Service of Gorilla Fundraising
November 1st, 2012
Categories: Charity, Fundraising
I’ve written about businesses that, at the cash register, try to embarrass and strong-arm customers into buying a book or groceries-or whatever they sell-so that they can donate the items to charity. If putting the squeeze on customers who may or may not already be pressed financially isn’t bad enough, they then take credit for “donating” [while making a profit], what their customers actually have given to food pantries or children or others in need.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it’s bound to start up again. I’ve seen a business, a TV network and a major bank heading the charge.
In addition, I’ve observed several recent techniques that inspired a reprise post. I live near a town and try to use its vendors. I am off-put when children, often with parents, stand in front of the door of the small business I want to enter. They are often selling tickets for a raffle to raise money for a team trip or uniforms. When this happened the other day, card tables with a team of kids around each were posted in front of doors throughout town. If you gave at one you felt cornered at the others.
The other month the subject line in an email I received, from an organization to which I belong, noted that I had not yet signed up to attend thus and such a fundraising event. I found the threatening and accusatory language inappropriate and a turnoff. What made it worse was that I had signed up long before and I still felt uncomfortable by the inference.
Threatening subject lines on emails arrive for non-charitable causes–such as joining webinars or attending conferences–and it’s just as off-putting especially when sent by a stranger, although I don’t expect an acquaintance to reprimand me because I haven’t agreed to participate in an event or to buy something.
Do you have examples of gorilla fundraising or do you believe that anything goes if you believe in and want to support the cause? Where do you draw the line?