Should stores guilt people into donating to specific charities?


Should stores guilt people into donating to specific charities?
Buying my groceries at Costco today, I was asked by the cashier if I wanted to donate to our local children's hospital. Having already donated to another charity the day before, I told her "no". She gave me somewhat of a dirty look after that, which made me feel sort of bad.

This got me thinking, is should stores guilt people into giving to charity? It is my belief that people should be free to give to whatever charity they want (or not give at all if they aren't financially able to do so) and not be shamed or guilted into giving to a specific charity.

What are your thoughts?

  • Yes
    19% (41)16% (28)18% (69)Vote
  • No
    81% (179)84% (145)82% (324)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I have a policy: if someone ASKES me to donate, I'm probably NOT going to. Instead, I donate my money, my time, and my services to people and charities of my own choosing - and as "direct to the customer" as possible.

    Most of those organizations that can "partner" with a big place like Costco are charities with high overhead and low "bang-for-the-buck". They have directors making mid-6-figure incomes and often 50-70% of the money they bring in goes to pay for "administrative expenses." They can kiss my ass right in the crack.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • No one should shame you for not donating to a charity. I hate when I go to a grocery store and they are standing outside the door. So that I walk out in front of them carrying all my groceries, then they ask for money. If I refuse, it feels kind of rude because I have all these groceries. But I always say I have no cash.

    I don't think people should shame you, as they don't know your circumstances. Perhaps you have no wiggle room in your budget for charity. That is totally understandable, especially at costco. Maybe you only have money for groceries and that's it. Not even a dollar you can spare. I know for some people that sounds crazy, but there are people out there who really do need every dollar that they have.

    The thing is, a lot of charities are not using the money as well as they could. Most of it gets spent in administration. YOU get to choose which charities you support also. Maybe you have a charity you support that month and you have already given to that charity. Don't feel bad, there are all sorts of charities out there for every cause. Just because you don't donate, it doesn't make you a bad person.

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What Guys Said 43

  • As a person that knows a thing or two about business world (and a few things about "dirty" side businesses), I can safely state that majority of charities are a scam in one way or another.

    Majority of cash always goes either into someone's pocket.

    There are many different methods to "launder" the money:
    Starting from lame ones, such as "over-charging", i. e. when one *officially* buys materials to donate for a unreasonably high price (by making false purchase checks, where the difference goes into one's pocket), and other lame methods such as paying a rather moderate salary to some non-existent "volunteers" and their "needs" that "help" with the event, to a way more advanced methods that I don't really want to explain (so I don't give any ideas to folks in here) that are truly, truly hard to expose.

    So whenever asked, I just say "no" and move on.

    You want to help? Get your ass to the place and donate/help directly whoever is actually in need.
    Besides, hospitals are supposed to be run (and thus upkept and supported) by the government, not some shady "charities".

    Unless it's a private one; then again, private hospitals do not require "donations".

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    • Oh, there is no doubt about it that some of these charities mismanage donations. I’ve read some pretty disturbing statistics about well known charities where only 5% of the donations are actually used for their intended purpose. Also, from working in a hospital/research setting, I have see mismanagement of funds first-hand (i. e. doctors using research money to take vacations). Not to mention, the CEO of our children’s hospital recently gave himself a raise to $300K a year, so it makes you wonder if charity money is actually going towards paying for his salary.

    • I have worked as a paid staff member for a national charity and can confirm that it is run very much like a business. I got promoted while there and saw even more of where the money was going (company cars, hotels, laptops, phones)

  • Lots of stores have periods when they have a charitable drive. Many of them have several throughout the year to various organizations. It is always a little uncomfortable when someone asks if you would like to help children who are in pain and danger, and your answer can sound like you don;t give a shit about the kids unless you give. Many of the stores are now including the question on the card reader. Safeway asks the question on the card reader which is used not only for your credit/debit cards, but also to enter your "rewards" number. So the question is private and your answer is also. I am much more comfortable with those and will give if I like the charity.

