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Charities hard-up for our hard-earned…

AngryHenry 12 March 2009 46

So for the umpteenth time in a number of weeks I have been approached by a charity organisation out on the street, coaxed into a conversation and then encouraged to sign my life away in an attempt for them to extract regular donations from me.

It would seem that charities are becoming more and more competitive in their attempt to grab hold of our hard earned. Don’t get me wrong, the people who approach you are always polite, well spoken and seemingly educated individuals. I admire them for saddling up to a cause and trying to do something for the greater good but people all have different priorities in life. Give me a break okay, just lay off.

The conversation is fine I don’t mind chatting if I have the time, and if I end up learning something from the experience even better, but there is always a catch. They want your details then and there to sign you up and get you making those monthly/weekly/annual contributions, all of this based on the conversation you’re having as if you require no further proof that your money will be going to a worthy cause. That’s what really bugs me.

I think in this time where credit card fraud is a major problem, the last thing I’ll be doing is giving my details over to some guy or girl on the street because  they say they are doing something for the greater good.

The other day I was approached by some Oxfam guys in the Canberra Centre. Now I think Oxfam is a pretty worthwhile charity. I’ve gone to their shops and bought presents for people in the past, I’ve bought a goat for a village even, a lot of the things they do I consider to be excellent initiatives. I’m happy to find out more about this stuff if I actively seek it out, not have someone try and befriend me with the sole agenda of soliciting monthly donations from me on the street, in my opinion it cheapens the great work they do.

So I go through the whole conversation part with the guy and he then puts me on the spot and tries to get me to sign up then and there, to which I reply, ‘no, I’d rather do a bit more research before I make a decision’. The thing that I found most annoying was that this guy was standing 100 metres away from the Oxfam shop in Civic, and when I asked if I could actually perhaps come down to the store and sign up after I’d looked into it a bit more he told me that you can’t actually join Oxfam from the shopfront, that’s why he was out there to get me to ‘sign up today’. Then the pressure came with questions like ‘what else do you need to know?’, I just know I’d like to think about it. 

Whilst I’ve singled out Oxfam they’re not the only ones that resort to this tactic. This is only my opinion but these days we are bombarded by so much information that the last thing we need is junk mail in an organic form.

I appreciate the sentiment behind what you’re trying to do, maybe it makes it easier for you to live with yourself, but If you want my donation I’ll decide when I give it to you.


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46 Responses to Charities hard-up for our hard-earned…
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sloppery sloppery 11:57 am 07 Apr 10

pounding_the_pavement said :

As someone who has spent over 2 and half years working for various charitable organisations on the streets and in shopping centres I have come to one simple conclusion.
The overwhelming majority of the Australian public have enough trouble getting out of the their own way, let alone going out of their way to help someone else.
The excuse of needing more information or needing to think about it is exactly that, an excuse. Do you honestly mean to tell me that when you see a young African child starving on your TV screen at home, you jump up, get on the computer 10 meters away and Google all about it? No? What then, is the likelihood of you doing it 6 hours after meeting a complete stranger who happened to stop you for less then a minute?
The young men and women everyone seems so readily to refer to as ‘hustlers’ are motivated, driven, professionals in their chosen field, and therefore deserve to be renumerated for their services. The idea that they should donate their time when less then 10% of people can be bothered to even stop and listen to them, is laughable. These people do not recieve a single cent unless they are out there doing their job, bringing onboard new members for their respective cause. No annual leave or sick pay. Most usually work weekends and public holidays. I wonder what the increase in productivity would be like if everyone worked under those condition? From my experience, more likely the line at CentreLink would run halfway down the street.

Cry me a river.

It seems to me that a majority of these hustlers are not motivated, driven professionals, but are rather backpackers from the other side of the world who want a few bucks for beer money or to hop a bus to Queensland. Lots of Aussies (including myself) donate both time and money, and being hassled in the street is not an effective way of getting my money.

Like amny others, I’ve done my share of crap jobs when getting through high school and uni, and wanting to travel around and do odd jobs is a choice. The people doing this job have chosen to do so, and for most of them it will be a temporary thing anyway.

pounding_the_pavement pounding_the_pavement 11:22 am 07 Apr 10

As someone who has spent over 2 and half years working for various charitable organisations on the streets and in shopping centres I have come to one simple conclusion.
The overwhelming majority of the Australian public have enough trouble getting out of the their own way, let alone going out of their way to help someone else.
The excuse of needing more information or needing to think about it is exactly that, an excuse. Do you honestly mean to tell me that when you see a young African child starving on your TV screen at home, you jump up, get on the computer 10 meters away and Google all about it? No? What then, is the likelihood of you doing it 6 hours after meeting a complete stranger who happened to stop you for less then a minute?
The young men and women everyone seems so readily to refer to as ‘hustlers’ are motivated, driven, professionals in their chosen field, and therefore deserve to be renumerated for their services. The idea that they should donate their time when less then 10% of people can be bothered to even stop and listen to them, is laughable. These people do not recieve a single cent unless they are out there doing their job, bringing onboard new members for their respective cause. No annual leave or sick pay. Most usually work weekends and public holidays. I wonder what the increase in productivity would be like if everyone worked under those condition? From my experience, more likely the line at CentreLink would run halfway down the street.

justretrenched justretrenched 9:41 pm 27 Mar 09

Aye, as someone who got suckered by a “chugger” I can help but agree with some of the comments regarding these backpackers who earn a commission.

