Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "I'm afraid that won't be possible." => Topic started by: ZoeB on November 19, 2011, 05:08:04 AM

Title: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: ZoeB on November 19, 2011, 05:08:04 AM
This is something that happened quite some time ago, before I came across this wonderful website. I look back on it now, knowing that perhaps I could have handled the situation better. Your views are more than welcome :)

BG - I had recently left my previous job due to depression. Thinking back now, impulsively quitting my job was a careless thing to do but my illness prevented me from seeing clearly. The depression isn't relevent to the story at hand but I was unemployed for quite some time and at the time this event occurred, I was collecting Jobseekers allowance (UK version of collecting 'unemployment benefit' in the US). I hadn't recovered from my depression but I was ready to get back out there and start looking for work so I could feel *human* again. In order to do that, I needed some kind of income to assist with my job search. I needed money to get to and from interviews on public transport since I do not drive and I needed money to buy food. Of course, Money was tight and I was struggling to make ends meet. It got to the point where I was praying for someone, somewhere to give me a job because I had bills due that I was not able to pay and could barely afford to eat. It was a dark time.  END BG.

On this particular day, I was walking through town, on my way to do more job searching. As I was walking through, there were some employees from a children's charity stopping people in the street and asking for donations. A young man who was working for them, stopped me. The conversation was as follows:

Charity Man:  Hi there! You look like you have a friendly and caring face so I thought you'd be the person to stop and ask! Did you know *add statistic* children are in danger each day etc etc?

Me: Yes, I am aware of that :(

Charity Man: Well, YOU could change at least one child's life today by donating 8.50 to us every month. Would you be interested in that?

(At this point, I was stuck. I didn't want to say no because I didn't want to look heartless. I really DO admire the work done for any children's charity and always help out where possible, but my financial circumstances just wouldn't allow that to happen this time round. I was scraping pennies together to make ends meet and still wasn't succeeding. It just wasn't going to be possible).

Me: I'm sorry but I am unable to donate at this time. This is a charity I hold really close to my heart but it just isn't possible at this time. I will defiantly put my name down at a later date.

Charity Man: Well, why aren't you able to now?

Me: *Feeling 'put on the spot'* I'm not settled financially, I'm afraid I simply can't afford it at this time.

(I know that it was completely unnecessary to give details but like I said, I just didn't know what to do. It was very uncomfortable)

Charity Man: Well can't you cut back in other aspects of your life for this cause? For example, instead of buying bread when you go shopping, DON'T buy bread. Cut back on the amount of electricity you use and food you eat. Its totally worth it to save a child's life, wouldn't you agree? I approached you and suggested the lowest rate to pay. If you were some business man in a suit, I would have suggested 20.00 a month instead. It's definitely a fair price!

(At this point, I had inadvertently been made to feel as though I LOOK cheap. I just wanted to get away).

Me: *sigh* Where do i sign?

I ended up putting my bank details in to his hand held computer right there on the street and walking away feeling terrified at what I simply COULD NOT afford. As soon as I was out of the area, I phoned the charity and asked to please be taken off the list as I felt bullied in to joining. They took me off the list and apologised.

How else could i have handled that?
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: NestHolder on November 19, 2011, 06:58:41 AM
You could have said, No.

Seriously.  A smile, a headshake, and walk on by, is the first way to deal with this.  I already donate to my own charities, and I resent being accosted in the street and asked for money.  So I don't stop.

If you can't escape, just say No.  Don't explain.  Don't participate in a conversation.  You're under no obligation to explain - in fact, it is none of the charity pusher's business whether you have the money to donate, or are a misanthrope who hates children.  None of their business.

Actually, it's probably more polite to say, No, sorry.  And walk on.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: camlan on November 19, 2011, 07:41:16 AM
Pod to Nestholder. It doesn't matter how worthwhile the charity is, if you don't have the money, you don't have the money. We all have to pick and chose where to spend our limited resources.

