Just to start I’d like to point out that I’m not against charities. In fact, last year whilst I was under full-time employment, I gave money to Red Nose day and gave £10/month to the RNIB. What I don’t agree with is the tactics they sometimes employ to make you sign up. Or, if you cease donations, to make you take them up again. Red Nose Day doesn’t do this and neither does Children in Need. This isn’t a point I have against them. This is more for your general charities like Help the Aged and so forth.
Last year I decided that since I had a sizeable monthly wage I would help out a charity. In the end that charity was the RNIB. After 6 months or so I ended the direct debit. It was getting close to me going back to Uni and I wanted to try to save as much as I can. All went fine I just cancelled the direct debit and that was it. I expected a letter along the lines of “Thank you for your kind donations since x/x/xxxx. We’re sorry you’ve decided to stop your donations but hope when you have the means you can take them up again.”
After a few months I did get a letter and it went a little like that. What annoyed me was they attached letter from someone who was blind. This letter amounted to blackmail in my humble opinion and really pissed me off as. I won’t let anyone, charity or otherwise, guilt me in to doing something. So I put the letter aside and forgot all about RNIB until two nights ago. It was then that I received a phone call, around 9pm I might add, from someone for the RNIB. They asked whether I had a few minutes to spare. Politely I said “Ok” as I can stick it on speakerphone until they finished.
I wasn’t surprised when they then asked “would you consider taking up your donations again?” In response I said I was now a student and that every penny I have goes to getting me through University. While I understand my £10 can buy 8 audio books it is money I cannot spare. The caller was not deterred as they then asked “What about £3/4?” Again I politely pointed out my previous response and that I honestly couldn’t spare any money.
Bugger Off Will You!?
To the callers credit after this they thanked me for the donations and hung up. What has annoyed me is the fact that they are so damn persistent. It’s worse with the street people who try to get people signed up. They ask, you say no, but they persist and the only reason they do this is that they are paid on performance. This comes from the charity themselves. Dont’ get me wrong, I know that this is probably down to the fact that they can’t spare a lot of money but their practice should be improved.
If you say no, leave it at that. If you cancel your donations, send a nice letter but nothing more. There’s no need to keep re-asking if someone wants to take up donations again. People will do when they’re good and ready. If you push people like this they’re less likely to donate to any charity let alone the one that keeps hassling them. This experience has certainly opened my eyes. I’m more likely just to give money to RND and Children in Need as at least that’s a one-off donation!