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Charities 'canvassing' for money

(59 Posts)
KatyK Wed 18-Mar-15 14:55:42

I think there is already a thread on this subject but I can't find it. I have just been left feeling quite tearful after a call from a breast cancer charity asking if I would join their new Lottery (not sure which charity it was). The very pleasant young man asked me how much I knew about breast cancer and gave me various statistics etc. Obviously it ended up with me being asked to contribute about £4 a month to their new Lottery which would mean I could win £1000. I explained that I already give to two charities each month and buy raffle tickets twice a year for one of them and that my DH has prostate cancer at the moment and we have been giving to that charity and Macmillan nurses and that we are living on pensions, so no on this occasion I couldn't help. He then said he would call me back in 3 months to see if 'my circumstances had changed'. I get one of these calls from various charities about once a month. I feel SO bad for saying no. These people are being paid by the charities to, in my opinion, emotionally blackmail people. Surely the money spent on employing these agencies or whatever would be better spent going directly to the charity. I think this particular one got to me because of what we have been through this last year with DH's cancer and of course I would love to help others going through this but I can't. Does anyone else get these calls?

Jane10 Sun 10-May-15 09:56:41

I agree! I hate having to run the gauntlet of cheery greetings followed up by the hard sell. There is a group of them who 'work' the entrance to a zebra crossing over the very busy main road. Its hard to just avoid eye contact and feels so rude -which they know fine well. Grrr!

rosequartz Sun 10-May-15 16:32:16

If I had a phone call from a young man asking me how much I knew about breast cancer, however pleasant, he would either get a long spiel from me or I would ask him how much he knew compared to me.

I can't stand this aggressive marketing that the charities seem to go in for these days.
How much do they waste on mailshots as well? I recently donated to the Nepal Earthquake appeal (Red Cross) and since then have received mailshots from them and the DEC asking us to contribute.
We have already, what a waste of the contributions.

Jane10 Sun 10-May-15 20:42:38

I just pay at the bank. That's very straightforward and no need to give contact info.

rosequartz Sun 10-May-15 20:46:16

Good idea. I did it online and had to give an address and email address. Since then I have been invited many times to contribute!

MamaCaz Wed 13-May-15 16:54:36

I got a call a bit like the OPs a couple of years ago. The young man wanted me to pay to advertise my business in something or other - I can't remember exactly what now - with the money going to a charity for prostate cancer.
For several reasons, I politely declined, saying that I didn't want any more adverts at that time. He then started asking me quite aggressively why not, and when I told him that I really didn't want to go into my personal reasons with him, he got even more aggressive. He ended the call with a really rude "well thank you very much - for nothing!" I was both angry and a bit upset by his attitude throughout the call.

Then a few days later, I answered the phone and immediately recognised the same voice. The young man started his sales pitch again, totally unaware that he had already phoned me. I let him go on for a while, but when there was a suitable pause, I told him exactly what I thought of him.
Quite satisfying, that was, I have to say! I'm sure it was like water off a duck's back to him, but it made me feel a whole lot better.

Katek Wed 13-May-15 17:16:32

I donated money via my mobile to the Nepal earthquake appeal, and a week later a pleasant enough young man called me from UNICEF asking for a further donation/direct debit. I have my chosen charities which I support monthly and would love to support others, but I have to draw a line somewhere. Fortunately the UNICEF chap was not aggressive or pushy but that's left me feeling worse.

rosesarered Wed 13-May-15 18:14:58

like Greenfinch I stop them in their spiel pretty quickly.Sometimes it's charities that we do donate to sometimes not.I tell them that I am not a tax payer and am a pensioner, which usually does the trick, but the last one who rang said " oh but surely you could just give a little more!" bearing in mind they don't know our circumstances, this is breathtakingly cheeky.It doesn't make me the least bit guilty, but sometimes does the opposite, and makes me wish I hadn't given them any money in the first place.I do wonder if they have targets set?
Anyone who collects money in the street or supermarkets and has an open bucket never gets a penny from me, neither does anyone collecting for often dodgy charities in pubs ( this kind of charity is usually supporting some fraudster very nicely.)

