid for DH and myself but not for the young child in tow.

So would all of you have really paid for your kid the full suggested price?
As it was I thought it was overpriced for an adult, let alone a child who got nothing out of it.

I guess to me suggested price says to me that they are willing to take less but that's what they feel is fair. And if it's not a "kid" place (like the farm, etc...) then a for profit doesn't usually even charge a child's admission so why would one like this expect one?

Now, if there had been more to see, $5 might have been cheap and I might have donated more...but that's why I think it depends on what it is you are doing, etc...

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How young was the child?

Interesting point - if it was an attraction that was obviously geared towards adults and only took 10 minutes to go through, I probably would not pay for a young child, particularly a very young child (like an infant.) Actually, for most places I probably wouldn't expect to pay for a very young child/infant that would get nothing out of it. If I took a 6 month old to the Science Museum (which has a set price for admission) I would be very surprised if they asked me to pay for him/her.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I don't understand the first paragraph. Who thought they were shorted? The rescue barn people, or the grandma? And why didn't the horses get carrots? Are you the grandma or the rescue barn lady or neither in this situation?

Anyway, typically if we didn't have the suggested donation amount, I wouldn't go. But if it was a place we went all of the time, I might go and then just make up for it the next time. I think if it was a place that I often volunteered at, I would be even more likely to pay at least the suggested amount, because presumably it is a "cause" that is close to my heart and I would want to give them the support and I would be well aware of how much they need the money.

The grandma in the situation is my mom. IIRC from when DD1 volunteers, it was the owner of the barn. She told my mom that she didn't pay enough. It wasn't a "suggestion" but a required admission amount. My mom only had so much cash, so no $ for carrots. The barn got the same amount of money as we intended, just in the form of "admission" rather than a donation and then the bag of carrots.

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I agree, that if you can afford to pay the full amount it's great, but if not don't feel bad, I'm sure they appreciate whatever you can give.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

The grandma in the situation is my mom. IIRC from when DD1 volunteers, it was the owner of the barn. She told my mom that she didn't pay enough. It wasn't a "suggestion" but a required admission amount. My mom only had so much cash, so no $ for carrots. The barn got the same amount of money as we intended, just in the form of "admission" rather than a donation and then the bag of carrots.

I think this was jerky, especially if the website called it a suggested donation, and the fact that your daughter volunteered there just compounds that for me. I would be looking for a different place to volunteer next time and definitely would not be going back, so what did this woman really think she was gaining by being a jerk?

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

How young was the child?

Interesting point - if it was an attraction that was obviously geared towards adults and only took 10 minutes to go through, I probably would not pay for a young child, particularly a very young child (like an infant.) Actually, for most places I probably wouldn't expect to pay for a very young child/infant that would get nothing out of it. If I took a 6 month old to the Science Museum (which has a set price for admission) I would be very surprised if they asked me to pay for him/her.

The child was 4....the museum was geared toward teenagers/adults.

A lot of local children places with actual admission charge only for 2 and older...
A lot of non-children places don't charge for under 10-12. around here...
So it seems to me that the suggested price would be for something similar.

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Typically the donation is such a low amount, that we have no issue with paying above what they ask. We went to a pancake breakfast the other day where a ticket donation was $5 per person, I took my 2 year old who didn't even eat 1/2 a pancake - I still paid for her. If you are going to support a charity or event, then you should be prepared to pay the donation fee they are asking. Usually it's just enough to cover their costs in hosting the event.

If I couldn't afford the donation, I would find another place to take my child - like the park where it's free to go. I know most cities have plenty of kid-friendly activities, especially in the summer, that have little to no cost.