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Make A Donation With A Reality Check

, , , , , | Right | May 1, 2020

I have been a handyman for many years, doing really complex construction that does not require permits in our area. A neighbor calls me and asks if I would do some work for his church. I say I will consider it and agree to meet him at his church.

First, the pastor of the church knew nothing about this and reluctantly agrees to consider the project. My neighbor gives me a list of things he wants done, saying that this will be his donation to the church instead of money. I proceed to figure up the time, materials, and travel for the job and give him an estimated price.

Me: “Okay, I roughly figure the price to be [amount].”

Neighbor: “Okay, that’s fine; it will be my donation.”

Me: “I will need about half the money up front.”

This is my usual business practice, especially for those for whom I have not worked before.

Neighbor: “No, you don’t understand; this is my donation.”

Me: “That’s fine, but you are entering a contract with me, and I will be charging you [amount], which will be your donation.”

Neighbor: “No, obviously, you don’t understand what a donation is. I’m getting you to do this work for my donation to my church.”

Me: “Let me get this straight; you want me to purchase all the material, make multiple trips here, put in hours of work, and that will be your donation, and I get nothing for it?”

Neighbor: “Now you get it, exactly! What’s so hard to understand? This is my donation.”

Me: “It might be your donation, but it is not mine. No way will I do this.”

Neighbor: “But this is my donation! God won’t be pleased with you.”

For some reason, I decided against this job.

This story was featured in our May 2020 roundup!

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