This is a condition whereby where someone, usually at a most inconvenient time (e.g. dinner time or during prime-time TV), cold-canvasses you via the telephone and insists that you should give them money for their most worthy cause, all the while putting on the violins re the dire straits that these poorly recipients endure and how you'd be such a great person if you slip them a hundred with your response being, "yes, it is a most worthy cause and yes, I feel sorry for their plight, but I can barely keep my own head above water, let alone be able to throw money I don't have and besides, I don't appreciate being called as I'm trying to have dinner! Sorry, but no thanks and good evening!", slamming the phone down.

Charity fatigue is caused ultimately by the ever-increasing phenomenon of self-interest fostered in societies that have had a paradigm shift from believing it was a civic responsibility for the better-off to protect the less fortunate to that of a user-pays, dog-eat-dog, each-for-themself dystopia. And as a result, the disadvantaged have to scrape together their own resources, competing not only against other charities, but vying for the carity most of us cannot afford to give due to the need for us to service our own out-of-control disease of consumerism.

Residual effects of charity fatigue include in the short term mild guilt pangs from knowing that you have refused thier request for assistance towards their worty cause, which soon converts to irritation from having had your quiet/fun time rudely interrupted by their unsolicited call and the self-righteous indignation caused from wondering if much of what they've thus far been given is used for marketing their cause, thus annoyed at the potential fact that any money you might donate could end up in either a telemarketer's (and their superiors') hands or line the pockets of some marketing hack…oops…consultant, rather than actually end up with the purported recipients.

The long-term consequences of charity fatigue include a hardening of one's heart towards charity campaigns in general, cynicism towards all levels of government when they indulge in corporate welfare, cold dinners, missing important news items or storylines and a desire to add one's self to the "do not call" lists of the various databases that these charities get your telephone number from.
As much as I would like to see that the disadvantaged get a fairer slice of the pie, I cannot help but suffer from charity fatigue when numerous charitable causes call me, constantly asking me to donate money I cannot afford to give.
by Bag O'Turnips March 07, 2007

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