What do you say to charity telemarketers?

<p>The Komen thread got me thinking. We all get telemarketing calls from charities, many of which we've never heard of. I notice I'm getting fewer of these lately. I suspect it's because I've been asking this question: What percentage of my donation will go directly to the children (patients/victims....)? The first time I asked, the answer was 17%. I said, sorry, that's not enough. The next time, the person simply hung up. Now I rarely get a call. I wonder if now I'm on everyone's do not call list. Do they share this information? My phone rarely rings now with these kinds of requests.</p>

<p>That's an interesting idea, I might try it. I am always polite but I never donate this way. What I say is "I am sure your charity is worthwhile but we have chosen our own charities elsewhere, good luck." and then I hang up. Seems like I have been getting fewer lately as well...</p>

<p>"I only give to local charities". This is not entirely true, but generally they do not push further.</p>

<p>If your student is receiving a generous scholarship, how does it look to the college if you donate, or opt not to donate?</p>

<p>I've already gotten two of these calls, starting a few weeks after enrollment.</p>

<p>I told them, sincerely, that once my child has graduated, I will make a generous donation, but before then it's not possible. I've also had to, unfortunately, stop all my donations to charities. I can't imagine it would look that good to the finaid office if they see me making donations at the same time that I am receiving help for financial aid, and am counting on continuing to get that aid.</p>

<p>Even beyond that, realistically I've had to cut back on everything, so there is no deception here. I had no idea of the impact that paying two tuition bills a year would have on my life. So the thermostat stays down and my dreams of travel get pushed quite a bit into the future.</p>

<p>I think when it's a cold call, it often doesn't really work, and people do ask those questions and get annoyed at the telemarketers. Couple that with the fact that less people have landlines (the only organization that has called my cell phone is the university that I graduated from two years ago, and I'm sure I gave them the number at some point) and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a shift away from that marketing strategy.</p>

<p>To unsolicited charities, I say, "I don't donate over the phone. Please send me your literature for me to review." There are too many scam "charities" with names similar to legitimate ones; I don't trust cold calls like that.</p>

<p>When my child's development office called, I couldn't help but laugh. I apologized to the poor work-study student, but told her that they're already getting all my money!</p>

<p>"Sorry I can't help you".... click</p>

<p>Please add me to your do not call list.</p>

<p>I tell them I need information about the charity and to send it to me in the mail before I will make a decision. That stops a lot of them in their tracks. I'm just not willing to agree to give money to a charity until I've had a chance to review the organization. I've also noticed a decrease in calls. Funny, for the first time in years, I recently received mailing labels (with my name and address on them). Wonder if charities are going back to that.</p>

<p>I will generally ask their name and number, and explain that I need to pass it on to our atty gen'l because I am on the Do Not Call list. Then they typically hang up.
I don't know if it helps stop future calls, but it gives me some satisfaction.</p>

<p>"Sorry we can't spare anything right now, I'm unemployed. (click)" (True, but by choice.) It seems to work well in these difficult economic times.</p>

"Sorry we can't spare anything right now, I'm unemployed. (click)"


I said that to one charity while on maternity leave. Without missing a beat, the person on the other end of the phone said, "I'm sorry. Is there anything we can do for you?" Job placement & counseling was one of their missions, and this person clearly cared about the mission.</p>

<p>They've been on my charitable giving list every year since then.</p>

<p>My standard line is, "I'm sorry, we don't take calls like this," and hang up immediately.</p>

<p>I've also started hanging up whenever there's a pause after I say, "Hello." Those are always solicitation calls.</p>

<p>Well, with caller ID, we don't answer the phone anymore unless it's a number we recognize. If someone we know is calling us from a number we don't recognize, once we hear their message on our answering machine, we can pick it up; otherwise we just don't answer the phone.</p>

<p>I know a lot more people are not answering their land lines anymore, so after a charity calls us and we don't answer a few times, they give up.</p>

<p>I now don't answer the phone unless the caller ID indicates it's someone we want to speak with. It has greatly cut down on solicitations. Before, I just used to say, sorry, not interested.</p>

<p>I can almost always tell when it's a solicitation call, by the way they ask for "Mr. or Mrs. Owlsnest", or worse "the lady/man of the house", or the lag between when I answer and the phone bank operator picks up the call. I tell them they have the wrong number and their script usually requires they just say "sorry, thank you". If I'm not sure I say, "Mr. or Mrs. Owlsnest is not here now, may I take a message?" at which point they say, "No thank you, have a nice evening". I think these replies also get us off the list, because I never get the same call twice.</p>

<p>I use my cell phone exclusively, and can't remember the last time a charity called to solicit a donation.</p>

<p>It is hard, because most people want to help others, etc and it is hard to say no to a charity. Part of the problem I have with telemarketers like that is in most cases they aren't people working for the charity, the groups hire telemarketing firms to do it and many of them are as pushy as commercial telemarketers (for products and services). I generally end up saying "I am not interested" and hang up if they get pushy. Otherwise I'll ask them to give me their web address so I can check them out (save on postage for mailings) and see. Part of my objection to it is the cost of doing telemarketing like that is part of a charities overhead and from what I can tell it is not cheap when they hire these companies to solicit for them, so to me it could be a sign of a charity where most of the incoming funds go to overhead.</p>

<p>Our contributions last year were about 15% of gross salary income but we pick and choose the recipients with care. Unsolicited requests from organizations that we don't know get tossed. Unsolicited requests from organizations that we do know get tossed too - but we may donate to them on our own schedule. That is we'd donate to them whether or not they made unsolicited requests.</p>

<p>Efficiency in the use of funds is important along with what the funds are used for is important.</p>

<p>For the colleges where our kids graduated we tell them to call our kids - their colleges are not our alma maters! For regular non-profits, I tell them that we have already chosen who to give to, and unfortunately it's not them.</p>