As I was penning some thoughts on the reaction people get when asked for support I came across this tweet by nzcspaul:

“When ppl ask for donations and we decline as we donate weekly to a coupla charities already they never look like they believe us. It’s true!”

What he says is so right, when we walk down the street and see people out collecting, doing street sign-ups and are stopped, asked for a donation or support and we say “I’m already a supporter” or “I already have charities I support” – the look you can get from some is often one of disbelief.

Sure, there will be those who fob off collectors with lines like those, and those who pretend they’re on a call simply ‘ignoring’ the advances of the collectors. But, they will likely be a significant number who are being genuine, who do in fact give – it’s this group who can take offence to the sly look at their fellow collector, the raised eyebrows, the ‘yea right’ look some collectors give.

Are collectors doing themselves and the organisation they are collecting for a disservice, surely they’d be better giving a nod, a smile -some form of acknowledgement that people may genuiney being giving.

All charities collecting need to respect what people tell them about their giving, even those who they think maybe trying to ‘get out’ of giving. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

People approached for a donation who say they already give that see the ‘look of doubt’ on the collectors face tell their friends, family and colleagues. Word spreads that they felt mistrusted.

It’s important to remember people can only give so much, that they have their chosen charties.

What is your reaction when someone tells you they already support?

Do you train your staff on how to deal with people who have their chosen charities?

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