I’m all in favour of raising money for charity, but I like to choose what I give and to whom. So one thing that really annoys me is when I am stopped by charity collectors in the street who attempt to part me from my hard-earned cash with a mix of emotional blackmail and deception (asking how I am as if they really care!). If you’re irritated by these people (and yes, I know they’re only doing a job, but I’m just trying to go about my business), here are some smart answers that will confuse them …
1. Do You Speak Luxembourgisch?
Tell them you’ll give them your money if they can speak to you in your own language, then pretend to be from a country with a really obscure language. Try Luxembourg, Estonia, Malta, or one of the African languages. You’ll be gone before they can say ‘What?’
2. I’m Not Too Well …
Sorry, can’t stop, if I don’t take my medication in the next five minutes I don’t know what will happen …
3. The Nitty Gritty
One objection that many people have to this form of fundraising is that the collectors are paid, and therefore a sizeable amount of donations go in administrative costs. Ask them questions like ‘Do you get paid? How much?’ and they will try to distract you. Persist.
4. Money Talks
If the money is meant to go to charity, then I don’t want it to go to pay someone’s wages. So ask what percentage of the donation goes in administration costs, and insist on getting an answer before you decide on whether to support the cause or not.
5. Fight Fire with Fire
When they tell you they’re raising funds for charity X, say ‘Fabulous! I raise money for charity Y! Let me tell you about the wonderful work we do’. Then pull out a clipboard and try to persuade them to sign up for your (non-existant) charity. This could be a very fun game trying to make them crack first.
6. The Little Woman
Listen to all their spiel, and then say that you’d love to give to their wonderful cause. However, your husband controls the money and will only allow you pocket money. You don’t even have your own bank account (this also works on energy salesmen who call at your home). While they’re wondering if they’ve timewarped back to the 50s, you make your escape.
7. Silence is Golden
Whatever the collector says, don’t respond. Don’t say a single word, or make a sound. Just stare at them. The longer you can go without blinking, the better. See how long they last before losing their nerve.
8. Make Friends
As they proceed with their pitch, watch them attentively as if everything they say is fascinating. Then say ‘Has anyone ever told you that you have the most beautiful eyes?’ Ask them if they have time for a coffee, are they single, what’s their phone number … Male or female, it doesn’t matter. Just freak them out.
These ideas might seem a bit mean, but they’re really meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Would you have the nerve to use them, though, or have you any better ideas for getting rid of charity collectors?
Top Photo Credit: j2ndphotography