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  • No, even if you didn't donate at all its your money you worked for it and no one has the right to take it from you or guilt you into giving it away. Further more no grocery or business has any right guilting anybody for not donating since the only reason why they donate is so they can get an even bigger tax right off effectively making them money off of your donation. So no, they shouldn't guilt you into it but then it shouldn't bother you if they try its not their place to tell you what to do with your money.

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  • they definitely shouldn't guilt you into donating. but frankly i just answer no if i want to and after that i'm done. i don't care about their response. i donate plenty throughout the year probably more than a cashier at a store who is obligated to ask the question donates.

    for you just ignore the person who makes a face or makes you feel guilty. only you should feel guilty or guiltless

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  • You were not in the wrong here. The girl/woman at Costco was 100% in the wrong. No one should have a person try to guilt them into giving to charities. The truth is you can't give to everyone that asks you for money. If you did you would have no money left in no time. You did nothing wrong. Don't feel bad and you should make a complaint about that girl/woman.

    @Iron_Man what do you think.

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    • If you can afford it give money if you can't at the time then you can't

    • @Iron_Man yeah. I just don't think that shop girl had any right at all to make her feel bad about not giving any money. That was rude of the shop girl.

    • Right I hear you

  • YOU always say - I just did this down the street + a very good cause!

    Dirty looks come mostly from those who know someone suffering & needs this help. If you are implying that the store gives bonuses to cashiers that get more donations (store is too cheap to carry the full donation load), then of course this is awful & best way to detour customers to a competitor. My new dental hygienist found three new drillings - never needed all this for decades - guess who's not my hygienist anymore? My "tell" was how giddy she got after "finding" (cultivating with her pick over time) drilling #3 ... UGH!

    Most cashiers are glad to get over this extra duty hurtle tagged onto their job, as if they've nothing else to do!

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  • I know how to go past saying no to hell no in a millisecond

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  • Screw that. You don't know my circumstances. You don't know what charitable shit I may or may not be doing. Give her a dirty look right back.

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  • Yes.

    I am strongly opposed to taxation because not only is it essentially just theft masquerading as benevolence, but it is also inefficient and almost always a joke compared to what the private sector can produce. You don't help the poor by stealing their money and then reattributing it so that they have less.

    Charity is the true way to help others, and if businesses can guilt people, then maybe they will have a genuine change of heart and donate to help others out of their own free choice.

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  • No south park did a bid on this it was really funny i suggest you watch it. No I don't think they should in my opinion yes I think everyone who has enough money or even an average amount of money should give charity but it shouldn't be forced especially forcing you to give to certain charities that they want you to.

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  • NO, donations should ALWAYS be Optional.

    Besides I think clothing, food and water donations are much better than cash, credit cards, etc.

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  • It is OK for them to offer the opportunity to donate by hanging posters and leaving donation boxes available. For them to actively canvass customers is not.
    Here in Ireland there is door-to-door canvassing. The opportunites for scam artists is obvious. My strategy for refusing guiltlessly and politely is to list the charities we support and explain why.'
    'At my age I feel threatened by prostate cancer.' And
    'My wife is high risk for breast cancer.' And
    'I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atrial fibrilation, and a lousy family history of heart attack and stroke.'
    Usually that's enough. Some are more persistent, more than likely the scam artists. 'I understand that, but surely you can afford a fiver for us?'
    Answer: 'Sure. I'll send it to breast cancer research on your behalf.'
    Sounds self-centered but the fact is that our resouces are finite and the need seemingly infinite. Decisions have to be made on some basis for the allocation of scarce resouces.

