24 October, 2008

Thank you, but I'm Not Interested

Last night I was sitting at the kitchen table with the mini's and the phone rang. It read, "Private Caller." I typically don't answer if I don't know who it is, but for some reason I picked it up and it was a random Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I really wasn't in the mood to chit-chat so I just told them I was sitting down to dinner with my children and it really wasn't a good time (both true). Avoidance, table for 1, please! But lately, I've noticed a high frequency of these calls from one cancer group or another, a heart disease foundation, the firemen, the police (is it me or are there a gazillion different police organizations who call, too?), the Humane Society, etc.

I used to feel like I had to pledge to give every Tom, Dick, or Harry who called some sort of monetary donation or else I would be setting myself up for bad karma. You know, like karma saying to itself "uh oh, Mrs. Monogram declined to give to the Leukemia Foundation so now I must have it hit closer to home for her to learn her lesson!"

But you know what? I just can't do that anymore. At what point do you say 'enough is enough' and tell them the big N-O? Let's face it, times are tough right now and the Monogram household is no exception, I promise you that. And we do have our charities we give to. We give a significant amount of money to United Way and Catholic Charities, but quite simply, I can't give to everyone. If it was as simple as just saying "I'm sorry, but I can't donate to your cause" that would be one thing. But these people who call are clever. They have every angle worked out and lay out every option for me to donate, thus making it impossible to turn them down. Damn that threat of karma hanging over my head!

So here's what I want to know...How do you politely decline to donate?

23 Comments:

Monogrammed Teacher said...

I hate to say this but I usually a) dont pick up or b) tell them my husband is in charge of finacial decisions and hand him the phone. For some reason he just says no... I always get roped in!!

Natalie said...

The only one that has ever really annoyed me were the Firemen. I had a man call me & would NOT let me off the phone. He was selling tickets for something & all proceeds went to burn victims. Now, I'm all for helping people but don't try to guilt me into it. This man actually used the tactic that it was only $20 & that it was the same price as ordering pizza. Implying that I ordered pizza so I could surely afford to donate for these children. Needless to say, he heard an earful & I did not give any money.

a. said...

I think it's fine to say "I would like to donate but I just can't give at this time" - it's polite and also true for most of us.

My mother does a considerable amount of charity work for Evelyn Lauder's BCRF and I choose to donate my time helping because that's really the best I can do which is better than nothing!

Tara said...

If, on the rare instance, I answer, I tell them that we're unable to donate at this time and hang up before they get a chance to give a retort. Probably rude but that's the way it goes.

Monogram Momma said...

See, that is just what I mean. They have every single angle and scenario worked out to give you to guilt you into giving.

suburban prep said...

I state that I have my charities that I donate to. I also state that I make the initial call I do not give to those that call me.

Ellery said...

I always say that as a rule, I don't contribute to any phone solicitations. If they would mail their information to me, I'd happily review it and decide at that time if I'd like to make a contribution to their cause. Ninety percent of the time they hang up on ME! Quick and guilt free!

Preppy Pettit said...

I say that I prefer to donate my time. If they pester, I say that during these uncertain times, I cannot donate right now. Period.

Amber Lee said...

I do what suburban prep does. I say that I have chosen to TWLOHA and have it already set into my budget.

Cloggsy said...

I always feel bad saying NO too. I tell them that I have already donated to another charity (which is true) and that I just don't have it in my budget to donate more, but that I'll consider them next year.

I think being polite but firm always works.

Broady said...

We also have our preferred non-profits that we donate to each year, so even though I would like to contribute to more charities, it doesn't do them any good if I can't pay my own bills because I'm giving so much money to others (and then banging on *their* door for help). So I'm polite and firm, and don't feel bad about it. I do like the suggestion someone made to request some of the charity literature in the mail.

One time, however, I actually had words with one of the phone solicitors, one of the hired hands that was calling for the Firemen's Association. The mad was rude and aggressive when I told him that my husband's grandmother did not live at our address, and pretty much accused me of being a liar before demanding to know when we bought our home!

Needless to say, I immediately started calling up the chain at that organization, and after getting pretty high up, have not received a call since-- that was over 3 yrs ago.

nanc said...

I tell them it sounds like a great cause but that we are limited to giving to charities that are special to our family for various reasons.

Belle said...

What we do is say to them "im really sorry, but i'm just not in a position to donate right now", which may or may not be true but in this economic climate its completely acceptable!

Eloise said...

I sometimes feel like the only people who call on our home phone anymore are solicting for some organization or another. I used to give to a lot of them (which probably explains why so many of them call), but I feel like I got scammed once because I realized I'd given several times within one year to a group that had assured me they only called me once per year. Now I just tell them (if I pick up the phone at all) that we've already allotted our charitable contributions and I ask them not to call again. In addition to our church and college we give to a lot of organizations, but I prefer for it to be ones I'm directly familiar with or that I can research before contributing.

WAC said...

First- I want to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. You have great craft ideas and fabulous tips.
Secondly,in response to your question,I usually do what Tara does. I politely apologize and tell them I can't donate then hang up before they can respond.

Cal mom said...

Hi MM! I'm de-lurking over this post. When I get these type of calls or someone's soliciting at the door, I say, "I'm sorry, but we don't give over the phone or at the door. Thanks!" Somehow, it comes out sounding more like a policy. They never argue back!

PS: love your blog! :)

Creative Cupcake said...

I am with Suburban Prep... We tell whomever it is something to the effect of: "We send out charitable donations once a year and would be happy to consider them for next year." If they persist, aside from simply hanging up, I tell them that I am not comfortable giving out my financial information over the phone. Another thing to consider is to ask them to take you off of their solicitation list entirely -- I *believe* they lawfully have to remove you or face a fine.

charlottecareyphotography.com said...

Hey there girlie, I just had to leave you this link...
it has to do with telemarket callers/calls but I trust you and Mr Monogram will find it very funny...
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/740134/telemarketer_prank_call_murder_scene_hilarius/
Hugs and Kisses
Maria

Nickname unavailable said...

great blog some how i found you when i was looking for stuff on our son and his birth defect on esophageal atresia such a great blog site you have i wish you all the best.

staciedale said...

I took a lesson from Suze Orman who said "you should pick the one charity that means the most to you and donate to them only. Do not donate to those who you wouldn't have normally donated to." We can all be bleeding hearts but there is a financial limit to what you can do in terms of donation. I ususally just say "I'm sorry but I've given all of my charitable donation dollars this year to Philabundance ( or whatever charity YOU feel is important to you.). It lets the caller know that you are not heartless but rather that you have donated your funds elsewhere.

TCP said...

I am the Queen of the Screeners. I swear, I never answer my phone. Because when I do, I get sucked in too.

Pink Maple said...

I do the same as Cal Mom - I usually say that I don't give over the phone, but would be happy to consider their charity if they send me something in the mail. Although admittedly this might waste paper, it usually works :)

mij said...

In Australia we have a "do not call register". It's online, you fill in you details and 99% of the calls vanish! I wonder if there is something similar in the US?
If not.. I find disarming the caller with something like "Hi Thanks so much for calling, great job you're doing! (In a very upbeat happy tone) No I won't thanks, have a great night bye!" If they get in more of their sales pitch and you feel the need to respond just happily say "Sorry I've got to go now, bye" and hang up.
Remember that they're being rude when they start questioning your decision to not donate, your finances are none of their business!! Good Luck :)