I find it very difficult to say no to charities when they call for donations. While you can bin a letter, a person on the other end of the phone is harder to reject. They are usually skilled at putting their pitch across and you feel like a heel for refusing to help their cause. I get two or three calls a week which get past the usual screening.
The charities need money to keep doing their work, I understand that. However, some resort to emotive and aggressive tactics in soliciting donations. Sometimes after a particularly strong call I find myself feeling awful that I have said no. It’s like the health problem they are fighting or the families they are assisting will suffer because I have said no. The pitch too often becomes personal to the point where I feel a responsibility. I hate the feeling.
Maybe I am too soft and should ignore these calls. I wish they would never get to me in the first place. But then if the decision is mine I need to be able to deal with it. Sometimes I deal with it by being a prick, saying no quickly and hanging up. That’ a cop out I know.
Charities would be better served if they were less emotive in their pitches and if they did not engage in clever call techniques to get beyond reception and other team members.
We have a giving program through the year as well as a separate Christmas program. We are consistent and robust in supporting: Make A Wish, Lighthouse Foundation and Choir of Hard Knocks. It is the knowledge of these commitments which makes taking the unsolicited calls difficult. Even though I explain we have a committed giving program I suspect they don’t believe it.
We plan to document our giving commitments and policy on our soon to launch new website in the hope that any charity researching us can see that we’re already committed.