You could also come up with a standard line that you always use to avoid having to fork over money right then and there.

"I need to think about this. Do you have anything in writing that I can take home and look over?"
"My charitable contributions are already budgeted for this year. I wish you luck in meeting your goal."
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Venus193 on November 19, 2011, 07:48:43 AM
I agree with Nestholder.

I would be sorely tempted to contact the charity in question and tell them that their street intercept approach and guilt-tripping tactics are not going to work in their favor.  There are some charities who do this in my city and I always tell them "No; this is not possible at this time."

Having been unemployed for two years and currently living on my savings I avoid these people like the plague.  Caller ID is also one of my best friends.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: ZoeB on November 19, 2011, 09:44:26 AM
Thankyou so much for all your advice. I know that I will more prepared for a situation like this, should it happen again. I am now in a great job and have the depression under control therefore I am finacially able to donate to charities again. I will think twice about donating to organisations in a public place as I feel uncomfortable handing out my bank details anywhere that isn't private. I was 19 at the time, so I guess a few years worth of confidence building can also help me stay firm whilst remaining polite. I watch people being approached by these charities and the majority walk on by without even acknowledging the person speaking to them - which I find rude. I think its about getting the balance of declining without looking ignorant, uncaring and rude.

Whilst on the phone with this particular charity, I stressed how upset I was about the situation. The lady on the phone told me "we don't like our staff to pressure people, we will deal with him". I don't want him in any trouble as he is working for a fantastic cause, but feel you need to be careful how you go about requesting money from people.

Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: kittyhugger35 on November 19, 2011, 10:37:50 AM
I have dealt with telemarketers for charities over the phone using a perhaps somewhat un-ehell way. When they get aggressive with me and rude trying to get me to commit to money for the charity that they work for I ask them for money right back explaining my difficulties as I am between jobs. Then I ask the telemarketer how much money they are making and could they please help me out since they are such a kind and charitable person. (I always say this stuff in a sweet plaintive voice without any hint of sarcasm! ;)) It's amazing how fast these people can shut you down and hang up the phone!  ;D -To be clear, I only do this after they have been rude and aggressive with me. If they are nice telemarketers then I am nice right back to them and polite while turning them down.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: mechtilde on November 19, 2011, 11:16:26 AM
Urg. Them. I've run into them a few times and just say no thanks and keep walking.

In general terms- if you are cash poor and time rich then charities welcome volunteers- for all sorts of stuff. I started volunteering whilst I was jobhunting after the children had started school and found that it was a great way to get out, meet other people, boost my self esteem and boost my chances of finding paid work- whilst helping a charity as well. I tend to do admin these days, as well as working with refugees.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Shores on November 19, 2011, 11:23:55 AM
Def could have said "no." And it's probably a good idea going forward in life to put a moratorium on giving strangers your banking information on the street!
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: wolfie on November 19, 2011, 11:25:01 AM
I have once told one that I didn't have a job. Made him stop short and say goodbye. At that point what can they say? You should donate anyway? I haven't done that again because I felt bad and like karma will get me since I did have a job, I just wanted to get away from the high pressure tactic. Now I just say no thanks or don't even acknowledge them. I have the charities I want to give to all researched out. I am not looking for another at this time.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: AmyBird85 on November 19, 2011, 09:49:00 PM
Ahh, charity workers- I've had plenty of encounters with them, and often find them tricky to brush off for fear of sounding rude and heartless. The worst ones are the ones that when you say "no thanks" to them and walk by, they start chasing after you! That really gets on my nerves (that and those annoying people with clipboards who try and get you to fill out a survey!) But I will not let anybody force me to donate to charity, I would much rather do so off my own back, knowing that I took the initiative. I shop quite frequently in charity shops, put money in collection tins and sometimes put in a donation when purchasing things from Ebay- this is to me is good for doing my bit for good causes!  :)
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Swimmer_Heather on November 20, 2011, 01:29:45 AM
Seconding the advice to say no and walk away.  I know it's hard to do, especially when people are pushy!  I think this particular person was rude.  It's okay to solicit for your charity, but you have no right to demand or to interrogate.  He had no way of knowing and no right to know your personal circumstances, whether you already donate to other charities, whether you disagree with some of the aspects of his particular charity, whether you think his charity isn't as effective as other charities, and so on.  Try to walk on.  In these types of situations you can at least console yourself that it's rude to waste the time of the charity person/salesperson/etcetera if you're not interested, even if they're rude first like in this case.  It can also be unsafe to give your card details out to someone in the street, even if you recognise their charity as a reputable one.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: mechtilde on November 20, 2011, 04:39:04 AM
One other thing- most of the people out on the streets soliciting for you to sign up to regular payments are paid by companies who then take a cut of the donations before passing on the rest to charity. They have targets to meet, which is why they can be so pushy. If you decide to donate to a charity, contact them direct and make sure you Giftaid your donations if you are a UK taxpayer so they can get the most from your gift.

Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: faithlessone on November 20, 2011, 04:57:08 AM
Um, I would have totally reported this guy to the charity he was collecting for. I've done charity collections like this, and we are seriously discouraged from using such blatant guilt tactics as he obviously did.

If it happens again, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with saying "Sorry, not right now." and walking away. You don't have to tell them why, or give them any details at all. If they start following you down the street, either duck into a shop or something, or (if you're feeling brave), you can say something like "Why are you following me? I said, sorry, not right now. This is just encouraging me to give my charity elsewhere."

People like this might get donations out of sheer guilt, but they do not give their charities good publicity at all. Also, it is far more likely that someone will only donate once, or cancel a monthly donation, if they feel like they've been put under undue pressure to make it.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: atirial on November 20, 2011, 09:51:47 AM
A white lie can be useful, and claiming you already donate puts some off.

Also remember that they are being paid to solicit you and often trained to ignore protests and try to override you, putting them on much the same level as hard-sell salesmen and the annoying people in the mall with the hand lotion. If you need a reason to say no, the only way to discourage charities from hiring these people is to not contribute. The other reason is credit card fraud - you are after all handing your details over to a stranger in the street and anyone can get a charity jacket and ID card printed these days.

Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Venus193 on November 21, 2011, 06:12:46 AM
Last year an arts organization I support started calling me for additional donations.  I told the caller three times on three different calls that I'm unemployed and unable to contribute beyond what I had contributed already.  It was like she didn't hear me.

The fourth call was a different person.  Gee, I wonder why.

Now caller ID is my best friend.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Stormtreader on November 21, 2011, 06:41:40 AM
In the UK these are "chuggers" - charity muggers.
I had one once call me a "tight b**ch" as I walked away, I was so shocked it didnt occur to me til afterwards that I should have gotten his name and reported him.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Twik on November 21, 2011, 08:30:40 AM
I think that the problem with people canvassing for charities is that they are not operating on the same principles as people in their daily lives. This is their job. And unfortunately, many times for their job, they are trained not to take "no" for an answer, while at the same time trying to create an atmosphere that keeps the "mark" treating them like friends, who it would be rude to refuse.

When a previous poster says "It was like she didn't hear me," that's because the canvasser is trained not to think, "Oh, she says she can't contribute, too bad!". Instead, s/he is trained to think, "Hmm, what strategy can I use to make them change their minds?"

There are polite canvassers out there, certainly. But there are also a lot of shady companies whose only interest at the end of the day is that they get lots of money out of the people they call. While one must not be overtly rude to such people, one needs to switch from "Oh, this guy called up and refers to me by name in every sentence, it would be rude to end the call before he does," to "This is a commercial call - he really has no interest in my wellbeing, and it is not rude to say I'm not interested and hang up."
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: MrTango on November 22, 2011, 09:36:41 AM
I tend to regard people canvassing for charities in the same way as street-corner petition hawkers and those people in malls who agressively try to sell everything from plastic shoes to annoyingly-scented hand creams.

