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To cancel my charity payment?

(22 Posts)
Crazypetlady Thu 17-Dec-15 10:27:09

We had a man from oxfam at the door a few weeks ago asking for money for local food banks . I signed up as I give to certain charities for other countries and wanted to give locally. Now a letter has come through thanking me for my generosity in helping people in Nigeria. I already give abroad I feel mislead and want to cancel. I think it's important to give to other countries but it shouldn't be done by misleading people.
Should I cancel or AIBU?

PurpleDaisies Thu 17-Dec-15 10:28:42

If you've decided you don't want to donate to a certain charity any more that's totally your perogative.

Could you find a small local charity to donate to instead?

3sugarsplease Thu 17-Dec-15 10:28:56

So you thought you were giving to a local charity however they have thanked you for contributing abroad?

Cancel and choose your own local charity.

AuntieStella Thu 17-Dec-15 10:30:25

Yes, if you want to give locally, give locally.

Big charities prefer you to give unrestricted funds (there may have been verbiage about your donation going to Oxfam wherever it works). You can either get in touch with Oxfam and change it to UK food banks only or to cancel.

No-one can support every worthy cause, and the important thing here is that you are giving.

flanjabelle Thu 17-Dec-15 10:31:33

Completely understandable to cancel it and I would actually make a complaint. Misleading people into donating is not ok at all.

Crazypetlady Thu 17-Dec-15 10:34:38

Yes the man at the door said we are giving to homeless shelters and food banks in your area and that's where the money is going.
I don't mind some money going abroad .I would have just liked there to have been some mention of this food bank work as that's what made me sign up initially. I feel like I was lied to that was the worst bit I think.

DP has set up a food bank in the shop he works so I may just give a shop to that occasionally.

3sugarsplease Thu 17-Dec-15 10:39:34

In that case YANBU. Although we need to support charities abroad, I think it's wrong and misleading for charities to do this. You have a right to know where your donation is going.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Thu 17-Dec-15 10:42:26

YANBU if they are misleading people. I would also make a complaint. It doesn't take much for me to cancel a donation though!

Wolpertinger Thu 17-Dec-15 11:11:33

Oxfam does fund food banks in the UK but all charities would prefer you gave unrestricted funds so they can spend it where their highest priorities are. So one week that might be food banks, another week it might be something else - Oxfam is a massive charity. Making sure your donation only goes to food banks would be an administrative headache for them and prob not worth the cash (unless you have been v v generous).

For example, building up a reserve isn't most people's idea of what they want to donate for, but we can see with Kids Company not having any reserves was disistrous for them.

At the charity I work for, people always want to donate for an item of equipment but actually we don't need much equipment, we'd like to spend the money on staff salaries - but this isn't nearly as popular. Which is why we always try to get unrestricted donations.

If you really only want to fund food banks, then donate to the Trussell Trust which is a food bank charity instead - but even then it's much more helpful to them to have a general donation, which might say fund a fundraiser's salary, than for you to say you only want it spent specifically on running the food bank.

CaptainKit Thu 17-Dec-15 11:17:40

Completely understandable to cancel in this case; sounds like the doorstep seller was misinformed/not being truthful. However, a charity like Oxfam will likely put all donations into a pot, and this will be shared out nationally and internationally as per their plan of action, so the only way you would be able to support local causes would be to specify when giving to Oxfam (probably not possible via the standardised sign up form of the door to door seller) or to find a local charity to support.

A lot of people don't seem to know this, so don't worry - it's not just you.

If you're interested, Oxfam's annual report can be found here - it might give you an idea of what money is spent abroad vs what's spent in the UK. I've only briefly skimmed through it (it's rather long) but it does look like a majority of their work seems to happen outside of the UK.

(Disclaimer: I don't work for Oxfam, but I do work for a large national charity)

Crazypetlady Thu 17-Dec-15 11:21:48

Thanks for all the replies. I don't have a problem with money going abroad. I do have a problem with there not even being a mention of the food banks. The man said they are doing a big donation drive as they are getting more supplies to food banks and opening more in the area so I thought the letter should mention it really.
I do get that the money can't just go to a certain cause though.

FinallyHere Thu 17-Dec-15 11:25:29

Ummm, I think if you found out how much of your donation goes to pay the person who goes round collecting like this, you would never sign up on the spot again.

