Asking for monetary donations for training, your views: is it moral, ethical, legal?!

 Everyone has probably seen this button at least once somewhere on the internet asking for donations especially in times of natural disasters, war, famine, etc. Volunteer departments get a lot of their funding through donations for equipment, supplies, training, etc. I recently came across an event on FaceBook (imagine that) with a young volunteer firefighter requesting donations to help fund his way through EMT-Basic training because his department didn't offer any assistance for the course. What do you think about this, is it a great way in our "technological age" to get funding? Should departments that have websites have a "Donation" button for visitors to give to them even if they aren't in the departments coverage area? Is this legal to do so? How can you be certain it is a legitimate person you are sending money to and not some con-artist? When I saw this I thought to myself, "Wow, I should do this and then I could get my Paramedic course paid off in no time!" That lasted for a second and then my morals/ethics/conscience came into play and I decided that even though I would be accepting the generosity of others it still felt wrong.


I don't know, I just saw this and it got me thinking about technology and social networking these days, and I applied it to the fire service and it brought up these questions. So how do you feel about the issue: is taking donations to pay for training moral, ethical, and legal? Please feel free to comment.


-Jonathan LCFD

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Johnathan,

Hey man your pay pal button is broken. I keep trying to donate $ but when I click on the PayPal nothing happens!
Also I'm available for the calendar shoot.
LOL Dust please send all Donations to Muscular Dystrophy Association – WEB PO Box 78960 Phoenix, AZ 85062-8960
They can surely use the money, as for the calendar shoot.... send them your pics as well, just make sure they are TASTEFUL!
our town is very small but the fire department gets a budget for training every year,the towns people have a fund raising dinner once a year for training or whatever we need,both my wife and I are taking it one step farther with our training and are going to school to be paramedics,the department pays for everything up to this,we are paying for this out of our own pockets because we want to go the extra mile
"...I thought to myself, "Wow, I should do this and then I could get my Paramedic course paid off in no time!" That lasted for a second and then my morals/ethics/conscience came into play and I decided that even though I would be accepting the generosity of others it still felt wrong."

Jonathan, your post comes across (IMO) as a little "Holier Than Thou", I don't see how furthering your professional development through donations is "morally wrong". You must not come from a department which struggles to make ends meet, who's budgets are not funded by city/county/state tax dollars, but are gained through donations. If your department can afford to pay for any of their members to take training, more power to them! That is a wonderful, wonderful thing. But do not get on a high horse and look down on the departments who cannot.


"Should departments that have websites have a "Donation" button for visitors to give to them even if they aren't in the departments coverage area?"

Also, how is it wrong to accept donations from "people outside a departments coverage area"? I see nothing wrong with it. If I am on the road and come across a department having a fundraiser I think nothing of giving them a donation. Is it wrong of them to take my money, since I don't "live" in their area? I fail to see how it is any different for a (legitimate) fire department's website to do the same via a donation link.

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