I refuse eye contact, ignore anything they say, and keep walking.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Portugal79 on December 22, 2011, 05:12:36 AM
my friend who did donate to a charity was accosted on the street by one of the "chuggers" as there known in the UK. (it stands for charity muggers), when she explained she already donated to the charity. they then asked her to donate more. she went home cancelled her direct debit to the charity. fired off an angry letter to said charity that her reason was, she didn't appriciate the charity requesting more then she could afford and now donates to a more appriciate charity
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Birdie Wife on December 22, 2011, 06:49:37 AM
I work for a large charity in the UK and the powers that be made a decision a few years back to contract out some direct marketing to a professional firm - these are the people who stand in the street with the clipboards and stop people walking by and try to get people to sign up to a monthly donation.They don't work for the charity, they work for the marketing company, and they are target-driven, not charity-driven. We started getting a lot of complaints because of this, and the average time that people signed up for dropped quite dramatically.

For right or wrong, they are still working under contract for us, but my charity is managing them a lot more carefully now than they were, and if they get a complaint, it goes straight back to the marketing company and action is taken. If you're unhappy with the conduct of these marketers, please, please, take the details of when and where you were and take it back to the charity so they can do something about it. Their conduct reflects badly on the charity, which is taken very seriously indeed.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Wench on December 22, 2011, 07:31:16 AM
I never knew they were called chuggers but I have had a couple of interesting experiences.

One bloke about ten years ago tried to guilt trip me into donating to charity by saying his girlfriend was unemployed and was using her benefits to support three different charities! 

I also had one man  following me down the street taunting "I'm following you."  I told him if he carried on followng me I would report him to the police as stalking is a crime.  He sooned backed off and tried to make out he was only walking in the same direction as me.

I believe that these chuggers do more harm than good and can do a lot of damage to a charity's reputation.  Its one thing for them to ask for money in a tin but for my bank details  - no way!  Also the fact that they are getting paid 8.00 an hour can leave a sour taste in my mouth.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: gingerzing on December 22, 2011, 02:03:36 PM
Quote
Whilst on the phone with this particular charity, I stressed how upset I was about the situation. The lady on the phone told me "we don't like our staff to pressure people, we will deal with him". I don't want him in any trouble as he is working for a fantastic cause, but feel you need to be careful how you go about requesting money from people.


When the person is so aggressive that it gives the charity a black eye, something needs to be done.  Now that could be a re-training session or something else. 
Had I been the one that he said "Just Don't Buy Bread" I would had seriously just walked away.  Or muttered something about buying bread is for rich people, I am lucky to get crusts.   

And to the ones who hurl insults, I will take names and numbers.  Or at the least, say "yup I am.  And you aren't helping your cause."
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: DuBois on December 22, 2011, 02:07:36 PM
I tend to regard people canvassing for charities in the same way as street-corner petition hawkers and those people in malls who agressively try to sell everything from plastic shoes to annoyingly-scented hand creams.

I refuse eye contact, ignore anything they say, and keep walking.

Same here, I just will not engage solicitors of any kind, be they beggars or chuggers (I'm in the UK) I will occasionaly buy a copy of The Big Issue (which is a magazine for the homeless, sold by the homeless) but that's about it.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: magician5 on December 25, 2011, 01:12:36 AM
I rarely see charity solicitors on the street, but I am not very mobile so I never go to the downtown big business areas of the city any more, or to any malls.

