There was a discussion on a TAFES whatsapp group… should we impose fines for those who post irrelevant, off-topic or offensive material? The senior associate who suggested it was aiming at improving the quality of the group’s traffic.
The fascinating thing was that the responses all spoke of whether or not this was preferable to getting people to commit to a monthly financial contribution to support TAFES ministry.
How is a monthly fundraising commitment relevant to fines for content on a whatsapp group?
Consider this: at Christmas, when families need more money for the festivities, there are more fines imposed by the police for traffic offences. And whether it’s a fair accusation or not (I wouldn’t know), people say that the reason government processes are so inefficient is so that multiple fees can be charged in various departments. In other words, whatever the reality or the true motivation, there’s a perception that the introduction of new fees is precipitated by a need for money.
TAFES has been talking about fundraising – there’s a push at the moment to get associates to commit to being monthly financial supporters. So it’s natural in this kind of environment to assume that fees or fines are being introduced because of the same fundraising need. Any wonder everyone read the suggestion of a fine as being a fundraising strategy!
The encouraging thing for proponents of the monthly donation strategy, is that the respondents universally thought that was a better idea than fining people. They were in favour of a positive, freely given, regular and generous donation, rather than an punitive measure that would have to be policed and extracted, and would potentially be fairly minor anyway in terms of the amount it brought in.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.