There are a lot of things I love about owning my own business but there are a few things that I really don’t like and one of the big ones is the charitable request! They come in all types from “We are calling from XYZ union and we
put out schedule planners or workbooks for all our members/ clients to make their lives easier and we would like you to show your support to these people by buying an ad” and usually it is about kids, nurses, police or some other group and they play up their sacrifices or hard times to so you feel guilty. Then there are the “We are a local group of …………………….. and we are putting on an event and we would like you to donate your time for photography or your printing or some money to show your support for this local group”. Then I get “some of our members use your services so it is only right that you support us” almost like they are threatening that I am required to do this. Then there are the other groups that call because they are wanting me to buy an ad or a ticket or to give a gift because they are a needed service in the community and with me being a local business I should support them.
I really would like to help a lot of groups and causes but as a business I can only give away so much before I go broke. Sure you may think your cause is the only cause out there or that it is the most important one but let me assure you everyone else tells me the same thing.
It is beyond frustrating to be approached weekly for donations!!!! Some I would like to support but others I have never even heard of. So how do I do it? Over the years I have selected a number of groups that I feel comfortable supporting each year. These could be groups that I have looked into (that they actually exist or are actually doing something) or that my family has been involved with – but I know what they do and I want to support them. The rest of the groups I politely turn down, I may remember them for the following year if it is something that I think is important and do something then but for this year I will have to pass as I just don’t have an unlimited budget. The sad thing is how many groups when I do politely turn them down start threatening me with bad PR or rude comments. I understand you are doing something, but honestly if I give every time I am asked to I will be out of business in a year or two. So if you are going out looking for support remember businesses are only able to give so much, we have expenses and bills as well!