However, I get very angry when, despite being on the national "do not call list", I get a call (doubly infuriating when it's a stupid robot call) that solicits money. Under this law, political candidates and charities are still allowed to cold call. I'll give a grudging "pass" to nationally-known mainstream charities, but when they're clearly scams it's just insulting. "May I speak with Mr. [Mispronounced}? This is John Doe of the Metropolitan Police Widows' Fund (Who? Ask my cop cousin, they don't exist, at least not around here) and you can help the orphans..." [click]

Many of these in-name-only charities solicit money, and the "educational activities" they claim to perform are no more than how-not-to-get-burgled paragraphs printed on the back of their receipts, and of course the sale of the mailing lists they generate are worth even bigger bucks to them.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: jedikaiti on February 18, 2012, 11:54:41 PM
One other thing- most of the people out on the streets soliciting for you to sign up to regular payments are paid by companies who then take a cut of the donations before passing on the rest to charity. They have targets to meet, which is why they can be so pushy. If you decide to donate to a charity, contact them direct and make sure you Giftaid your donations if you are a UK taxpayer so they can get the most from your gift.

This is also true for a number of telemarketing fundraisers. In fact, sometimes it's worse - the company promises to raise $X for the charity, and KEEPS ANYTHING MORE THEY GET.

I flatly refuse to donate to any organization that won't give me printed documentation of their mission & where the money goes before I promise a single penny. If they say "We'll send you brochure with your <insert reward here> if you pledge $Y or more," I reply "I'm sorry, but without evidence to the contrary, I must assume you are a con artist and hang up now. Goodbye."
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: rachellenore on February 20, 2012, 10:04:14 AM
All you have to say is "Not today, thanks" and walk away.

It's not your fault that random bad things happen, and you don't have to be the one financing these support efforts.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Jaelle on February 22, 2012, 06:46:19 PM
My brother, at the time not long out of college and living in an unfamilar city, had a job interview with a company that -- on the surface -- sounded like a great job doing meaningful work for a charitable organization. He went to the interview and was offered the job. Great!

Then he walked into his first day of work, and discovered that he was supposed to be doing things like that fellow the OP had to deal with. He was to accost people on the street, not to take no for an answer and give all these sob-story reasons for why they had to give him their money.

He quit an hour later. Said he wouldn't have been able to live with himself.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Raintree on February 24, 2012, 11:25:25 PM
My personal (non) favourite: "Well for the price of just half a latte a day, you can (insert name of thing they want you to do)."

Yeah well I don't buy a latte a day. It's too expensive. I make my coffee at home in the morning and that's it. Why are they assuming I can afford a latte every day?
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: toontownnutter on March 10, 2012, 01:15:13 AM
I just politely say no thankyou. If they ask again I'll pretend I'm deaf. If they ask a third time I'll tell them I don't speak English (in a broad Aussie accent). Not ehell approved I know but I have issues with being too polite to say no so it's best nipped in the bud quickly before they get a chance to convince me or guilt me.

I never donate to charities who contract the direct marketing. Why would I donate when the person asking me doesn't think enough of the charity themselves to give their time for free?
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Winterlight on March 15, 2012, 12:36:27 PM
I tend to regard people canvassing for charities in the same way as street-corner petition hawkers and those people in malls who agressively try to sell everything from plastic shoes to annoyingly-scented hand creams.

I refuse eye contact, ignore anything they say, and keep walking.

This, combined with big sunglasses and headphones.

My personal (non) favourite: "Well for the price of just half a latte a day, you can (insert name of thing they want you to do)."

Yeah well I don't buy a latte a day. It's too expensive. I make my coffee at home in the morning and that's it. Why are they assuming I can afford a latte every day?

They've read David Bach's books and know about The Latte Factor is my guess.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: ShanghaiJill on March 27, 2012, 09:54:34 PM
Like the song says, "just walk on by."

You will soon be forgotten as they hone in on their next victim.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Pippen on May 08, 2012, 05:59:18 PM
I no longer have any sympathy for chuggers (charity muggers) When I lived in the UK you could not walk down the street 5m without being approached by them. It was so tiring and intrusive. A polite smile and 'no thank you' is all he is required in most circumstances. The really pushy ones you just keep repeating it to and continue walking. Do not change you pace, do not look at them, no not engage in any conversation with them.

