There is never a gentle/nice way to say ‘no’ to another person.
Don’t open the door for whatever reason if you’re not expecting anyone, even though your kids are screaming and the knocker most definitely knows that the occupants are home. Just ignore them!!!
Don’t be pressured to hand out your money or personal info just because you want to be charitable. If the cause is not something you care about, just say no and walk away.
You can’t please everyone.
And just because people give you money, it doesn’t mean they care about what you do. They might be doing it because they want to get rid of you.
I understand that if not prompted, the general population may not want to give them any donation at all if there is no motivation. And simply showing up in front of people’s front door, although will get you some amount of money, will leave some bad taste with people.
These are my suggestions:
1. KNOW WHO TO TARGET
There are ways to look for information on your target audience. Isn’t it much better to get a better exposure AND donation while not putting people in a tough spot (especially when you approach them in front of their home while they are busy living their lives?
2. SHOPPING CENTRES
You get an eclectic group of people here and I feel most of the elderly population do donate more compared to the young-ish population.
3. OPEN DAYS
This is for the long term planning, not for the immediate cash/fund raising.
And if all these fails, and you find yourself in a pickle with only door-to-door donation to do, then I ask that the next time I say NO to you, just politely say ‘thank you for your time’, with a smile of course, and be on your merry way. Never ever show me your sulking face or pouty mouth while saying some passive-aggressive comments.
For the record, the last lady that came took my rejection calmly and wasn’t repulsive of my rejection.
Some more talking and heart tugging statements, designed to get you to give away your personal info. In our conversation, I could not pinpoint to the exact moment that I gave my permission to make a commitment to what she was there for.
Racking my brain, I just didn’t get a direct request for my personal details (and credit card info) to be collected. And when I probed further about the use of my info (just after she asked for my credit card details), I was assured that ‘this is only a one time thing’,’you can cancel it anytime’,’you can do it for a month or two then cancel’ and ‘your data won’t be used for any other purpose except for this’.
That was not my first time being coaxed for personal info and credit card details. One thing about me is that I find it hard to reject or say no to people (much to the delight of salespeople, according to my husband). So after the last time the exact same thing happened, I promised myself that there will not be a repeat of it.
As I stood there, I was trying to find ways to reject her gently. Deep down inside, I sympathise her cause but I just don’t have the means to do it and I do not like being pressured to commit myself when I don’t have time to mull it over.
It’s like when you’re about to give birth and someone comes along and asks you to sign up for a competition. So not cool man!
So the other day after picking up my son from kindergarten, we were home just for about an hour or so before we were out again to fetch my daughter from school. Usually during this one hour, I would be finishing up any chores, helping my son with snacks or catching up on my reading/online learning.
Then I heard the dreaded knock on the door and let me tell you something, one of my pet peeves is door knockers.
Whatever their reason may be, one common trait they have is their relentlessness. In my experience, it is the easiest to turn away people offering up services because I could say I’m not interested. But it becomes a bit difficult when the person in question is skillful at tugging at your heart.
So the person who knocked on my door was someone from a cancer foundation. Let me make it clear, I am not against anyone asking for donation for whatever cause that they are passionate about. What I don’t like is the method.
Knocked on my door.
Standing on my porch, exchanging pleasantries and proceeded to asking if I know anyone with cancer. Answered yes and then bombarded with a series of anecdotes of her cause. Inserted too lots of information about my neighbours who have also gone onboard with her because ‘they are all excellent people, multi-cultural and are just nice!’, a fact I don’t agree with 100% ( I’ve seen what people do around here!).
People here are generally nice but I don’t think you could automatically categorise someone as ’nice’ just because they give you money.
Over the years I’ve had all sorts of people knocking on my front door. Mostly unsolicited door knockers and they resorted to knocking on the door when they couldn’t get any response after ringing the door bell.
If I’m not expecting anyone, I will decide if I want to open the door or not for them after peeking from the window.
Here is a list of people who have knocked on my door, in no particular order.
1) Jehovah Witness
They come always bearing news of the impending doom of our world. Sometimes they will leave some printed materials with catastrophic images. But they never disappoint by sending out lovely, mild-mannered elderly members of their society.
Do I open the door for them? I do but this only happens when I’m already expecting someone else but I ended up opening the door for them instead.
2) Postal worker/Posty, also incudes courier
Our regular posty is a friendly lady who comes around about 3 times a week. Courier drivers are always men who deosn’t really look like they enjoy their work hahaha!
Do I open the door for them? Of course!
3) Kids on Halloween
I’m not fond of opening my door to kids just because I don’t know how to react to this event. There was one year when I helped to open the door for my daughter to give out candies.
4) People asking for donation
This I don’t really like to entertain and I try my best to be very quiet when I see them on my doorstep.
5) Sales people for electricity/gas/phone/internet plans
Emotional blackmail at its best. No sales person offering water deals though, because there is only one company that looks after the infrastructure.