Etiquette Questions, Answered: Holidays and Gifts
How Should I Handle Donations Made in My Name?
Q. What should I do if someone makes a donation in my name to a group that I don’t support?
A. What would you do if someone gave you a glow-in-the-dark reindeer sweater that plays “Jingle Bells”? You wouldn’t shriek and hand it back. No, you would politely say “Thank you.” Do the same thing in this case. However, if you’re concerned that this person might make the same kind of charitable gift for you in the future, take your friend aside after the holidays and explain that you’re unhappy about having your name associated with an organization whose beliefs don’t align with yours. Her feelings might be hurt, but she won’t repeat the mistake.
If you’re the person who likes to give charitable presents, choose a cause that you think will be palatable to everyone on your list—the American Red Cross, for instance—and steer clear of those that take a political or religious stance others may find objectionable.