Donations: When enough is enough 53



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I know we all struggle from time to time financially and realise it must be quite difficult for charities trying their best to make life easier for those they represent, but I had an experience last week in my small local shopping centre which still has me shaking my head.

I was making my way through the centre when a young man sitting at a table stopped me with a big smile and asked would I like to buy a raffle ticket for the paralympians. Of course I was happy to make a small donation. These people don’t get the same funding and exposure as our able bodied athletes, and let’s face it, it must be so difficult in some cases depending on the disability to even get to Olympic level.

So the young man started with his well-rehearsed speech, telling me the packages started from $500 – yes you read it right, $500 – and went down to $30.

I told him that amount did not suit my budget, but not to worry he told said, we have an EFTPOS machine I could use. I took my purse from my bag and gathered all my gold coins and told him I wasn’t too worried about the raffle tickets, but I was happy to make a donation. No, he said, I can’t take that, we don’t have a tin. I couldn’t believe he actually refused my donation.

It was only about nine dollars, but if everyone he stopped gave him nine dollars, or even one dollar, it was one dollar they didn’t have a minute ago, and I wonder what paralympians would think knowing there were donations being refused because they weren’t enough. I told him in that case we could not do business and walked off.

My daughter worked for many years with a large national charity and told me they went down this route too. In the first year their donations dropped by almost half, because people objected to being told how much they would donate rather than what they wanted to donate. That is when my daughter left, as it got too much for the workers on the front line being abused by those who had been very good at donating for years, but were suddenly not given a choice as to how much they were going to donate.

Am I being too harsh? By the way the young man didn’t get around to telling me what the raffle prizes were. That could have been an incentive for some to buy one of the packages he had on offer.


What do you think? Have you been in this same situation? Share your thoughts below.

Dorothy Hayes

I had a forced retirement one year ago and I am loving it. I have four wonderful grandsons aged between fifteen and twenty six. I do lots of craftwork which I donate to charities. I love fashion and some of my best days are having lunch and browsing the shops with my daughter.

  1. Oh yes ! I have had this same experience. Totally at a loss for words.

  2. i had the same experience with the Paralympians raising funds, and was very irked by it. I am retired, but donate on a monthly basis to animal and human funds of my choice to a certain level. They are very happy with my modest monthly donation, but I’m afraid unless they change their process, the paras have lost me.

  3. Yes I have had the same thing happen to me ,now I will go out of my way to avoid these people

  4. I have had the same experience at shopping centres. I also object to these collectors being near the only entrance to a supermarket and calling out as you enter with nowhere to avoid them. The lifesavers are the worst offenders, and despite being a supporter this offends me no end.

  5. Have had the same experience. Absolutely crazy. Can’t imagine how much money they have lost due!!!!

    1 REPLY
    • I have had the same experience. Also door knockers who now want you to sign up for monthly donations.

  6. I have had the same experience and the same reaction. They seem to have ignored the whole point of “donation”. They cut off their nose to spite their face – the bean-counters have a lot to answer for. Way to chase away the small donors who are their mainstay.

  7. this has happened to me. I now do not give at all. I wonder also how many other people stopped giving

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  8. just how much do the charities actully get ifeel that we are bombared from them i lke to donate bu there push tactics stop me .thgey also go door to door for donates ona weekly basis from your wage or income direct debit there would be no way i would give bank details to any one knocking door to door

  9. For every 4 persons in aAustralia there is a registered charity or not for profit organisation.
    This list includes Churches, scout groups , social clubs ,sports clubs school [email protected] .associations Charitable organisations etc .there are over 700 “charities” colecting for cancer research .A lot of these are professional fund raising companies that take a huge slice of what they collect and get it Tax free because they are collecting for “Charity”.

  10. I agree things are tough and having promotions even for the best of charities that our outside the budget of the average person is just silly and actually insulting to the caring person who stops to donate. Everyone knows the cheaper raffle tickets gives a better return. The Surf Lifesaving Group do the same thing and what fabulous work they do but to find that after being called over to hear about their current fund raising and being ready to buy a ticket you are given a speil better placed at a corporate dinner most of us would feel inadequate

  11. same experience , I refused to donate to any charities , after been refused many times, what obviously was not enough for them. Charity starts at home and that is what I do , plenty homeless people around to give to.

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