Abit more than a year ago I got caught out by this person who was working for a charity that supports a global body. I suppose I wasn’t in the best condition of my mind having just ended a relationship a few weeks earlier. That didn’t really matter as I somehow beleived it was for a good cause.

14 months down the line I have been out of work due to the GFC for almost 2 months now.. and just a week ago someone from the organisation called me up for an increase in donations. I replied no as I’ve been jobless for almost 2 months and its tough enough trying to pay for my living expenses with social support cash and I’m still looking for work as my previous 8 applications and 2 interviews have been rejected in favour of other candidates.

I suppose that didn’t filter to well to her that I’m in a tight spot as she said that the guys in the named african country are having it tougher than I am and I should be thankful I have a government to support me and I should still be helping out nevertheless or else children will be dying and I wouldn’t want them to be dying because I decided against increasing my monthly contribution.

It was at that point I started to get a little angry at the “pressure tactics” and “guilt inducement” behavior of some of these consultants. I’m seriously thinking of discontinuing my payments to this organisation and instead look for another one which has a better conscience.

So I have a question to pose. I have signed this direct debit approval form and I’m suppose to mail them a letter notifying them of my intention of discontinuing the payments. What should I do if they refuse to acknowledge the receipt of the letter?
Can I just instruct my bank to stop all debits from the organisation or close down my current account? Will I be held liable or pursued by a debt collector?

Any responses will be appriciated. I’m sorry for being such an idiot at times….

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 4:29 pm 13 Mar 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

Just stick the ferret onto them!

What type of glue do ferrets prefer?

AngryHenry AngryHenry 4:26 pm 13 Mar 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

Just stick the ferret onto them!

Let’s not get into ferrett torturing again. I don’t think I can handle that. Still, there’s an angle for a new charity I suppose.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 12:11 pm 13 Mar 09

Just stick the ferret onto them!

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 12:10 pm 13 Mar 09

I think the Big Issue people are much less aggressive because it’s not just a job for them, cf the chuggers on commission. They seem to be more respectful towards people who don’t want to stop, and ready to give you a smile just because you’re prepared to look at them rather than pretend they’re not there. They wangle more of my hard-earned from me than the others ever will.

AngryHenry AngryHenry 12:03 pm 13 Mar 09

Just on the subject of The Big Issue sales people, the guy in Civic I was talking about’s name is Michael…

http://www.bigissue.org.au/2008/02/13/michael/

If you see him down there give him a hello, he is a really nice guy (a bit of a close talker but a nice guy all the same). I told him I read some of his stuff in the Christmas Issue and he was absolutely stoked, and the best part was he didn’t solicit me for a donation after we spoke.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 12:01 pm 13 Mar 09

*financial advice would you believe.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 11:58 am 13 Mar 09

Run them all out of town, except the Big Issue people, and the guy with the ferret.

AngryHenry AngryHenry 11:56 am 13 Mar 09

Hell’s Bells indeed!

It sounds like the most deserving of any charity you can afford is you!

The more I hear others stories about this the more enraged I get. I think we should be runnning these guys out of Civic instead of the so-called ’emos’.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 11:55 am 13 Mar 09

My good golly, I must apologise for the amount of brackets gone astray (: 🙂

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 11:44 am 13 Mar 09

Couldn’t agree more.

I had the pleasure of working at Cos-Cut City store for 18 months a few short years ago which is in Garema House and I was always being accosted by people wanting something for nothing and mess with my tight schedule of being a busy single mum, working, buses & constantly broke, I took it in my stride mostly and was on friendly terms on varying levels with most (although saying that only because I was fairly generous (I smoked, big mistake, gave up closer to the end (half the problem gone when working there) and friendly when I could be, but they got me down sometimes.

Especially those charity pack of wolves, I signed up to Red Cross early in the piece when I had no clue what was going on, I think my debit card expired a while later (doubles as a visa) so eventually that went wayward and was a good time for it to, because I found myself going bankrupt, so when the next bloke accosted me from some place that offered to help teens in trouble or something similar and would only take a subscription, I told him I was helping out a teen already (had a wild one living with me at my expense while she having problems) plus I helped out my neighbours (had some interesting but scabby ones at the time) and general Civic dwellers and had 4 kids and was going bankrupt, was busting my butt at work, took on management duties to stay somewhat permanent as the casual shifts were down to 2 hour shifts with that workplace agreement that had come in, which is a big ask when working with childcare and ACTION buses and the stupid banks (because of bad direct debit decisions (mine and the banks) and a credit card too big) were stealing a majority of my spare money in fees and fines, so I barely wanted to take on another one.

