Miss Manners: Can we draw a line on all the online fundraising campaigns?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why has it become socially acceptable for online funding campaigns to be made for everyone and everything? Social media is flooded with them, each one asking for thousands of dollars, and it feels excessive.

Am I missing something, that this has become acceptable? Or is it the guilt of people who feel the need to make a page for a struggling loved one that has caused the increase?

I especially cannot understand when a campaign surpasses its goal and people keep donating, rather than shifting the money to another cause -- or the organizer shutting it down.

I understand the financial burden a tragic event can cause, but where is the line drawn?

GENTLE READER: Socially acceptable? Says who?

Well, greedy people who are perfectly solvent but want more, and expect to get it from acquaintances, friends and strangers alike -- that’s who. Oddly enough, they are not the arbiters of proper behavior.

Miss Manners, who is, recognizes that begging may be the last resort of people in desperate circumstances, or that generous people may organize relief for the victims of tragedy.


But then there are the “everyone and everything” demands: those who have dreams that they cannot afford -- a trip, a lavish wedding -- and want others to finance. Or, as you point out, those who continue to solicit money for a problem that has been solved.

No, those efforts are not socially acceptable.

They are, however, socially ignorable. Your charitable donations should be made to the causes you deem most worthy of help, and you should resist intimidation from those who merely deem themselves worthy.

• • •

DEAR MISS MANNERS: We request your advice on whether it is acceptable to issue (and accept) wedding invitations after the first batch has gone out.

We received an invitation to a local wedding, and it is clear from the timing and information on the couple’s website that most invitations were sent much earlier. We would like to attend, but my wife is concerned that there is something unseemly about not being included in the initial invite list.

I think it makes sense that we are backup guests. The bride and our daughter were best friends in elementary school, and our families became close and vacationed together. The girls drifted apart in middle school, and so did the adult friendship. But we have fond memories of the bride and her family.

GENTLE READER: It is unfortunate that social postings have made so much known that shouldn’t be.

For hosts to have a B list is not wrong; predicting how many invitations will be accepted is next to impossible, and including others when there is room is sensible.

But making it known who is on the B list is wrong. As guests should respond immediately (this is Miss Manners living in a dream world), the batches of invitations should be mailed no more than a week apart.

Nevertheless, it is not an insult to discover that distant friends would like to have you, but give priority to closer ones. Whether or not you attend should depend on your feelings about them -- whether you still like them and their daughter enough to be part of their family occasion.

Miss Manners | Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Miss Manners, written by Judith Martin and her two perfect children, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Marin, has chronicled the continuous rise and fall of American manners since 1978. Send your questions to