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Phone calls from charities after you've donated by text message

156 replies

CruCru · 08/05/2013 21:52

I have recently donated to some charities by text message (super convenient and I don't have to talk to a person). However, the salespeople charity donation people keep ringing me to try to get me to donate more. It puts me off donating. AIBU? Today I had four missed calls on my mobile and when I called them back, it was a recorded message from a charity.

OP posts:
JessicaBeatriceFletcher · 10/05/2013 15:56

Our town centre has recently tried to clamp down on chuggers. Not sure how successfully. Last week there were six for one charity in a 200-yard stretch of the narrow pedestrianized high street. It was like a chicane on a motor racing circuit trying to avoid them. I, too, have seen them shout after people, walk alongside people who have politely said no. A male friend in his 30s had one young female chugger jump into his path and say "hey there, rude boy!" I mean, WTAF???

NinaHeart · 10/05/2013 16:02

I would be interested to how you think charities should raise the money they need, if contacting individual donors is off limits? Or if you think one/two call(s) a year is fine? Or would you prefer everything by post or email? Or perhaps charities should not expect support from the public at all? Where do you think we should we get our money from?

Genuine questions that I will be happy to apply to the fundraising here. Really I would. Tell me what will make you engage with a charity and continue to support us, and maybe increase you donations as your ability to do so also increases?

MrsHoarder · 10/05/2013 16:03

Nina I don't think charities want to be loved. I'm explaining why people complain about their actions. As a fundraiser you may have to balance "getting people's attention and money" and "annoying people" and to get money you have to annoy someone. I get it. But you were then complaining about our complaints about feeling harassed. That's what will happen if a charity is aggressively trying to fundraise.

MrsHoarder · 10/05/2013 16:08

As for ideas: phone calls but leave 6 months between attempts (so once someone has been spoken to and refused, put a block on that supporter for 6 months). And post and emails are great. Newsletters telling people what your current activities are. Letters setting out what your next big funding aim is and what you want from supporters individually to get there.

Binkybix · 10/05/2013 16:10

You might see earlier on that I thought it was fine to be asked once to increase a DD, but that I did not want the hard sell or to be contacted again and asked the same thing if I said no. So I don't think contacting should be off limits, but the examples I've experienced first hand (aggressive chugging, multiple calls) are not acceptable to me and have led to me cancelling DDs. On the original OP I think you should at least be informed of possibility of follow up if you have donated by text.

As I say in my post above, it may well be the right business decision to do it, in which case I understand why a charity does it. I just think you have to accept that the practice will annoy some people and that you need to accept that rather than take it as a personal attack.

New ideas - dunno. Somehow utilise peer networks to spread the word re DDs?

Binkybix · 10/05/2013 16:11

Miss hoarder has put it more clearly than me.

NotYoMomma · 10/05/2013 16:16

The Thing is Nina donating and people are not one size fits all, but charity fundraising does not reflect this.

If I tell you things are a bit tight an I can't afford to donate more, then there should be a policy like 'don't contact for 6 month minimum'

If I ask you not to call - don't call

I don't think a text donation should get anything other than a text back, certainly not a phone call. Contact me in the media of my preference.

In my experience they come at you and couldn't give. Shit who you are, how much you can afford Tec they just push and push as money is the top priority.

They do push some people away. I get currently 4 calls a week and this is after telling them I can donate more, it should be stripped or limits in place. place In very frustrated

,that blog is very dismissive and basically saying 'yeah yeah but we need money', again making people feel a bit shit all round

NotYoMomma · 10/05/2013 16:18

And don't get me started on charity accounts lol, I work with them often and often scratch my head in frustration in a 'what's going on, what have you done?!' Manner

NinaHeart · 10/05/2013 16:37

Thanks for the feedback. Since my charity doesn't do any phone calls of that sort, I can't really respond that I'll put all those into practice! But we certainly do have the ability on our database to mark people as no contact, or only send the annual review, and we do adhere to this. Maybe as a smaller charity we are able to be more personal and flexible?

In terms of postal communication, how often would you like to receive an update on the work of a charity you support, and does it bother you if every update is accompanied by a financial ask?
I am currently deabating this issue with my CEO - I want to do a plain thanks and this is what we are doing - and think that will have greater benefits than thanks, this is what we are doing and can we have some more money please?

Which would encourage you to give more?

LalaSalama · 10/05/2013 16:54

I recently cancelled a few direct debits to charities which had built up over the years from these calls (I'm a bit of a soft touch it seems), and haven't had a single call from any of them, which has surprised me.

I also work for a small charity benefiting children and families and we don't do any direct marketing at all (for various reasons). Income from other sources is very tough at the moment. The idea that we're all going on free conferences, dinners, and getting free health insurance is utterly laughable, along with the concept that we're creaming off donations and living the high life. Over the last couple of years I have had both hours cut and a pay reduction. My pay is way below the average for my qualification and experience (an "are you sure" message came up when I was completing a recent salary survey for my profession!)

2cats2many · 10/05/2013 18:05

I respond financially to emails, post and tv. All very non-direct stuff. I will never give my details to chuggers on the street or those who come to my door. Never. I'll also never engage with people when they cold call me. Never. However, I really don't mind being sent something that might prompt me to find out more independently then donate.

