Folksy Ltd

Advice please shopkeepers!

Morning Folks,

I need a spot of advice please…
I get requests via Facebook or email for people fundraising for charities asking me to donate glass work. It takes a lot of time and effort to produce what I do and I do support my chosen charities via the business that relates to the work I do. I make a lot of animal based artwork and so I tend to support Guide Dogs and a few other local charities,… But every month getting asked to donate artwork is getting a bit much and I feel that it puts me in an impossible situation. I am a business and I have bills to pay and simply can’t afford to give away my work all the time. Plus once you say yes to one the flood gates open and I get even more requests! I need suggestions on how to decline gently please. Does anyone get this? How do you approach charity within your business? Xx

I’m not on social media so I don’t seem to get requests. But as you say, you already give to charity, so don’t feel you have to give more. I give items to my local charity shops, which they are always happy to receive because they are handmade and new. For instance I have given away a couple of lap quilts recently which were made from my plentiful supply of pieces of fabric. I would just ignore the emails, as I would class them as spam.

1 Like

I get lots of these too and to start with I felt like you and always felt guilty and rude turning them down. Unfortunately not all requests are genuine but are set up as a scam and it is pretty impossible to work out which are and which aren’t. I’m afraid nowadays I tend to just ignore and delete such requests - sounds harsh but it does get easier! If you really feel you have to respond I would just say you already support several charities and are unable to commit to any more.

2 Likes

I get lots of these too, I used to answer all of them as I felt guilty not donating, but now I just delete. I have charities I support and stick to them. Whilst we’re on the subject, does anyone else feel bothered by charity collectors in shop doorways. I have in the past turned away and gone somewhere else rather than walk past them feeling guilty. I don’t carry cash anywhere so wouldn’t be able to give even if it was one of the charities I support :expressionless:

1 Like

Yeah I feel that way too… Although I like it if they are helping pack bags at supermarkets, or selling cakes etc… I think I value ‘going the extra mile’ and being helpful while asking for people’s money. It must be hard for charities but sometimes as a shopper you can feel bombarded. X

1 Like

I used to get them as well

I had a simple polite refusal letter that I would copy and paste to any requests. I don’t get them now but did at first, and the ones that said they’d mention my business in return.

I suggest something along these lines.

“Thank you for your interest in my insert business name/shop name. Unfortuantly we are a very small business so are able to full fill your request for free items for your worthwhile charity. We wish you all the best with your endeanvours.”

or you could add if you feel you can afford it. a line saying something like " However we do offer a 5 or 10% discount to registered charities such as yourself. If you would like to use this discount please feel free to contact me for a charity discount voucher code."

Also do be aware many are not who they say they are and are often scammers looking for free stuff for themselves or to resell on place’s like ebay. In fact there are blogs on the internet telling you how to scam new small buisnesses out of free items. They even brag about what they’ve conned out of people.

I would look up the charity registration number get the charities phone number or email and see if the person contacting you is legit before even thinking about sending any kind of reply.

It the person contacting you is not legit I’d no even send an answer just delete and block them.

Hope this helps

1 Like

It’s also worth remembering that if they are genuine charities, the person contacting you could always be a potential future customer. So you could reply saying:

“Thank you for contacting me over your fundraiser. I’m afraid I already support xyz charity and being a small business I have a limit to what I can donate each year. Whilst I can’t donate to your event, I do wish you all the best with your fundraising efforts”

If it’s something you’d like to support locally but just can’t do it financially you can always say that if they email or send you a link to a poster you could share on your social media for them.

2 Likes

Charities are no longer allowed to contact people unless they have their written permission (e.g. you’ve opted in to their mailing list, or subscribed to their charity), so if someone who’s probably not even officially representing a charity approached me for any kind of donation, whether in goods or cash, I’d either ignore them or tell them they’re in breach of the law. I know it’s harder for charities to raise funds now, but the genuine ones would probably be horrified that someone is doing this without their approval.

3 Likes

Thanks everyone, sorted :smile:

1 Like

Oh yes I’d forgotten about the new law Christine.

Can you tell me where this new law is please @ciesse ? We haven’t had any notice of this for our PTA for example and I can’t find the relevant detail online via gov.uk. Thanks.

I have no idea Liz @BigBirdLittleBird - I’m a volunteer with the RNLI and I know they’ve had to change the way they contact potential donors because of recent legislation or changes to the ‘code of practice’. It followed all the hoo-haa last year when people were being harrassed at home by some charities. I believe it may still be a voluntary code, while it’s going through legal process, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing - no-one should be contacted and asked for money unless they’ve given express permission by opting-in to communications.

I remember the case of the poppy seller who was harassed and know there is a code to follow, but not that charities can’t contact people under law unless they have been given permission. I can’t see how that would actually work, but fully agree there needs to be a crack down on the harassing of the elderly and vulnerable for fund requests.