FlicketyB Wed 13-May-15 18:42:18

I think it is nobodies business but mine as to which charities I give money to and how much. I have no feelings of guilt or anything else when I bring these phone calls to a short sharp end, before they can even get properly started on their script. I just ask them if they are ringing from a charity and asking for money.

If the answer is affirmative, which it has to be. I tell them firmly that I have a portfolio of charities I donate to and I review the list regularly and they are not on it and can do nothing to get themselves on it. If it is a charity on my list I make it absolutely clear that if they do not take my name off their list with immediate effect on the receipt of the next phone call I will cease donating to them - and I have done so.

Do not let these people put you on your back foot. Take control of the situation yourself and put them on the defensive. It can be done.

AshTree Wed 13-May-15 20:06:06

FlicketyB I like your style and agree with you totally that we, not the cold caller, should be in control of the situation.
I never feel guilty about cutting a call short and giving them a firm 'no'. When I retired I cancelled all my regular monthly charitable donations and decided to give what I could when I could to any cause that I felt was worthy, but I avoid doing this online for the very reason that my details are then out there and I would be pestered.
I have never forgotten my utter disgust when watching TV coverage of Children in Need many years ago. As it crossed to the local events, a crowd had gathered and the presenter was moving through them with a mic, talking to selected people. She stopped to talk to one man and asked him what he did for a living. He told her he was a teacher. She then asked him how much he was donating and he said £10 - now bear in mind, this was about 25 years ago. She raised her eyebrows and said "£10? Is that all?" and moved on, shaking her head in disbelief. I was so shocked at her attitude, I vowed never to support this charity again.

KatyK Fri 15-May-15 14:59:59

I have just been reading about the 92 year old lady who her family say threw herself to her death into a gorge because she was being hounded by charities. She had apparently been selling poppies every year for 76 years and was being inundated by charities who had been (allegedly) passing her name around as someone who would give. She had 27 standing orders set up for different charities and in one month alone received over 250 letters asking her for money. The stress of not being able to help them all drove her to her death her family believe sad

Lapwing Fri 15-May-15 15:11:39

I read that also, and will certainly feel less guilty when I say no to charity phone calls. Such a sad story and so difficult for the family.

KatyK Fri 15-May-15 15:15:56

Me too Lapwing. I will be more firm. I am doing my bit, I can't do more, sorry as I am for anyone suffering.

FlicketyB Fri 15-May-15 15:29:20

I think this is appalling. I believe the Charity Commission should do more to regulate what charities do with their lists of donors. I believe they should be banned from passing on contact lists, not even being allowed a tick box select in or out option.

Their methods of fund raising should also be curtailed with a strong code of conduct that limits them to phoning donors no more than twice a year and asking for raised giving should be limited to once a year. Mailings should be limited to 4 a year.

HildaW Fri 15-May-15 15:35:33

I've just dashed of an irate e-mail to the main Cancer charity. I was a shop volunteer for a while and was happy to give donations of money as well from time to time and read the many e-mails that get sent. However, I was upset by one that showed up in my inbox address to me by name with the title. 'Why have you stopped?' Somehow it hit a nerve, they know nothing about me and my circumstances and the whole e-mail seemed designed to guilt me into sending regular donations. I must admit I find the manner of many of their TV adverts are somehow crossing a line....promising that with 'my help' they will somehow eradicate all cancers.
They do need to be a bit more careful in the wording of these things....its just not that simple.

KatyK Fri 15-May-15 15:56:08

Usually I am very firm with them and stick to my corner. I will give what I want to whoever I want. The call mentioned on my original post above got to me on this occasion as we have just been through cancer ourselves as I said. It is the attitude of 'have you any idea of what cancer patients go through?' Well, yes I have actually having lost my 16 year old nephew to leukemia and then my DH's experience last year. I can deal with them but I can appreciate that a 92 year old can feel pressured and upset by them trying to make her feel guilty.