And on numerous occasions, I've spontaneously donated when I've heard something on the radio, read a newspaper article or watched an advert.

The one bit of charity post that I thought really stood out was from Kids Company. I heard a story on radio 4 which really affected me and went on to their website and donated £50.

A few weeks later they sent me a letter and I thought: "Here we go..." But it was actually just a beautifully written letter from Camila Batmanjelia (sp?) thanking me for the donation and that was it. I immediately went on to their website and signed up for a regular donation. It was very effective without any hint of a hard sell.

MaryMotherOfCheeses · 10/05/2013 18:21

I'm feeling quite left out.

I can't remember the last time I had a phonecall asking me to increase a donation. It must be well over a year.

JsOtherHalf · 10/05/2013 19:02

I make anonymous donations via I think it costs me about 4% of the funding to the account, but it is worth it to me not to have my name and details given to the charities.

lljkk · 10/05/2013 19:23

how [should charities] raise the money they need, if contacting individual donors is off limits?

No one has said contact is off limits, the thing is we don't want to be nagged when we are already signed up for X to pay 2X or X+10, 12X, etc.

Can only speak for self re marketing measures:

  1. Chuggers, avoid like plague
  2. Quiet person with a bucket, usually give a quid
  3. Knock on the door: grrr, please leave me alone, NEVER donate
  4. Fundraising by a child or adult doing special event: silly & annoying but often give a little
  5. Stall on the market, often try to give or buy or do the cheap tombola
  6. Direct post, straight in the bin, unread.
  7. Radio profiles or ads & articles in mags: good, can be very attractive.
  8. Phone calls: I would actively SNARL in reply. Ditto texts.
  9. Regular newsletters to me as a regular established donor talking about what the charity actually does, especially with case studies and without nags for more money: brilliant. The more you show me how good your work is, the more I'll be minded to give you some more ££ when I feel I have it spare.

    Maybe donors need a chance to tick on the form what level of future contact they want, i.e.:
  • No response please, Giving is its own reward
  • Thank You only
  • Thank you with regular newsletters about further fundraising
  • Informative about the actual work only newsletters on ongoing basis
  • Anything and everything.
DeckSwabber · 10/05/2013 20:06

lljkk I would mainly agree with your list, except that I do sponsor people who are fundraising for something close to their heart.

I hate being phoned, having someone knock on my door or approach me in the street.

I also hate getting multiple mailings with no address so I can't even get myself off the list - I seem to get something from the British Red Cross pretty frequently with coasters, pens and other tat. It annoys me!

I also work in fundraising (though in a different area) so I have watched this thread with interest.

QueenStromba · 10/05/2013 20:13

I don't answer my phone anymore if it's not a number in my contacts list because more than half of my phonecalls are PPI etc. I can't afford to make regular donations to charity but my DP starts a new charity direct debit whenever he gets a payrise. If he sees a chugger then he writes the charity off his future donation list and would seriously consider stopping his DD.

Letitsnow9 · 10/05/2013 21:25

Justgiving text donation system doesn't give the numbers of people who have donated to the charity, I wonder what company are giving out the details

Sunnywithshowers · 11/05/2013 02:36

Letitsnow9 charities (and other organisations) can buy data that is in the public domain and append it to your record.

For example, if you're not ex-directory, somewhere a company will have that data. If charity X wants to call people (who haven't said they don't want a call), they will get a company to add the number to their database. If they're ex-directory the number isn't added.

StanNoftsger13 · 27/11/2013 09:27

The GPS tracking device is also a kind of electronic product and a lot of people now are suffering from the tracking of it and this is really a kind of suffering for them. And for the people who hate of being tracked then the gps signal jammer from jammer from china is a good assistant.

Taraadlestone123 · 24/06/2016 13:20

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Pedro77 · 23/11/2016 18:56

The same happened to me after donating to water aid, although the caller was not pushy I didn't appreciate being disturbed nor the texts they continue to send. Wouldn't give to them again.

gamerchick · 23/11/2016 19:00

Ooold thread

SeaEagleFeather · 23/11/2016 19:06

Most of the people who've been in genuine need that I've had contact with have actually been pretty dignified or proud in their own ways.

They'd bloody hate this sort of approach.

I think charities have a duty to respect the people they're trying to help, and that includes in how they raise their money too. No one I worked with would have whined, guilted or pressured others for money.

famousfour · 23/11/2016 19:30

I had this happen when I spontaneously donated by text and so have not done it again.

What I particularly dislike about it is that I had donated by text in good faith to find my details used in a way I hadn't agreed to (phone calls) and had no opportunity to refuse in advance. I wouldn't have minded a text.

I don't think it is should be too tricky really for charities to get this right - contact people by media they have agreed to and don't pester or be too heavy handed / pressure. Treat people like you'd like to be treated (or your gran to be treated).

I can only suppose the current system gives good returns though for it to continue. I also imagine outsourcing doesn't help especially where commissions are involved and the single sale rather than the bigger picture is the primary motivation.

famousfour · 23/11/2016 19:31

Aaah. Old topic!

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