They are paid on commission, very little of the money actually goes to the charity anyway and you would have to be a fool to give your bank details to someone in the street so they can fleece money out of your account every month until the end of time.

A couple of bright eyed and bushy tailed young uns from Greenpeace turned up on my doorstep the other day and as soon as I told them I would not be signing a direct debit form they were off.

If you do a bit of reading on how the aid industry and NGO's work you would be horrified and you never feel bad about not engaging with the leeches on the street again.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: figee on May 09, 2012, 10:21:40 PM
In the UK I began to engage the chuggers:

"Hi, how do you feel about XYZ.  Would you like to donate?  Via direct debit?"
Me:  "No thanks."
Them:  Spiel, spiel, spiel."
Me: "Who are you employed by?  And how much are you paid per hour?"
Them: "....?  How is that relevant?"
Me:  "Well, let's say that your being paid the minimum wage of about 5 pounds an hour.  You want me to sign up for DD @ 20 pounds a month.  How many months worth of donations need to be made before we all break even and any money starts to go to the charity?"
Them:  "that isn't how it works!"
Me:  "Really?  So how are you paid?"
Them:  Well, you don't understand."
Me: Obviously not.  But until I do I think it's better to make my donations directly to charity, don't you?"  Smile sweetly, head off.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Isometric on May 09, 2012, 11:32:12 PM
That sucks. They should have worked out by now that this approach is detrimental to their cause.

I once told a "chugger" (thanks Pippen!) I couldn't commit to a monthly donation, but asked if I could give a once off instead since he was there. Essentially he replied (without knowing how much I would have given him) that that wasn't going to help children get adequate food, water and health care. I left feeling single handedly responsible for world hunger and he left without the (albeit small) donation I could have given him. Lose lose.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Venus193 on May 10, 2012, 06:57:56 AM
What truly makes me angry about this is that many or most of these people are selectively deaf when you tell them "I'm currently unemployed and unable to give anything."  They still follow you or just continue on if you're on the phone.

I may have said this previously, but it's something that really sets me off.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: MellowedOne on May 11, 2012, 07:18:56 AM
There is no need to explain anything.  All that does is give them them fuel to press on.  Best and easiest way to do this is a firm 'No thank you' accompanied by a wave.  Immediately break eye contact.  If they attempt to re-engage, repeat exactly what you said and did.  If possible do not stop walking while doing this.

I think what's really honed my skill in this are all cruises to Caribbean ports where the locals hawk souvenirs in a very aggressive manner.  A person learns how to say 'no thanks' and move on very quickly.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: nyarlathotep on May 11, 2012, 02:32:42 PM
Chuggers round here will often greet you as you walk by in the hope of drawing you into the conversation. This is how I deal.

Chugger: Hello! How are you?
Me: No thank you, but have a nice day.

Usually, that is enough to make them leave me alone. Sometimes, however, it happens like this:
Chugger: Hello! How are you?
Me: No thank you, but have a nice day.
Chugger: Just a minute of your time.
Me: (brief and impassioned lecture on the importance of the word 'no')

May not be etiquette-approved, but I think "No thank you" is fair warning, TBH.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: laud_shy_girl on May 13, 2012, 12:39:04 PM
I'm always so tempted to respond with "sorry, my mummy doesn't let me talk to strangers" then walk away  >:D
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: gadget--gal on May 15, 2012, 05:26:07 AM
This is something that happened quite some time ago, before I came across this wonderful website. I look back on it now, knowing that perhaps I could have handled the situation better. Your views are more than welcome :)

BG - I had recently left my previous job due to depression. Thinking back now, impulsively quitting my job was a careless thing to do but my illness prevented me from seeing clearly. The depression isn't relevent to the story at hand but I was unemployed for quite some time and at the time this event occurred, I was collecting Jobseekers allowance (UK version of collecting 'unemployment benefit' in the US). I hadn't recovered from my depression but I was ready to get back out there and start looking for work so I could feel *human* again. In order to do that, I needed some kind of income to assist with my job search. I needed money to get to and from interviews on public transport since I do not drive and I needed money to buy food. Of course, Money was tight and I was struggling to make ends meet. It got to the point where I was praying for someone, somewhere to give me a job because I had bills due that I was not able to pay and could barely afford to eat. It was a dark time.  END BG.

