ydney CBD was swarming with Shonky Charitable Collection techniques.  Almost every corner I was pestered by someone asking for money and trying to be my 'Best Pal' to get to my wallet..

ydney CBD was swarming with Shonky Charitable Collection techniques. Almost every corner I was pestered by someone asking for money and trying to be my ‘Best Pal’ to get to my wallet!

Before you read the heading and think I am saying what you think I may be saying, I want to be clear on this point:


I really do and you can go back through my Facebook History to see my proof of donation and focus in this area.  What I am objecting too in this blog is not the “Concept of Charity” but the many shonky charities around today and the very questionable “Money Extraction” or so called “Charitable Collection” techniques used.

Where I am coming from are the “Street Walkers” or those poor people trying to make a living who are collecting for charities in the streets.  I do feel for them in that it’s hard work standing in the heat, nagging people in the street for money for their given “Causes”.

Where I am taking a shot is the “Questionable” charities behind them.

Today I went to meet a colleague in Sydney CBD.  There were “Walkers” all over the place and I was harassed at least 20+ times in a short-trip.  After about the 15+ time I thought it was getting quite beyond the joke and it started having the opposite (and very bad impact on me) – it started making me resent giving to charity.

I then put up a rant / post on Facebook about it and it really struck a chord with people.  Many who I know are great people who have given literally thousands of dollars to charity are standing up and saying we are sick and tired of these collection techniques.

Even though they did annoy me, I will take an impartial view about it for the moment.  I do agree with the fact that charities are businesses and they have to get money in the door.  I appreciate Charity Marketing and what it involves.  What I am questioning is this means of getting funds and how sustainable it is.  My questions are:

  1. How much of what I donate to the “Street Walkers” ends up with the charity?
  2. Do councils actually allow this?
  3. How much corruption / stealing of the funds goes on?
  4. What are the charities doing to their brands / reputations?
  5. Are other Marketing Strategies more profitable?
  6. Who is really making money out of this?
  7. Do the people behind this know how much trouble they are causing people?

My thinking on this one? It’s time for all of us to complain to stop this practice and charities can find better, non-intrusive ways of making their money.  I think that this isn’t going to end up in a good place for them – that is, it’s getting people resistant to charities and creating the opposite of what they are trying to achieve.

Looking at a great example, the Salvation Army? Aren’t they great.  They sit in obvious places yes, but they won’t interfere – and they will even put in bands and the like giving back to their community (to make you really want to donate!).

Charity is great and principle but the organizations that use this form of collection – SUCK!

Love your work and thanks for the read!



5 Responses

  1. I totally agree. Further, in my mind, it cheapens the organisation these people represent. There needs to be a better way. They piss me off too yet just like you I believe in the need for these organisations …

    • I love you work Jude and it sounds like we are friends for life. (I don’t know the numbers) – but I bet it does give a *Good Return* in the short-term, but I bet it does a lot of long term damage. Also, the performance must be decreasing too – everyone is doing it now, so I bet they are getting way less street sign ups. I think the Government should ban this type of collection.

  2. Sydney is not the only city in which this happens. I was in Seattle, Washington last year and was approached by a young lady who was asking for regular donations to a “Save the Children” type of fund.

    My response was that my income was not regular enough to make a commitment of that nature.

    When I was working on Broadway in Sydney a few years ago, ignoring or brushing off “touts” became a daily battle when I went outside the building to get lunch somewhere.

    I believe that many of these charities are genuine and that these people will receive commission earned from their efforts to “sign up” people who will donate regularly.

    Even if the commission is as high as say, 50%, at least the charity will receive money they may not have otherwise received. It is another way to do marketing and sales.

    Personally I prefer to donate to charities that have been established for a long time and do not use such tactics.

    At the most, the charities I support will set up a stall in a shopping mall or on the footpath outside a mall.

    They may try to ‘engage’ with passers by but not in an ‘in your face’ kind of way.

    Finally let me say that the ‘collectors’ mentioned in the article may often be individuals trying to earn a ‘commission’ income in the same way as most sales people do. Everyone has the right to earn a living.

    And remember, you can always use the magic two letter word “no”.

    • Good post Alfred and great intelligent reply. It is true that we can say “No” however where is that line? In my experience they were physically moving in front of me, trying to shake my hand and even interrupting me while I was on the phone. Is that too much I wonder? I think peacefully sitting there is okay but I am not sure about this.

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