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  • this should not be done by anyone.. stores or anything else.. it is entirely up to that person if they want to give or not.. I have had this asked of me before and I outright told the lady that she nor anyone else should ever ask that question.. it is just not right

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  • It just came up on uk news yesterday that charities spend 90% of charitable donations on more advertising for more funds. Haiti disaster people contributed upwards of 3 billion to the disaster relief. None of reached the areas were it was needed. Its just a scam to line scums pockets. My government gives over 13 billion in aod annually from the taxpayer to countries that have space mission programmes ffs. Of course the aid doesn't reach their governments it gets hijacked on route by the private sector. 13 billion yet there's people, hardworking people surviving off of food banks. When will people realise its all just a big con. They play the idiots in society like fiddles to make individuals rich. Fuck your charities

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  • I must say that sort of "giving" annoys the hell out of me.

    Besides, when I give to charity, I want to do it with my checkbook so I can itemize the tax deduction. I am inclined to give more when I write a check as well.

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  • I absolutely fucking hate this charity tsunami. A couple of years ago we had this woman who came door to door for a charity collection which i already donated to. She came in the backdoor while we were having breakfast. So i told her no and she sort of didn't get it and just kept standing there. WTF? So we didn't say another word anymore and continued eating. Very awkward. It took her another 15 sec to turn around and leave. I mean i do respect the people who do this in their own time but i get a bit fed up of it.

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  • I don't donate and I don't give a fuck. If she tries to guilt me, I am going to make her pay for it by shaming her back or reporting her to her hoss or whatever. They may lose a customer.

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  • Starbucks do this so irritating.

    Put it this way if you ask me to donate im not going to, charity is supposed to be given of free will.

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  • There's problems in the world. A lot. So that's enough proof that people aren't giving enough. So yeah I think while we sit in our air-conditioned houses typing on our laptops we should feel at least a little guilty that some people are suffering right now.

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  • I say no, because who knows if that person does or does not have the money to spare, i myself rarely have extra money after bills and food and feel bad enough not being able to donate or help someone without someone plastering me with a bogus guilt trip

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  • they can try but its not gonna work on me. who do they think they are? the church? no thanks. if you know that only 40% of the donated money actually goes to the cause then i dont think charity is a good system. by the way, in what can of a world do we live that the weak and fragile need to rely on the charity of those who have it better?

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  • When working at McDonald's and I'd ask if they wanted to give to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities and they said no, I'd be like “alright. Yea, no, they said no. Yea, I know, Timmy won't be able to eat today. Yea, yea, I know it sucks, but, what can I do they said no."

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  • No, never. Charity is an aspect of one's mind. No one can force on it to someone. And no one can blame you for that.
    Charity is - works done for mankind. A Philanthropist is also included for charity but if he is financially in a bad condition, he can do works for charity but cannot pay money for it. In this case, donating money cannot be forced into him even if he is a philanthropist.

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  • What I find to be extremely irritating is being approached by all manner of charity collectors who set themselves up in the walkways of malls.
    Seldom do I see a charity that I am inclined to support.

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  • Charities trying to guilt me always give me a good laugh, usually because they all use the same cringy tactics.

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  • Quickest way to piss me off is by trying to manipulate me. Laying a guilt trip definitely falls under manipulation.

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  • If you're not a pushover, you won't donate against your better judgement. If I had spare money to give away, I would just give a yearly donation to my favorite charity.

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  • As long as the money is going to a good cause like a children's hospital then I don't care how they get it. The ends justify the means to me

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  • If they try to guilt me, it's gonna be an even bigger no

    Plus, what if people legitimately can't afford it, like, they came in with the exact amount they need?

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  • No but they so anyway then if the actually give the money to a charity you don't get the credit the store does...