On this particular day, I was walking through town, on my way to do more job searching. As I was walking through, there were some employees from a children's charity stopping people in the street and asking for donations. A young man who was working for them, stopped me. The conversation was as follows:

Charity Man:  Hi there! You look like you have a friendly and caring face so I thought you'd be the person to stop and ask! Did you know *add statistic* children are in danger each day etc etc?

Me: Yes, I am aware of that :(

Charity Man: Well, YOU could change at least one child's life today by donating 8.50 to us every month. Would you be interested in that?

(At this point, I was stuck. I didn't want to say no because I didn't want to look heartless. I really DO admire the work done for any children's charity and always help out where possible, but my financial circumstances just wouldn't allow that to happen this time round. I was scraping pennies together to make ends meet and still wasn't succeeding. It just wasn't going to be possible).

Me: I'm sorry but I am unable to donate at this time. This is a charity I hold really close to my heart but it just isn't possible at this time. I will defiantly put my name down at a later date.

Charity Man: Well, why aren't you able to now?

Me: *Feeling 'put on the spot'* I'm not settled financially, I'm afraid I simply can't afford it at this time.

(I know that it was completely unnecessary to give details but like I said, I just didn't know what to do. It was very uncomfortable)

Charity Man: Well can't you cut back in other aspects of your life for this cause? For example, instead of buying bread when you go shopping, DON'T buy bread. Cut back on the amount of electricity you use and food you eat. Its totally worth it to save a child's life, wouldn't you agree? I approached you and suggested the lowest rate to pay. If you were some business man in a suit, I would have suggested 20.00 a month instead. It's definitely a fair price!

(At this point, I had inadvertently been made to feel as though I LOOK cheap. I just wanted to get away).

Me: *sigh* Where do i sign?

I ended up putting my bank details in to his hand held computer right there on the street and walking away feeling terrified at what I simply COULD NOT afford. As soon as I was out of the area, I phoned the charity and asked to please be taken off the list as I felt bullied in to joining. They took me off the list and apologised.

How else could i have handled that?

OP, you were suffering from depression at the time and struggling to hold you life together. it's easy to say in in hindsight that you could have been more firm but you WERE ill at the time, and depression affects your rationale. The Chugger (charity mugger - as we call them in UK) unwittingly bullied you into signing up.

Even though he put you on the spot, you did remedy the situation by cancelling transaction later.

for the future, I would say just keep walking, no engaging, no explanations. :)
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: nyarlathotep on May 15, 2012, 05:57:52 AM
One of them just knocked on our door! (This is pretty common around here.) As soon as mum opened it, he launched into his spiel of "Hello! How are you today?"

Mum told him it wasn't a good time and to come back later. Why? She didn't want him to come back at all. Personally, I don't think it's rude to say, "No thanks, we're not interested, bye." Nothing wrong with being polite but firm.

Now he's probably going to turn up again later today. Thanks mum!  :(
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Kali on October 05, 2012, 04:30:15 PM
My answer is to say "No Thank You. I have several charities I'm involved in but good luck" and change the subject or walk away.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: magician5 on October 06, 2012, 01:40:23 PM
Isn't it funny that the charities always seem to be organizations you've never EVER heard of? I always suspect that the money is going right into someone's personal bank account, or occasionally I get that "cult" feeling.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: faithlessone on October 06, 2012, 02:32:02 PM
Isn't it funny that the charities always seem to be organizations you've never EVER heard of? I always suspect that the money is going right into someone's personal bank account, or occasionally I get that "cult" feeling.

