How do you handle solicitation for mission trips?

<p>I absolutely hate this kind of solicitation. I've gotten them before and have never donated.</p>

<p>This latest solicitation is coming from my massage therapist. She's asking people for a bunch of money to go to Uganda, with a specific purpose to evangelize. I ignored the first email request for money she absolutely had to have, then got another request today, saying she'd successfully raised money for the airfare, and now needed money for the remaining costs of the trip and vaccinations, and she needs it by July 15th. </p>

<p>There will also be some 'conferences' she can participate in, but I'm getting that the majority of the time will be spent going door-to-door with locals to train them on evangelizing.</p>

<p>I have given to other causes that don't include door-to-door evangelizing, but I won't give to this. Funny thing is, on my facebook site, I'm very adamant about not being a born-again Christian and basically tell people not to even approach me about it, that it turns me off. And she's one of my facebook friends. I'd much rather give my money to Habitat for Humanity, or Partners in Health, where I know it will go directly to the people who are already working in an area and don't have to spend the money on transportation to get there. Just seems like such a waste. I have been contributing to Young Life for many years because my niece was so heavily involved.</p>

<p>I have an appointment with her on Monday and I won't lie to her... I'm not going to say the money isn't in the budget. The truth is I'm not going to give to a cause I don't believe in. Usually that just involves throwing out an envelope or not answering the phone. But I see her face-to-face every two weeks and it's just going to be awkward... and I'm angry that she's put me in this position to begin with. </p>

<p>However, she's an excellent, excellent, excellent massage therapist and I don't want to alienate her or insult her.</p>

<p>So yes, this thread is not about venting... it's about asking for suggestions on what to say to her, or how to respond so that I don't feel like I have to compromise my integrity. I want to be tactful, but I know this is a loaded issue for me.</p>

<p>Have you given to other causes recently? Just tell her that you've already donated to other charities and really don't have the money to give. It's been a rough year. Many of us have taken hits in pay, while the needs around us have grown.</p>

<p>Often times I tell people that I donate to my own church's missions.</p>

<p>I'd consider letting her know that practice might cause her to lose business.then she can "put her money where her mouth is"</p>

<p>Otherwise, I'd ignore it, if she let's you.</p>

<p>This is a tough one for me. I won't even give my kids money for missions, and so far they haven't pushed it.</p>

<p>Yes I have given to other causes lately... and if she were asking for money for something like Habitat for Humanity because she wanted to get involved in a build, I'd have no problem donating. </p>

<p>It's true I haven't had any hours at work in almost two months, but it's not really hurting us that much. And I will be working for about six weeks starting in a couple of weeks. I'm sure she also saw a status update on my facebook account that we're planning a trip to Hawaii at Christmas, so she will know that money isn't the issue... which is why I feel even more imposed upon.</p>

<p>"I've picked my charities for this year. I'll consider yours when I choose my charities for next year."</p>

<p>(My charities are pretty much the same every year. But I do consider where I'm going to donate for the year every January 1st.)</p>

<p>shrinkrap... were you typing from a phone?!?</p>

<p>dmd77 - I like that response! Thanks.</p>

<p>shrinkrap... were you typing from a phone?!? </p>

<p>No... a tablet... that was trying to do something else while I was writing.Thanks for the heads up. Sometimes I look later and it looks like "drunk texting".</p>

<p>I would not bring it up. I'm guessing she will not, either. (An email request takes a lot less guts than a face-to-face request.)</p>

<p>However, IF she does, you CAN say, "I'm sorry, but it's just not in my budget right now." Which it is not. (The Hawaii trip is, but you don't have to explain that people budget for things they want to spend money on, and do not budget for the things they do NOT want to spend money on.)</p>

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Sometimes I look later and it looks like "drunk texting".

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<p>Or pocket texting! But I don't think a tablet would fit in your pocket.</p>

<p>I used to get tapped at my office (and it's my company!) by employees for this sort of religious affiliated charity. I also get approached by some of my customers for various charities. I always give dmd77's response, because it's true. We are very selective due to our limited resources. We plan the years giving in early December and it never includes religiously affiliated programs. And yes, we are going to burn in hell.</p>

<p>I would not donate and I would say it isn't in the budget. H and I went on a church mission trip every year for a number of years that was NOT at all about evangelizing (Episcopalians aren't so good at that) but was medical, construction and Christian Ed for kids. I never asked for donations except from immediate family and didn't push that very hard. We paid our own way. I am really opposed to the groups that go into these countries and try to convert everyone when there is SO much need for help in other areas (like medical, construction etc).</p>

<p>I'd keep it short and simple. "I'm sorry, I'm not able to donate at this time" (said with a smile) can mean a million things - anything from the fact that it's not in your budget, to you or your spouse objecting to the cause, to the fact that you prefer giving to your own charities. And I agree about the Hawaii trip - it's not her business whether you take ten trips a year or had to save and budget for this one.</p>

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I'd keep it short and simple. "I'm sorry, I'm not able to donate at this time" (said with a smile) can mean a million things

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<p>I can give it the 'ole college try, but I have a horrible poker face - as noted here: :eek:</p>

<p>I am with MOWC, my DD looked into a variety of mission opportunities for her gap year and they all seemed to require a participant to fund raise, they almost bragged that, "you can cover the entire cost of your trip by raising funds from friends and neighbors"</p>

<p>I hate that and would not want my kid to beg other people to send her on a trip, even if it is for a good cause. A group fund raiser where services are provided- for example a massageathon where people come some place on a weekend and pay the usual fee for a massage, but then the money goes to the charity, that I will support, but not outright begging.</p>

<p>teri - I use dmd's strategy (we allocate money to and donate to specific charities and some true emergency relief situations, like the Haiti earthquake relief effort). A true professional should be able to keep personal and professional matters separately. Donations are voluntary by their definition (otherwise, they should be described as "fees"). If your therapist does not get it and gets offended by your polite reply, and it will result in a change in her professional attitude towards you, it will be time for you to look for another therapist (and never give your e-mail to them). I'd keep all info about your trip off of your Facebook page - no matter how private your settings are, you are advertising to the world that your house will be empty at a certain time.</p>

<p>She is the one being rude and unprofessional, not you, so don't let her make you angry or even feel as if you owe anyone an explanation. There's a forum about manners on which they often repeat that "No" is a complete answer. I'd ignore the emails. If she is tacky enough to solicit you at your appointment, I would say "no" with a pleasant tone, smile and head shake. If she persists, you might suggest that she could lose clients by soliciting. I'd either de-friend on FB or change privacy settings, too. If she still persists, then it's likely time for a new massage therapist, since you can't relax and get full benefit from the treatment if you're tense from the irritation.</p>

<p>Sounds to me as if she is not concerned with your beliefs--which you have made clear-- or whether you are a good client, or what your feelings might be at being put in this awkward position: maybe you shouldn't be so concerned about her sensibilities.</p>

<p>I would simply not mention it. If she has the gall to bring it up, I would tell her the truth in terms that perhaps she will comprehend: "I appreciate that you feel strongly about your personal faith, but my faith, which is also important to me, does not lead me to support evangelizing."</p>

<p>Nicely stated, Consolation</p>

<p>Wow, the therapist is being quite unprofessional, IMO. How about, "I'm sorry, I can't budget for another donation at this time, but feel free to use all or part of the fee I pay you for services towards the mission trip!"</p>