I was just thinking about starting this same topic the other day-
Back around the end of October, DH & I went to the mall and entered through an upscale department store. As soon as we got inside the store, 2 kids approached and asked if we were interested in sponsoring their Little League team. We listened politely, declined, and continued through the store. Approaching the store exit into the wider mall building, we spotted 3 more kids. I tried to do the walk-fast-don't-make-eye-contact, but a kid zoomed up and started his spiel, which I cut off (in a polite tone of voice, I hoped) with "No thanks" as we were in a hurry and didn't want to listen to the spiel again. DH thought I was rude and perhaps my tone wasn't as polite as I thought. But then it occurred to me later, why would anyone be fundraising for a summer sport in October? And as previous posters mentioned, I don't think kids deserve any more than a panhandling adult would in this situation.
I'm much more receptive to the girl scouts when they have a kiosk in the mall (1, they're actually offering to sell something, not just asking for handouts, and 2, they have a designated spot and are not "cornering" me when I'm just trying to get from the parking lot to the mall, and I can just avoid them if I don't want to hear a sales pitch). We're also very happy to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit when we see kids selling lemonade or brownies; they are doing work and providing goods or services, and we like to encourage their work ethic. But kids just asking for money and offering nothing to me in return... well, better they spend it on baseball than on drugs, but either way, I'm not likely to give money to complete strangers for them to pursue their hobbies. My hobbies, and other people's legitimate NEEDS, come before strangers' hobbies in my budget.