Actually, I've found that the worst offenders are the big big charities. I was once chased down the street by someone from the Red Cross!

I suppose that can depend on the area though.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: 25wishes on October 07, 2012, 08:08:11 AM
The ones that call, I just tell them I never donate to anyone who calls on the phone. I donate a LOT to my favorite charities but they don't call me up. I have dropped charities that called or contacted me too much after being told to back off.

 Also, I will check out any new charity on CharityNavigator website.

Can't imagine being accosted as I walk down the street, ugh.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: White Lotus on October 20, 2012, 03:21:49 AM
Chuggers!  Love that term.  Here we get the Red Religion Bell Ringers literally blocking the doors of virtually all businesses for a couple of months each year.  I dread going shopping.  They get pretty snarky and pushy when you say, "No, thank you," or just walk by. The local branch office is just as bad, and actually supports this behavior.  We cannot support religions other than OurSect Buddhism, period.  I look Elsewherian, as I am Elsewherian-American, and can tell them all this in fluent and sometimes annoyed Elsewherian, confounding them, but the Professor looks Majority American and cannot get away from them that easily, because, although his Elsewherian is fluent, he does not look Elsewherian. His solution is to either slink off unhappily or, if he has ten minutes, tell them ALL about OurSect Buddhism and why he cannot contribute to their faith or its charities, which dispense sermons along with the charity.  Often, though, they STILL do not get why he cannot give money to support their religion! Please move away from the doors, folks, and please do not get snarky or sarcastic with those who pass you by.  I guarantee your karma will be the better for it.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: audrey1962 on October 20, 2012, 07:51:59 AM
I simply say "no thank you" and keep walking. I've never had a problem with being followed or badgered. Don't try to reason with them or explain. IMO, that's just engaging the crazy.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: Luci on October 20, 2012, 08:09:49 AM
Chuggers!  Love that term.  Here we get the Red Religion Bell Ringers literally blocking the doors of virtually all businesses for a couple of months each year.  I dread going shopping.  They get pretty snarky and pushy when you say, "No, thank you," or just walk by. The local branch office is just as bad, and actually supports this behavior.  We cannot support religions other than OurSect Buddhism, period.  I look Elsewherian, as I am Elsewherian-American, and can tell them all this in fluent and sometimes annoyed Elsewherian, confounding them, but the Professor looks Majority American and cannot get away from them that easily, because, although his Elsewherian is fluent, he does not look Elsewherian. His solution is to either slink off unhappily or, if he has ten minutes, tell them ALL about OurSect Buddhism and why he cannot contribute to their faith or its charities, which dispense sermons along with the charity.  Often, though, they STILL do not get why he cannot give money to support their religion! Please move away from the doors, folks, and please do not get snarky or sarcastic with those who pass you by.  I guarantee your karma will be the better for it.

If you are talking about the Salvation Army, there is something seriously wrong in that chapter. They are not supposed to be pushy or engage at all if someone doesn't approach them first.

Take the problem up with the local office. They employ people and need to know that said employees' activities are detrimental to their cause and their standing in the neighborhood. If they make you feel that intimidated, it should be worth a phone call.

Also, talk to the manager of the store. The buckets are supposed to be a cetain distance from the door and not to hinder the entrance or the exit -- you did say "literally" blocking the doors. That' sven against fire code!

I simply say "no thank you" and keep walking. I've never had a problem with being followed or badgered. Don't try to reason with them or explain. IMO, that's just engaging the crazy.


Add this. Do not make eye contact.
Title: Re: Charity Guilt Trip
Post by: jedikaiti on October 20, 2012, 08:26:36 PM
Wow, I find them pretty annoying, but that's just because after dealing with the madness that even routine shopping becomes at that time of year, the last thing I want is some stupid bell giving me a headache. I have NEVER been badgered by them - just a friendly greeting in passing, and that rotten bell.