In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Friday, 2 October 2015

GUILT-TRIPPING CHARITY COLLECTING

Christmas is coming and that means an increase in charity collections on the streets.  Some collectors take a non-intrusive line, waiting for people to make up their own minds whether to participate or not.  Others are a little too pushy for my liking.

A while ago, two guys were selling wrist bands for a certain charity. Their approach was to ask every passer-by if they were interested in buying. Now, up to a point, there is no issue with that but directly asking people puts them in a difficult position.  If the passer-by says yes and buys voluntarily, no issue. If the passer-by is too embarrassed to say no and buys involuntarily, that's an issue.  If the passer-by says no and declines, there is almost an instant stigma that the passer-by isn't visibly and publicly a supporter of the charity, especially, in the case of these two guys, if the pitch and follow-up comments are relayed in very loud voices. The display stand that these two guys had erected almost forced a single-file "alley" on either side, virtually "forcing" people into their paths. Not good.

Now charity is important and, sadly, a part of life. But collecting should be done properly, not via some guilt-trip, pushy strategy.  On that particular day, I declined and for my return journey, I walked the long way back to the car park.


Added to this is albeit a small but worrying increase in charity people knocking on doors and charity collectors at entrances to supermarkets.

Dropping envelopes through doors for collectors to collect later is also an issue, not for those who decide to give but for those who don't want to for reasons that are none of the charity's business or can't because of financial reasons, again none of the charity's business.

Charity collectors at supermarket entrances also play, to some extent, on guilt-tripping people into giving.  On entering, you get the pitch and make your decision. On exit, you get the pitch again.

I give but I am not a natural giver.  I have a couple of favourite charities but mostly I'll say no or give the collectors a wide berth.

The other thing that nags me is where does all the money end up?  I'm not sure I trust all charity collectors.  In fact, I'm certain I don't trust all charity collectors.

The point of all of this rambling is to say that no matter how loud you pitch, how much in my face you are, charities, I'll decide and leave any guilt-tripping shenanigans to you.



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