Charities that lose credibility

Written by Suraj Shah.

“… pulling innocent suspects from the crowd and guilt them into donating …”

Charities do great work to compassionately serve those who require extra care and support in this difficult world.

They go to great extent to raise funds to keep their projects going.

However, sometimes they go just too far.

Stung by charities

My wife and I were meeting friends for lunch at one of the newer shopping complexes in London, where we got stopped by a person collecting funds for an animal-welfare charity, money-bucket in hand, who asked “Do you have a minute?”

In unison, we both politely said “no sorry, we’re on our way to meet friends” and swiftly moved on.

As we were walking away from the fundraiser, we considered whether he may have been thinking how uncompassionate we were, just like the other shoppers who also dodged and avoided.

But we both knew that most of these street fundraisers are paid by the charities to raise funds by pulling innocent suspects from the crowd and guilt them into donating. They probably don’t even care very much about the charity themselves.

Clearly, we’d both previously been stung by pushy fundraisers, getting in our way, delaying us, and bullying us to donate to their charity.

Your fundraising tricks won’t work on us

Dear charity,

We’ve learnt not to trust you:

  • We get stopped by fundraisers on the streets. We ignore them, or politely dodge them and continue on our way.
  • We get calls, harassing us to commit to “just £2 a week” to save some hungry child or another. We say “no thank you” and hang up.
  • We receive unsolicited mailings, with free pens and donations forms. It just goes in the recycling.
  • We are forced to receive stacks of garment collection bags used to fund some local charity or another. We use them as garbage bags.

You’ve got it all wrong. You push and push and push. You lose the the one thing that you need the most to survive long-term…

Pushy fundraisers destroy credibility

Credibility and trust is the currency of today. When you have that, you have everything.

When charities push for funding, they lose the love, and they lose credibility.

Something that an individual or an organisation has spent many years building up can be wrecked within a few reckless words spoken by brash greedy fundraisers.

Enhance credibility, lose the push

Charities who are doing great work, can keep doing great work, by focusing on doing great work… rather than scheme up ways to trick people into funding their projects.

By all means tell others about what you are doing. Tell the ones who are genuinely interested. Tell the ones who personally want to help and be involved.

Prepare platforms for them to voluntarily sign up for news and updates, and then send them messages of compassion, that inform, that intrigue, that inspire.

Tell them with love, and tell them with care. Truth and transparency work wonders.

Let them naturally, over time, discover their own ways to contribute, financially, with their time, with their heart.

Lose the push, so you need not lose the person.

(Photo courtesy of Annie Mole)

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