To Give, not to Get

Interesting topic on the radio this lunchtime, Charity Cold Callers.
Did you know they had a script? Yeah, surprised me too, and from what the ex CCC interviewee was saying, Cold Callers are not supposed to take No for an answer. They may start off with an initial request for a donation of say £20, which is unaffordable for the prospective contributor, so the value decreases until an acceptable (or tired) consent is achieved and the fish is hooked.

The Independent ran this photograph in an article last November.

The memorial to Mrs Cooke displayed at Fishponds Methodist Church, Bristol

Olive Cooke(Photo: Getty)

Allow me to refer you to a related article in the Daily Mail last month (link).

Most of us are happy to put a few coppers in the collecting tin at the supermarket for a good cause. A few of us will respond positively to the leaflet put through the door, and some people will donate money either through their bank ATM or over the phone for a world disaster fund. But in Olive Cooke’s case, the fundraisers went into overdrive to claim on her generosity.

According to the radio, pensioners like Mrs Cooke are referred to as Dorothy Donors, and many are targeted by cold callers, having obtained their details from either other charities or by purchasing a ‘customer list’ from unrelated sources.
It would also appear that even if the householder has signed up for the ‘Telephone Preference Service’ to prevent such cold calls, that does not stop them. The cold caller’s ploy is to deny knowing and ask if the householder would like to continue with the call, giving them the opportunity to begin their ‘sales pitch’.
computerWe were Ex-Directory in the hope that we could avoid the inevitable Double Glazing and Insurance callers, but with telephone numbers being dialled at random by a computer these days, this didn’t put a stop to it. It even happens with our mobile phone!

It was said today that there are around a quarter of a million charities in the UK.
Judging from the Government guidelines on setting one up, I’m not surprised and no doubt a lot of them are charities we’ve never heard of.
We saw TV ads all the time whilst we were house sitting, with requests for £2, £3, £5 and even £19. One charity actually had three ads going, each requesting a different amount, and whilst it is not my intention to knock any of the good work they do, what needs to be addressed is their methods of gaining Joe Public’s support.

One of our Government’s favourite buzzwords is Transparency.
Wiki has loads of definitions depending on the subject matter, so I’ve opted for this one (behaviour).
Obviously it should be made clear when you make your donation of £x that it is either a One Off payment or a Regular Monthly committment.

If they ask for your Bank account details, it’s more than likely going to be a monthly direct debit from your account.

If they ask for your bank card details (the long number, start and expiry date and security code), it may be a one-off, but could be a regular payment.

If they ask for your Credit Card details, chances are this will be a regular charge too.

Sadly, gone are the days when you completed and signed a standing order or direct debit mandate (which was sent to your bank as your authority for the charges) as everything can be set up over the phone or on the internet.

Of course, there are also the fool-proof methods where there can be no misunderstanding:
either hand over physical cash and sign nothing, or ASK!

As an aside (and in line with our Samaritan donation-that-wasn’t mentioned in my post linked to this one), outside one of the town’s supermarkets this week , there is a guy selling raffle tickets on behalf of one of the Forces Charities.
A friend offered to put a donation in his tin, but he said no, he could only sell her a raffle ticket at £2.50. She didn’t actually have £2.50 in change, and despite her repeated offer to put the pound she did have in his tin, he eventually told her it was a £2.50 raffle ticket or nothing (which was exactly what he got).

With an attitude like that, I’m surprised he managed to sell any, but even worse, it didn’t  do the subjects of his charity any favours.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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11 Responses to To Give, not to Get

  1. I learned a long time ago not to put money in a donation bottle or pot.I saw too ma y of these donations end up I the hands of someone else hands.

    • I can believe that too, especially with the door to door collectors. Today, they have to produce official identity and proof they are collecting legitimately (computers are wonderful things for running off such documents). 😦

  2. colinandray says:

    My response to “cold calls” of any description is simple. No. My position is that I will decide when/ if I need a service; if I want to donate to charity; if I want to buy something etc. We even have a sign on our front door saying that we will not buy “at the door”. Trouble is, so many people clearly cannot read… but they can respond really well to a lunging and barking Ray! 🙂 Woof! 🙂

    • Good boy Ray! Best deterrent and ally for getting your point across. We had a similar sign on our front door, saying callers and visitors by appointment only. Maggie goes nuts, and her bark suggests she’s a large ferocious animal, so for the callers who obviously couldn’t read, we kept the dining room door closed so that they couldn’t see her. 🙂

  3. That raffle ticket story is absurd! I have never heard anything like that.

    • Honestly, it happened. At least the guy from the Samaritans was apologetic that he couldn’t take a donation as he was on Direct Debit Duty, but it does make you wonder.

  4. It’s gotten very difficult. So many “charities” are really companies that charge a real charity a big % of any money they collect as a fee for services. Here so many of the online “Go Fund Me” pages are actually scams and the money never gets to the needy person/family. Even the kids who show up at the door may not be from the neighborhood but are actually from across town- parents drive them to places they feel have homes that will donate. Disturbing how people will scam/take advantage of kind ones.
    We do give to certain charities/hospitals, directly and locally. And Molly keeps people away from the door.

    • We can donate our time if required and fitted out a dog charity shop’s shelves with over 200 DVDs when we downsized. We recycle any ‘good stuff’ to charity shops, and on the odd occasion something in one will catch my eye and I’ll go in. We do what we can when we can and if we can, but it can’t ever be on a regular basis I’m afraid.

      • We do pretty much the same. Recycling and rehoming items no longer used but are still in good shape is the very best way to help. We had a phrase in college “The thing you are throwing out as unwanted is exactly what someone else needs and is looking for.” Websites started up to help people match up for free/need new home items – but then as usual, sneaky people got on board and were going around picking stuff up and then turning around and selling the items at garage/yard sales and flea markets. Another good idea trashed.
        Time is the rarest gift of all and any of it offered is so appreciated.

      • We used to haunt car boot sales until they became inundated with commercial vehicles and traders. Spoilt the whole thing, especially when one would come and buy something from us as we were setting up only to see it for five times as much on their stall further down!

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