They are paid to collect, on commission, they are not, as you would imagine, volunteers. Do raise the misleading with the charity concerned, they ought to want to know.

Wolpertinger Thu 17-Dec-15 11:32:14

True - Never sign up with a chugger or door to door person. If they have triggered your interest, far more of your donation will go to the charity if you then go away and sign up on line.

Newsletter is prob a generic one though, rather than aimed at your specific sign up. It may well have food banks in another issue. Food banks is pretty new to Oxfam, most people signed up with them prob are more interested in reading about projects in Nigeria and might actually object to food bank funding in the UK.

Krampus Thu 17-Dec-15 11:32:17

Contact them and say what happened.

1. The fundraiser may have been purposefuly misleading if you had been discussing how you already gave to foreign causes.
2. He may have been ill informed or unclear in his explanation. It goes into a central pot and some of it will be used in this way.
3. There's been an admin error somewhere, data uploaded and the wrong code applied at some point.

In any of the above a complaint gives the charity the oportunity to take action. If you want to cancel do it as quickly as possible as there will be cut off cancellation dates for that months payments.

CaptainKit Thu 17-Dec-15 11:33:44

Ummm, I think if you found out how much of your donation goes to pay the person who goes round collecting like this, you would never sign up on the spot again.

Oh the amount of times I've heard this. Yes, most door to door fundraisers are paid employees, either of the charity they represent, or of a third party hired by the charity. Yes they get paid. Yes there are costs to this kind of fundraising, just as there are costs to every kind of fundraising. These costs will be balanced against the money brought in - often worked out as the average gift given x the average duration of someone's donation.

The larger charities would not still be in business if they were spending all their profits on paying for their fundraising efforts. Neither would they be in business if they didn't spend any money on doing this fundraising in the first place. The accounts I linked to above will show the total amount of money spent on fundraising this year, and will also show the total amount of money they brought in this year. I can pretty much guarantee that the money brought in will far outweigh the money spent on fundraising.

RB68 Thu 17-Dec-15 11:43:26

All the big charities are used to dealing with "ring fenced" donations however big or small they are as they have to show that if a donation for e,g, in a will specified it for a specific purpose that that amount of money was spent on x.

Spudlet Thu 17-Dec-15 11:53:16

That's naughty of the door to door person to tell you that, though he himself might genuinely have thought that would be the case. I work for a much smaller charity and we do not ring-fence appeals, or any other donations if possible, either. Otherwise, it's possible to end up with more money than you can make good use of for campaign A, and not enough for campaign B. So although our appeals are themed around various aspects of our work, the money each one raises goes into a general fund, which will help with that issue but could also go to other things that are part of our work.

We don't door to door fundraise but we certainly do invest money in fundraising. It's a myth to say people give to charity when they want to - people give when they're asked. But we get back much more than we put in, and spend the vast majority of our funds on our direct charitable work, in the UK and abroad.

If you are gong to cancel, do tell them why as it may be that someone is genuinely misinformed and telling the charity gives them the chance to put that right.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Thu 17-Dec-15 11:53:49

I never sign up to anything if someone knocks on the door - the door gets shut before they can start their patter. The same goes for phone calls and if I already donate to a charity and they phone and ask for more the direct debit gets cancelled.

I get annoyed at charity fundraising as my elderly, partially sighted Mum has been talked up to signing up to several charities on the doorstep and on the phone and I've had to go through her bank account cancelling the payments.

SecretServ1ce Thu 17-Dec-15 12:13:40

How annoying. I like to choose my charities. We can't give to all so I have four that I pay by DD. Two overseas and two UK. When I sign up I always insist they keep me off their mailing lists. I can follow them online to find out what they are doing.
I agree OP that you should cancel and choose a local shelter or foodbank to donate to.

AdoraBell Thu 17-Dec-15 12:15:13

YANBU at all.

Puzzledandpissedoff Thu 17-Dec-15 13:39:50

This is exactly why my fundraising has always been for local charities, where it's much clearer exactly what the money's being spent on

Each to their own of course, but personally I wouldn't fund Oxfam at all; far too political for my taste, and like a lot of the other majors far too keen on hassling for yet more in future

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