KatyK Fri 15-May-15 16:28:15

Just to say I have just seen a piece on the news about this lady which stated that her family do not blame the charities for her death. They were not her only concern, she had health worries too. I think the first piece I heard may have been a bit biased.

Mishap Fri 15-May-15 17:29:28

Are these charity canvassers paid on piece rate?

Wheniwasyourage Fri 15-May-15 17:56:56

When my mother started declining, and then died, it took me months to get round all the charities which had her on their databases. She did, when she was able, send to those she approved of, but not others, and never more than she could afford, but I resented the fact that they kept asking. To be fair, they all took her name off very quickly, except for the Salvation Army, which needed several phone calls and appeals returned in their pre-paid envelopes - what a waste of money, but it seems to be the only way to be noticed sometimes.

We usually give anonymously, but recently have responded to 2 DEC appeals online. Not any more, as we have had 2 appeals by post from them. Like a lot of you, we give what we want to whom we want, and resent our donations being wasted on postal appeals or worse, "gifts" to encourage us to give more. angry

Nelliemoser Fri 15-May-15 18:29:08

I am getting quite annoyed with two charities I support.
With one of these I make regular monthly donations. In recent weeks I have had very pushy calls from both of the charities asking me to up my donations.

The one where I make regular payments subjected me to a very high pressure sales pitch from a woman, and talked me into upping my regular payments. I don't usually get talked into anything so later on I Emailed them complaining about the high pressure sales pitch and cancelled my extra donations, but made a lump sum payment instead.

The other one was a call following the Nepalese earthquake to which I donate via the particular member charity of the Disasters Emergency Commitee I use for such emergencies. His pitch was along the very same lines as the previous one. "We thank you for your support and generosity etc etc. "can you make us regular donations." After my previous experience I told him I was not going to agree to anything over the phone.

I really did not like this approach but I do not want to stop supporting these charities where there is dire need.

I can afford to give what I do within my monthly income but in some months my spending is a lot higher. (I have just had car serviced MOT'd and four new tyres. (Gulp!) I do need to watch my bank balance stays in the red. The thought of very vulnerable older people getting dragged into upping their charity giving beyond their means frightens me.

I do need to write to the second charity about how pressured I felt.

Ana Fri 15-May-15 18:45:54

I was subjected to a very high-pressured pitch from a young woman on my doorstep yesterday, appealing for donations on behalf of a well-known children's hospital.

It was all there in her spiel - ask about the children/grandchildren, tell them the neighbours are all on board and have agreed to contribute every month...she even handed me a photo of a terribly cute little girl with an eye-patch to look at.

I already donate to several charities and at the moment can't commit myself to any more. I do object to emotional blackmail-type cold calling like this - it's no wonder more and more people are complaining about the methods of some charities! angry

(PS I felt guilty for the rest of the day, of course...)

loopylou Fri 15-May-15 18:52:24

I send back, using their own prepaid envelope, any junk mail I receive from charities.
I do donate to a couple on a regular basis but not the ones who bombard you with junk mail.
The main one sends me a regular update in a very interesting magazine and I happily contribute more when I can.
They benefit because they never phone you or bombard you with junk, freebies etc.

Nelliemoser Fri 15-May-15 19:32:16

Ana Yes I felt guilty as well that's what they are aiming at.

Nelliemoser Fri 15-May-15 19:37:35

Wheniwas I would probably prefer to give anonymously. I could not do that with the regular scheme but both charities benefit so much from the "Gift Aid" charity tax allowances for which you have to give your details.

Anya Fri 15-May-15 20:02:40

Yes, we were subjected to high pressure tactics from Samaritans on our doorstep yesterday angry

rosesarered Sat 16-May-15 10:35:29

Anya, from the Samaritans?! beyond belief.