Stop Asking Me For Money

There’s something in the air. Everyone is asking for money for their charity.

I love giving to charity but I hate the way I’m asked.

I just left the grocery store, and as I was paying the clerk asked me if I would like more information about their blah blah blah program, “No thank you.” I replied, and she started in with all the benefits of their blah blah blah program.

I smiled at her, “No thank you.” And she made the move to put a pamphlet in my hand. I pulled my hand back as if she was handing me a ball of flames.

You see, I’ve just spent money at the market. I’m not there to give money away, I’m there to buy some sand dabs and flour. This isn’t the moment to ask.

The moment to ask is after you know that I’m interested. Watch Epic Change, and emulate them. Show the community how you will spend their money, and then ask for some to continue the good work. Be like Mark and raise hell on behalf of homeless people everywhere, and then ask for support. Throw money at research like Autism Speaks and then educate the hell out of America. I’ll support that.

Give something, and then ask me to be part of your giving.

Don’t assume that I care about your issues. Don’t presume that because we shop at the same grocery store we share the same value system. Don’t make the mistake of wrapping my dollars into your tax deductible donation. I’ll give more on my own, and I’ll take the tax break thank you very much.

Mostly I’d like non profits to stop asking for so much, and instead start showing me what you’re giving.

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Comments 12

  1. I so agree! A not for profit telemarketer called me and gave me a horrible description of child abuse, I was so disturbed I hung up on him. He called me back and yelled at me for not caring about children. I so lost it on the phone (and I really don’t have a temper). I don’t give over the phone because these guys aren’t volunteers and I don’t think that’s money well spent. Thanks for the post!

  2. I hate those public requests. They put you on the spot in front of everyone else in the store hoping the public pressure will get you to say yes. Hoping you’ll be too guilty to say no in front of all those people. That’s not a good way to win loyalty and compassion for your cause. If you want me to donate at the register, put out a jar, but don’t ask me loudly in front of everyone and put me on the spot and make me feel like a bad person if I say no. You don’t know my story. I may have already donated, I may be using my last time to feed my family with the food I just bought, I may not agree with the cause, but it’s none of your business. Also, a lot of these donations at the register are so the store can give a donation in their name and get the tax write-off. If I want to donate…and often I do, I prefer to do it privately.

  3. It took a little courage but I finally learned to say, “I can’t support all the worthy causes. I’ve chosen a few. This isn’t one of them.” If anyone should be so bold as to ask me which ones, I just say “The ones that are meaningful to me.” Because we are all such good friends here on Facebook and Twitter, I’ll tell you. I support the American Heart Association because heart disease has been the cause of death for many people I loved. I support the Komen Foundation because so many of my brave friends are breast cancer survivors. And because I don’t think anybody in this country should be without a bed, a roof and a place to use the bathroom, I support causes that help the homeless, especially local ones.

  4. In-your-face charity grabbers bother me but then again I don’t “believe in” many charities as a cure or long-term solution. Billions of dollars just seem to come and go with so little effect. I believe strongly in personal charity. In giving to needy neighbors and other individuals. I’d rather give one struggling family $10K to get on their feet than give 10K to the United Way. We’ve built more and more soup kitchens and homeless shelters, yet we haven’t provided the type of help that alleviates the roots of the problem–only the kind that perpetuates poverty and minimal assistance.
    My take.

  5. I don’t have the money to support all the worthy causes. Nor do I actually think that they are all particularly worthy. But that’s another issue. I typically support charities/causes/schools that are a little closer to home and have helped (mostly personally) somebody I know or care about. Whether that means monetary donation, or donating time in the PTA raising money…. I have issues with bigger “name” charities because while they may do some wonderful things, I don’t particularly like the message that’s behind them. And so, until my research is done, no I tend not to spend the extra dollar at the supermarket.

  6. I worked at a store at one point and we always had the option of asking customers if they would like to donate to “insert charity name here” but we were NEVER supposed to push it like that onto people. My guess would be that for some reason that checker had personal feelings wrapped up in it like it was for a family member of theirs or that particular issue affected their lives personally.

  7. Couldn’t agree more, Jessica. Cash register donations are like chocolate – they taste great for a moment then disappear. The problems with the world are big enough that I want to back actual *solutions*, not just feel-good moments. And the sooner we get to the place where we can harness emotions other than guilt or obligations to fund our social causes, the better.

  8. These grocery stores are increasingly relentless when it comes to charities. They will not stop pressuring you with their sales pitch until you give money or one of your can items in your grocery bag to some random charity (you never heard of). I was at the point on Tuesday, I was ready to just drop all my items and just leave! What part of, “No” don’t you understand. And, I just used my credit card to pay for the groceries, so why are you asking me to fill out an application for a credit card? Can’t I just pay for my items in peace? Think about this, if they would drop the 30 second sales pitch per customer, there wouldn’t be 7 impatient people in your only open checkout lane!

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