November 09, 2005

No Means No!

Around this house, I'm known as the cruel, hardhearted one when it comes to people trying to raise money. During the election year, I gave the money we had allocated for campaign donations and stopped giving. But when my husband answered the phone, another $35 or $50 seemed to head out to a campaign or politcal organization every time.

Right now I'm generally in full blown, absolutely no donations mode, but I made a small exception yesterday when a caller mentioned Nancy Pelosi -- everyone has their breaking point. Fortunately I mentioned this donation to my husband, so that when another related group called for their own fundraiser later that day, he knew he couldn't say yes to them too. Today, yet another, similar, but not the same as either of the other two, organization called asking for money.

The conversation this morning went something like this:

Me: Hello.
Them: Mrs. Adams, I'm calling on behalf of Blah Blah Organization (not its real name) and are you aware that Nancy Pelosi and Hilary Clinton are trying to do unspeakable things to destroy everything you have ever held dear and will bankrupt you with their astronomical tax hikes? Are you willing to let this happen?
Me: I'd help, but unfortunately I already gave all the money I currently have to donate to Bigger Parent Organization (also not its real name) yesterday. I don't...
Them: Oh, we aren't Bigger Parent Organization, we're Blah Blah Organization and do our own fundraising.
Me: I know, but I haven't any more money to donate. I gave it to the BPO.
Them: Do you realize that The Other Side has huge war chests and are trying to take over the world? Do you want them to win? When can you send us your donation of $50 or would $60 work better for you?
Me: I don't have any more money to donate at this time.
Them: We'll give you time. Can you send us your donation within the next 7-10 days?
Me: I am not donating anything.
Them: But the other side is going to ransack the villages, rape the women, outlaw apple pie and take away Christmas. Surely we can count on you for a donation of...
Me: You don't seem to grasp this, but I am saying no. No money.
Them: Oh. This call was paid for by Blah Blah Organization blah blah blah.

While I am sympathetic to the political organizations involved, the phone calls are annoying and it is even more annoying that I must say no over and over again before they'll get it. If I could make a donation and be assured that no one would call me again for at least a year, I might consider it. However, once you donate money they hound you all the more. Naturally these things don't fall under the "Do Not Call" list rules. Hmph.


I had a fundraising call from the alumni association of my undergraduate college the other night and they similarly hounded me. I finally said that I donated to the university through the mail, not over the phone (which is true) and she said, "No problem. We can send you information in the mail." Then she said, "But we need to have a minimum commitment of $7-10/wk in order to justify the mail expense." I told her, "Thanks, but I find there are PLENTY of people willing to take my money by mail." And I hung up. Am I a bad person, or what?

Posted by: Frazier at November 9, 2005 04:32 PM

I always tell them that I do not do things over the phone. If I have to repeat myself I hang up.

I like the calls soliciting my husband's father. He died over 6 years ago and we had his mail forwarded to us while the estate was being settled. After two moves we still get junk mail and phone calls for him. I tell them that he passed away which always knocks them for a loop.

Posted by: Sarah G. at November 9, 2005 05:20 PM

One time a fundraiser called and asked if I was busy. I put the baby on the floor, which I knew would start her off screaming (since she was already mad about something) and he let me get off the phone right away. I just need to keep her handy and angry all the time, I guess.

Posted by: Jordana at November 9, 2005 09:34 PM

Mine always clam up when I get one of those phone calls. But if it is dog club stuff or a friend it is total pandemonium in the background.

Posted by: Sarah G. at November 9, 2005 10:01 PM

I'm with Sarah. I repeat, over & Over, that I don't make phone pledges. "Can we mark you down for $36?" I... DON'T... MAKE... PHONE... PLEDGES. "But can I count on you for $18?" I... DON'T... MAKE... PHONE... PLEDGES.

Then I hang up on them.

Posted by: skinnydan at November 10, 2005 07:59 AM

You should call my house some time to see what people have to listen to before they actually get through to my home number. Stops 'em dead, unless they're automated. Which, we can agree, is preferable to the "real" thing, anyway ;-)

Posted by: Patricia at November 10, 2005 10:51 PM