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to think they are CF's?

(14 Posts)
leadyvegetable Fri 22-May-20 23:19:31

I have NC for this.

I run a social enterprise and almost daily I get requests for us to donate free products.

The vast majority of messages are from charities but the worst perpetrators are student societies who think I want to sponsor them £900 and about another £500 worth of free product a semester for them to give us 'exposure' and have our logo at the end of their powerpoint. I am always polite and tell them that this isn't viable for us (I'm very lucky if I can pay myself even a £700 salary a month working 60+ a week). I always offer them a discount on the products if they are still interested to show support for their society and never once have they even responded.

Are they being CF's or is this normal? I would never expect anything for free from a small business or social enterprise and 'exposure' isn't a form of payment. AIBU to think they are being CF's?

ClaudiaWankleman Fri 22-May-20 23:29:31

They have an officer whose job it is to get sponsorship, and they approach you and you say no, which is where the communication ends? It doesn't sound cheeky in my mind OP. It just sounds like normal business.

There are many people who like to sponsor local sport for a variety of reasons, including enjoyment of the sport, social reasons, advertising etc. How would the student team know that you weren't in a financial position to do so (or just weren't interested)?

They're not demanding, or threatening, or even taking up any more of your time than is necessary. You don't even have to respond if you don't want to.

ChandlerIsTheBestFriend Fri 22-May-20 23:31:59

I'm very lucky if I can pay myself even a £700 salary a month working 60+ a week

You need to get out of that game and value yourself a bit more!

HollowTalk Fri 22-May-20 23:33:53

I agree with the PP - this isn't a viable business.

But yes, they are cheeky. As if students take note of a logo at the end of a PowerPoint!

leadyvegetable Fri 22-May-20 23:39:56

@ChandlerIsTheBestFriend I don't do it for the money

@ClaudiaWankleman the cheeky part isn't just that they're asking for sponsorship from a small social enterprise but also what they're offering in return

ClaudiaWankleman Sun 24-May-20 09:29:07

the cheeky part isn't just that they're asking for sponsorship from a small social enterprise but also what they're offering in return

There isn't anything cheeky about either of those facts. If you want more in return, then tell them that's what you want. If you don't want to sponsor them, then don't reply. If you don't want them to contact you any more, tell them.

It's not cheeky, it's just what you consider a bad deal.

Crickets Sun 24-May-20 09:35:02

Expecting a small value gift for exposure £ is ok but not the value they are asking. They are CFS, send their emails to spam and block user. Add a footer to your email which outlines you did not accept unsolicited requests for donations X/y/z. Work with partners of charities you support.

singtanana Sun 24-May-20 09:49:22

I think if they ask, you say no and there’s no further communication then it’s not cheeky. If they repeatedly ask, challenge you etc then that behaviour is wrong. It’s ok to ask and if they are students then perhaps they are on a learning curve in terms of return on investment.

66redballons Sun 24-May-20 10:07:13

The askers don’t know your finances. They won’t be looking you up on companies house. It’s their business model. Say no. It’s repetitive but it happens in any business. Cold callers offering all manner of services.

KTheGrey Sun 24-May-20 10:42:12

I think it's inappropriate to ask a social enterprise, actually. The boot should be on the other foot with student societies; they should be promoting you, I would think.

Crickets Sun 24-May-20 10:48:25

Maybe something like "i have charities I work with and am not looking to expand this list. If you are contacting me for donations, please take me off your mailing list Good luck with your fundraising." I'm sure you can think of something better.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sun 24-May-20 11:06:59

I don't think they're especially out of order approaching you in the first instance, although telling you how much they want upfront (unless it was a small amount e.g. if they were asking for £10 or £20 from lots of places) is cheeky.

Also, you don't say what kind of social enterprise it is, but it sounds like they should be setting their sights more on actual businesses that are run purely for profit. I work for a small charity and we recently received a letter from another entirely unconnected charity asking us for £1,000! I don't know where they got our name from, but why on earth you'd approach other charities to donate to you, I've no idea.

The letter was written to be quite persuasive, constantly mentioning our charity by name in the blurb alongside the £1,000 that they were after - obviously just an automatic 'find and replace' job, but still quite passive-aggressively styled to make it sound like it was the least that we could do rather than them asking a very big and cheeky favour.

I think the worst thing, from your point of view, is the relentless nature of it. People tend to assume that they're quite the first to think of asking you for money or freebies, making very unoriginal 'jokes' about your name ("Mrs Constable, eh? And are you a police officer? Ho ho ho!!!"), telling you that you're very short or tall etc.

They might not realise that they are just one of many, but combined, they're an immense nuisance - like you don't really care if you see an ant, but thousands of them in your kitchen are really upsetting.

If you bother replying - and you're probably wasting your precious time, as they likely just scattergun them like junk-mailers and ignore any 'negative' or non-responses - I'd point out that you work very hard because you believe passionately in the cause (yours, not theirs!) and therefore, as you already subsidise it heavily yourself, there most certainly is no excess to be giving away to other causes.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sun 24-May-20 11:14:20

If you wanted to make a PA point about it, you could always set up an (unmonitored) email address and ask them to send all such requests to - and to be sure to put their group name in the subject line to avoid it being lost and unfindable in the mountains of emails that keep flooding in.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sun 24-May-20 11:17:53

Does anybody remember this story? Granted, it was a profitable business being targeted, but I still think the CF asking probably regretted it afterwards....

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