The thing that really irked me was the whole time I was telling him my story, which was not at all what I wanted to be doing with my time, but this guy was FAR too friendly and wouldn’t stop trying to convince me no matter how bad I was off these suffering people had to be worse. He could not and would not accept my plight. Always insisting I was doing a wonderful job but should be directing it to them. I said “Mate, I think by all accounts you should be helping me” He laughed and agreed but didn’t change his opinion that I needed to help.

So for the next 12 months they got the whole look and tone of “if you dare to stop me and make me feel bad when I feel bad enough, I will crush you”!

When I got back on my feet I did indeed let Greenpeace talk me into something and that went until the card ran out again, so I bring it on myself by saying yes once. Think Red Cross had got me back for a bit too. The only good thing about being in the City and signed up to one is you can tell that particular group that will attack you every day for a few weeks or whatever that they already got you and that may be the only way they leave you alone without death threats, should just say it anyhow. I’m not a fan of the magzine The Big Issue, but I’ll say this, at least you could just walk by him with a smile and a howdy and that was it, didn’t even need to smile with the blind man (liked him in the Belco interchange for my youth, he was cool) hehe.

Got smarter anyhow, next time I worked in the City I made it Reid. Just internal scabs there 🙂

** A big thumbs up for the Salvos though. They helped my Mum and I rebuild our lives after our caravan fire ages ago, they helped me with some Christmas’ with the kids and Joy at the finacial advise section there was wonderful taking me through bankruptcy and keeping us fed. Always got my coins out for them..

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 10:12 am 13 Mar 09

jakez said :

People are dicks.

Aren’t they just? The people who sell Big Issue would be better off if passers-by showed some appreciation for what they’re doing, rather than judging them for wanting to have a few of those little items that the rest of us take for granted.

AngryHenry AngryHenry 9:53 am 13 Mar 09

Will Anderson was probably abused because he was Wil Anderson.

I have tonnes of time for Big Issue sellers. The guy in Civic at the crossing under the Canberra Centre is a top guy.

SadMushroom SadMushroom 9:45 am 13 Mar 09

My son and I had bumped into a guy asking us to sign up for WorldVision or something.
I thought it was a good idea but my 15yo son commented that if we were going to donate monthly, he would prefer to check what was needed in Australia first.
The guy was very put off by this and was trying to talk us around it.

After checking everything out and noticing the stats on suicide in Australia (esp child/teen suicide) we decided to donate there.
We also seen that most RSPCA/Animal Shelters would take donations of items. So we collect old blankets/bowls, leads/collars etc from friends and neighbours along with bags/tins of food which we can drop off each 3 months or so.

jakez jakez 9:41 am 13 Mar 09

My fiancee has a friend who did a day as a Big Issue seller as part of some charity work or involvement that she had with the organisation. It could have been marketing related.

Anyway she happened to be pregnant at the time and spent the day copping shit from everyone about being a pregnant scumbag.

I also remember reading a column written by Will Anderson when he did a day as a Big Issue seller. He was abused all day as well.

People are dicks.

AngryHenry AngryHenry 9:33 am 13 Mar 09

Chuggers = Charity Muggers, I like it. I also like the term ‘time murderer’.

So they aren’t directly employed by the charity yet they come out with props/uniforms emblazoned with the charity logo? How does that work?

Also they’re paid commission, and backpackers to boot?

I’m even more dissappointed now.

FC FC 8:30 am 13 Mar 09

Furry Jesus said :

Felix the Cat said :

Whilst not really a charity, but sorta related, has anyone seen the guy that sells the Big Issue or whatever it’s called magazine down at Belco Mall on Saturday mornings? I thought the people that sold these are supposed to be down and out, mainly homeless and terminally unemployed etc. This guy has an iPod and a mobile phone (a better phone than mine and I don’t own an iPod!). Maybe I’m just being a snob here but with accessories like these I don’t class him as poor or down and out.

yeah, how dare he get above his station and have consumer aspirations like the rest of us? He ought to spend his Big Issue earnings on soemthing more befitting a mad crippled beggar, like unwashed clothes, cardboard shoes, eyepatch and a home-made crutch…

+1

and ipod and are phone aren’t exactly expensive or luxury items…
These people are selling a magazine, not beggnig for money or asking for charity. They should be able to spend there earnings on whatever the heck they want.

Gobbo Gobbo 6:57 am 13 Mar 09

Regarding Big Issue sellers with phones/ipods:

He could have been given the the items as presents or as prizes. Perhaps he made a few record months of sales?

I went on to the Big Issue site and apparently many people must be indignant about seeing Big Issue sellers with personal items. They have included information on it in their FAQs.

I quote from them:

Many of our vendors move around a lot; or live in housing where they don’t have their own land line. Mobile phones are much more affordable now and are an essential way to keep in touch and be contactable.

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