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To be pissed off about being put on the spot for charity donation?!

(40 Posts)
PossetFeatures Tue 02-Aug-11 21:08:09

Aware I maybe being a miserable tight arse today but hey ho...

Was in well known high street clothes shop buying a rare item of clothing, and when I get to the till and just putting my card in when girl at the till asks if I want to make a quid donation to the Teenage Cancer Trust. I'm not sure why, but this really riled me that i'd been put on the spot, with the rest of the queue watching. I did donate, but growled at the girl that I don't like being asked those sort of things on the spot. She shrugged, and said she'd been told by head office to ask (i'm aware obvs not her fault). I said that it makes people feel guilty, and they might not be able to afford that last pound. She shrugged again, and said that was head office's idea, to guilt people into donating. The women at the til next to me with a couple of kids was asked and she said that no, she couldn't afford it, but the girl serving her asked again "are you sure?" This pissed me off even more.

For the record, I know that the TCT does AMAZING work, and it's not giving the pound that bothers me, but being put on the spot. I do donate to a couple of charities by Direct debit each month, and the odd bigger ad hoc donation to something when I can afford it. I'm aware that I could've said no, but I would've felt mean and guilty sad

I think that normally i'm quite a generous person, not sure what i'm trying to say, maybe i'm having a bad day and being a grumpy cow- if so slap me! grin I just hate this sort of pressure to donate. Could join my hatred of charity chuggers!

RabidRabbit Tue 02-Aug-11 21:12:59

YANBU, it's horrible. You can practically hear the tuts of disapproval if you dare say no to them. I also bloody hate getting the collection bucket waved in my face as I am trying to maneuver my overflowing trolley out of the supermarket. Like you, there are a couple of charities I have direct debits set up with, and I am of the opinion that if I want to donate to one, I will do so without being asked/guilt tripped into it.

chicletteeth Tue 02-Aug-11 21:14:59

Fucks me right off quite frankly.
I know that charities get more by asking, and I'm glad they do, but I'm still allowed to be cross about it.

I never feel bad for saying no; I donate regularly to several and so my conscience is clear (not that it needs to be, if you get my drift)

2cats2many Tue 02-Aug-11 21:15:12


PossetFeatures Tue 02-Aug-11 21:17:27

Phew, i'm not a tight, miserable bitch then!

It's what chicletteeth said, I know the charities obvs get more by asking which is good for them and their work, but still annoys me how they go about doing it!

hocuspontas Tue 02-Aug-11 21:31:15

The shop should put up a notice saying that every transaction over £10 they are donating £1 themselves instead of getting their poor staff to guilt-trip customers into it. This way, if customers have a sub-£10 transaction they may willingly want to put £1 in the pot themselves.

I always remember the very first Band-Aid thing. Dp and I donated hundreds of £s at various events and collections, then someone in my office produced a bucket and asked for donations on the spur of the moment. I said I didn't have any change on me (true) and I was called tight-fisted and 'didn't I care about starving children in Africa'. hmm

SuchProspects Tue 02-Aug-11 21:44:07

I always say no and don't feel guilty. I've never once heard anyone behind me in line tutting. grin

But YANBU to feel a bit miffed about the way it is done. I worked for a long time in the non-profit sector and have come to see a lot of the fundraising tactics as quite cynical. And a commercial business doing the ask really annoys me - if they want to give to the cause they should just do it, I dislike feeling coerced by someone I have a business relationship with. Makes dislike the shop and the charity!

I do give, but I'm fussy about which causes and how. If someone asks me on the street or over the phone and I'm actually interested in the cause I tell them I'll check out the website and consider it. Almost the only on the spot giving I do is spare change into a passive can on the counter when I have too much rattling around my purse.

ReindeerBollocks Tue 02-Aug-11 21:55:20

I agree that it is unreasonable to reaffirm the original statement, but just to ask... Probably not tbh.

Charities are struggling more than ever with the current economy, plus add in global issues which people obviously may choose to give to, and well, it leaves the smaller charities in a financial crisis. Just say no, I doubt the shop assistant really cares, she probably has other things to do/ think about.

Just to give you all more fuel to the fire, I have organised supermarket charity collections a couple of times for DS's condition and their trust. They were a few moving experiences, it wasn't just about raising cash but awareness. I had people whose lives had been affected by the same condition tell me their stories and relate to me what it is like seeing a loved one suffer. I was there purely to help, and not to make anyone feel guilty for not donating.

smoggii Tue 02-Aug-11 22:06:07

I give regularly to set charities and it is my 'personal policy' that i don't give outside of this and this is what I say if asked. it's not strictly true as sometimes i impulse give but i like having a standard answer for awkward requests.

Portofino Tue 02-Aug-11 22:10:52

YANBU - no way on earth should commercial businesses be guilt tripping their customers into this. I give money to charity every year, but they are charities of MY choosing.

javo Tue 02-Aug-11 22:15:46

This happened my teenage DD in a very popular high street clothes store last week. She only had enough with her for the top she had saved for and felt very bad about being put on the spot , the assistant spoke loudly in front of the long queue and said "we are asking every customer to donate £1....". T my DD said she had no more money and the assitant gave her a "dirty look" this embarassed and upset my DD on one of her first forays out clothes buying on her own.

