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Charities hard-up for our hard-earned…

By 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.

What’s Your opinion?


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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 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 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 4:29 pm 13 Mar 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

Just stick the ferret onto them!

What type of glue do ferrets prefer?

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 12:11 pm 13 Mar 09

Just stick the ferret onto them!

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