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  • More from Guys
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What Girls Said 22

  • Just Yesterday, @MandyRuth, I was Asked by the store in which I purchased something... Would you like to Donate to _Charity? I Gave.
    I believe that it Probably is their Store policy to Ask Politely All of their Customers when this Certain Charity Donation is asked of The Store to Start Up this Donation. Many times too, a Nice Card is Offered where your Name, In which you write Yourself, Is put up on the store Walls or in the Windows.
    No one twists my arm to give. I give to the Humane Societies, Where there are many cans with Pictures of Adoptable Pets, And I am More than Happy to give. I also give Clothes and things to the Salvation Army. I also take care of the Homeless on the Street with a small Treat.
    However, I don't like it when Someone with Some "We need money for this Certain cause" Approaches me Off Guard Outside of a Walmart and just gets in One's face with "Would you like to give?" I will Not just stop in the middle of what I need to do First, To dig in my Purse... I Politely tell them I will give after I come out and I Do.
    I feel that if a person Stands in Place at that Place with That Known Cause, Maybe Many More Busy Bees to the Money, honey, Than Someone Telling them "Oh, Get me when I come out," And you know Many are Not going to reach into their pockets anyways. They just hurry by with no "Hi."
    I Always keep my word, However, And Give to them from the money I Put Aside Inside... The store.
    Good luck and Great question. xx

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  • No one can force you to feel guilty, they can only play on the guilt already present. If you feel bad about them pointing out that you should donate to charity, that's because you already felt bad about it and they just turned your attention to that. There's always people outside supermarkets or shops trying to get donations and I listen to their cause and yet I don't feel bad because I know I give what I can to charity whilst also providing for myself and my kid. It's not my responsibility to donate to every charity simply because I'm asked to and if they're upset that I don't then it's because they have a need and I can't help, but it's not because I've failed to meet a reasonable expectation or responsibility.

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  • Well no the store shouldn't guilt people into doing anything but also understand people as individuals can judge whatever they want. I'm in the same boat as that cashier. I don't give people dirty looks because that's just rude and terrible customer service however, yes I do judge people because although I don't know what you do outside of this situation this current situation is all I have to judge you by.

    For example, if your total is $40 and you give me $100 bucks and all I ask is for one measly dollar to help sick kids and you're all like "No no nnon on non on no" before I can even finish my sentence then yeah, I'm judging you so hard.

    s2.quickmeme.com/.../...4ed742d2775d34ac3d6d11.jpg

    gifsec.com/.../...udging-you-Judging-Judge-GIF.gif

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  • No, stores shouldn’t be trying to guilt-trip people into donating. The employees probably have some sort of goal given to them by their manager. Maybe they win some type of prize or something if they can get ___ amount of dollars. Maybe they’re a temporary employee and their future chance of employment there is based on work performance including getting people to donate, selling credit cards, etc. Nonetheless, they don’t know your financial situation and they shouldn’t be hassling or pressuring you to give away money you may not have. Even if you do have the money, who’s to say you don’t need it to pay off a $75,000 student loan debt? Who’s to say you don’t need it for your dog’s vet appointment? If the employee really made you feel that uncomfortable, then I would suggest calling the manager and telling them how you feel/maybe even suggesting some of the points I’ve made here. Just to get it off your chest and have your frustrations heard by someone who can do something about it.

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    • Exactly! I do believe they were having some sort of competition based on which employee could collect the most money. It didn’t bother me that much, but I just don’t feel like having to explain why I don’t want to donate (for me, I have a mentally handicapped sister I help support financially).

    • And you don’t have to explain why you don’t choose to give out extra money at that time! I get their frustration as an employee who’s probably been asking that question and being told no for hours, but that was completely unprofessional and inappropriate of her/him.

  • If I'm in Costco or Sam's Club, it means I'm buying in bulk to save money that I really don't even have, or that I'm there with the company credit card to buy supplies.

    I wouldn't appreciate being looked on as greedy when the money isn't mine to give, or because I can't even afford to pay all my own bills. I get that "I'm poor too, so I should understand", but if I give away my money to help others "like myself", I'm just going to go further into debt, and then I'll be on donations of tax payer's forced charity. I honestly qualify for full disability, but I don't want to be a charity case. I want to work.