My Dd says she will never shop there again - so a young customer lost for life!

thursday Tue 02-Aug-11 22:17:25

YANBU - i choose when and where i donate, and i particularly dislike being bugged about it by people paid to pester you. the clothes shop isnt arsed about the charity, they're arsed about their image and getting to say they raised £xxxxx at the end of the year. and where are all those pounds sitting until they get donated? in the businesses bank account. no thanks, i dont need middle men like that.

SecretNutellaFix Tue 02-Aug-11 22:18:51

We currently are being told to keep asking every customer if they have any change for our "supported charity". I only ask if the manager is on the shop floor and listening in.

It is not my job to raise funds. However my life is made a fucking misery by my manager if I don't.

YouDoTheMath Tue 02-Aug-11 22:31:52

It's a tough one. Charities rely on donations but asking for them outright does get people's backs up.

The exiting-the-supermarket one annoys me. Given that I've just bankrupted myself on a week's shopping and both hands are laden with carrier bags, I'm hardly in a position to hand over more cash.

Then there are the door to door callers - I was informed that my kindly neighbour across the road had just donated £20, and was I prepared to do the same? Well, good on my kindly neighbour; but as you can see I'm heavily pregnant, and my pennies are going on this one.

But then I'm the obstructive type who prefers to do things because I choose to, not because someone else thinks I should...

DeWe Tue 02-Aug-11 22:45:27

Bet your neighbour hadn't. Have you checked with them?
One of our neighbours came up to us a couple of weeks ago and asked about a charity collector who told them that we'd sent them because "we knew they'd be interested". They'd said "no" to her and felt guilty so came to apologise to us. We not only hadn't sent the collector, I would never put someone on the spot like that, but we didn't donate and we certainly didn't want her coming in to tell us all about her charity while we ate lunch (which is what she wanted to do). Very pushy young lady (but came across as quite nice). Spoke to someone else up a nearby road and found she'd said pretty much the same thing to them.

YouDoTheMath Tue 02-Aug-11 22:50:45

DeWe - makes you wonder which ones are legit. And no, at the time I didn't check with my neighbour, as the woman quoted neighbour's name. I'm sure she was legit, I just didn't appreciate the direct approach.

That said, the girl doing the job seemed very uncomfortable - almost apologetic. I bet she didn't last long!

javo Tue 02-Aug-11 23:04:42

thursday - hadn't thought about where the money will be sitting. I hope the charity gets the interest.

I think the problem in this case is the instruction/training for the staff. I think a notice up warning about the donation request and saying it is entirely voluntary would help instead of being mugged at the till.

ReindeerBollocks Tue 02-Aug-11 23:06:13

My gosh I'm the only person who doesn't think it's UR. Well, I'm happy to be wrong.

YDTM legit collectors are issued badges by the local council, as are those 'annoying' ones at supermarkets. You need permission from Councils and they are generally quite efficient at making sure some charities don't harass the same area too much.

ReindeerBollocks Tue 02-Aug-11 23:07:50

Sorry should have add that supermarket collectors and door to door collectors need permission from the Council before undertaking collections - obviously this applies to registered charities.

NorfolkBroad Tue 02-Aug-11 23:10:45

YA definitely NBU! I cannot stand this kind of approach. My dp and I sponsor a little girl in Niger plus we each support a charity each month by dd. We buy the Big Issue and often do sporting events for charity but we CANNOT STAND being harrassed by charity chuggers in the street or even worse door to door. It is so annoying and intrusive. I don't know a single person who thinks this is a good idea. It is particularly horrible to do it like that at the till point though, especially to Javos dd. That is really uncalled for.

sunshinelifeisgood Tue 02-Aug-11 23:16:06

YANBU, I was stopped today in the high street by a local charity, got my purse out and was told "sorry the badge is £3". I actually said "Im sorry was quite happy to give what change I had but did not want to be told what to give.
Its hard for charities but also hard for everyone else sad

TheFarSide Tue 02-Aug-11 23:16:58

YANBU - I think they are relying on people feeling embarrassed, so it is a manipulative. For this reason, I have absolutely no trouble saying no - I don't do emotional blackmail.

Practise saying no - it's liberating.

TheFarSide Tue 02-Aug-11 23:17:52

And who cares what the people in the queue behind you think?

Darnsarfupnorf Tue 02-Aug-11 23:20:36

YANBU i got stopped in the street the other day by some fella whos asked if i was a mum (was pushing dd in her pram at the time...) to which i acted suspicious and said 'no, ive stolen her so piss off before they realise'

he looked confused, me and my friend ran away giggling and awaiting the panic to set in (which never did...good to know!)

on the plus side i was in a really bad mood and it cheered me up!

TheFrogs Tue 02-Aug-11 23:22:19

Oh I HATE being approached like that. I give to charity shops, I buy from charity shops, I buy the badges for various charities. But I really cant stand the in-your-face thing or the hot men they send to my door to tell me how much they care about animals thing...give it a rest!

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