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  • My work does a similar thing, and I admit I do end up with an annoyed look on my face sometimes. But when I do it has less to do with the cause itself but more so to do with the fact they refuse to donate a penny and now I have to count out $.99 to give them.

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    • That makes sense. I mean, a penny... some people are cheapskates. But when you're constantly asked to give $5 to this and $10 to that, it adds up.

    • That's true. My work only really does round ups anymore. Which can surely add up but some people are just rude about it when you ask

    • So that kind of sours your mood a bit too. Especially when they just cut you off while your speaking as soon as they hear the word "donate"😣

  • I've never gotten that look before. ill just say 'oh not today thanks' or 'maybe another time', and they'll smile and say 'no worries'.

    I'm fine with people asking me to donate. of course, people who indicate their attitude towards u saying no are rude af, but most salespeople are understanding.

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  • I don't think it's right for a cashier to ask the customer to donate. I mean if you want to help, you should feel like you want to do that instead of feeling forced to. It's a very on the spot move. If Costco wanted help, they should of said every customer's shopping.. 5% (or whatever) of the grand total is going towards a specific charity. It would make Costco look good and the customer doesn't need to be put on the spot

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  • i hate when people try and guilt me into donating. however, having worked in retail before, it's often part of the cashiers' job description~ they have to "sell" x number of donations per week and, if they don't meet that metric, they get shat on by the higher-ups.

    yes, it's irritating. but i don't take it out on the cashier, as i understand that s/he is just doing his or her job.

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    • Yes, that is the trouble with those sorts of rules in jobs. Also working on commission also causes problems as well.

  • Oh my gosh this drives me crazy! I shop at Costco like 3 times a week lol. I'm not donating every time people. Same thing with walmart. It drives my husband nuts because then Costco or whoever says "we helped donate 4 bajillion dollars to such and such charity last year" when it was really their customers.

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  • I really hate this. I think charity and donation is a great thing but is also a voluntary thing. Just because a cause is great, it doesn't mean everyone needs to donate a dollar. I don't like when they are pushy about this. It actually turns me off to the charity.

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  • I think stores should continue to ask if you want to donate to certain charities and if you feel guilt then that's a you problem not the stores problem

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    • I don't have a problem with stores asking, its the whole guilt-trip from some employees that I take issue with. I've had someone tell me before "oh, that's too bad, why not?" when I didn't donate.

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    • @blondfrog Well Salvation Army, at least the one here, is Homophobic so I refuse to donate to them.

    • That's fair and you don't have to so do you think it would be fair if they tried to make you feel guilty to donate to them? Of course not and I don't expect you to you should donate to a charity that's not homophobic :)

  • I only give to charities I deem worthy no matter what. So many charities are run like a business and corporation these fays its sickening.

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  • Sure guilt people into paying more when they don't have the money to pay more in the first place. Then they feel even worse about themselves for being broke and not having enough money.

    No they shouldn't guilt you and it's wrong to do that.

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  • No... it always makes me suspicious.

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  • I think most people are fairly understanding of how you can't always afford to make a donation somewhere. The children's hospital here just lost most of its funding from the provincial government due to budget cuts. They've been fairly aggressive in stores about making donations. However, they also know that this is a fairly poor province until oil bounces back so they don't tend to judge too harshly, from what I've seen.

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  • Some do already

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  • No it should be in the heart of the person to give and the stores are not trying to guilt trip anyone

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  • I dont let it get to me. I donate where and to whom I want.

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  • Yeh they do that constantly, they also use the design interaction to hit ( yes) intuitively. And then they ask you in person if you want to do it!

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  • no cause donations end up in the pocket of rich people not people who need it.
    A singer even buy a ferarri with the money who the donations she participated in

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  • No they shouldn't. But they can never guilt me into donating as much as a single penny to anything anyway. I never donate to charity and I don't feel guilty about it either.

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