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Mandatory Charity Collection for Retail Businesses?

I was at a store the other day and the credit card machine gave me an option to donate to a charity for ALS. Why isn't this option available at every retail counter? I'm the type of person that will never seek out a charity, but I will donate nearly 100% of the time I am asked. I would imagine that many people are of a like mindset, and because of that charities are missing out a considerable amount of potential donations.

I'm in sales, and the most crucial step in making a sale is also the simplest. Ask for it. Many people will not offer their business to you even if they're sold on your product/service, so you have to ask for it. I believe this to be equally true with charity, more people would donate if more people were asked. Seems obvious, way too obvious for me to be the first to figure it out, so why isn't it a more common sight at retail counters?

What would you think about this being a mandatory practice for retail businesses? How significant of an impact do you think it would have, if any




edit: The word "ask" was poorly used on my part here. I only phrased it like that for the purpose of the sales analogy I was using. In this case it would most definitely have to be a passive form of collection. Meaning just a container available for people to drop money in or the option to add a dollar on credit card machines. I'm not suggesting a clerk literally has to ask every person, that would be sheer insanity.

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  • Jun 26 2013: I am not in favor of being asked every time I check out if I want to make a donation to some charity. If the charity wants my donation, they should ask me personally--enough do and I say no 90% of the time. I give to charities I am involved with Lions International, SC Lions Foundation, and always drop my change in the Salvation Army bucket when I pass one at Christmas.

    I want to know the charity is a good steward of my money. Not paying the its president a fantastic salary and paying rent for his penthouse in NYC (United Way in the 90's).

    Its fine if Toms shoes gives a pair away when you buy a pair. It is ok Ben & Jerry's is committed to contributing x% of profits each year to charity.

    The scenario that comes to mind is a Clemson Alumni asking me to contribute to his college's endowment. Being a University of SC alum that just goes against all I believe, I would probably stop shopping there. Point being all charities, by perspective, are not worthy of a donation.
    • Jun 26 2013: I agree completely that all charities are not worth giving to. If ever this were to be put into practice there would absolutely have to be some degree of oversight as to what charities can be used and where the money is going.

      Also, the word "ask" was poorly used on my part here. I only phrased it like that for the purpose of the sales analogy I was using. In this case it would most definitely have to be a passive form of collection. Meaning just a container available for people to drop money in or the option to add a dollar on credit card machines. I'm not suggesting a clerk literally has to ask every person, that would be sheer insanity.
      • Jun 27 2013: It is an 'ask' from normal non-profit speak. It is just like the check off for the presidential campaign donation on your 1040 form or donation to some state foundation on state taxes. The main problem is if were everywhere you checked out, one would become numb to it and it would cease to be effective.

        The charities that ask or seize the opportunity will always be the ones that raise more for their causes.
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    Jun 22 2013: There is actually a conditioning that occurs in the brain to people that have experience some sort of traumatic event. For example a parent the experiences a lose due to a drunk driver might become active in MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Cancer survivors become active in fund raising and so for. This is perhaps why the store yu were at was raising money for ALS. This means I may be asked to give to charities I don't support or have already contributed to.
    Personally, I am not like you and I am not sure that most people are, when it comes to giving. They do this at my supermarket and I feel it is as awkward for the clerk to ask as it is for me, especially when I am asked again and again, every time I am shopping there. Thankfully it only lasts two weeks.
    • Jun 26 2013: I assume that you assumed I meant for businesses to literally ask people (like your supermarket does) but that wasn't my intention. Poor phrasing on my part. I'm talking more along the lines of giving people the opportunity to give.

      I'm sure you would much prefer that your supermarket just left a collection bucket out. That way those who would like to give may do so, and those who don't can go about their business without a bother. Furthermore, I meant strictly for Retail businesses, where the people shopping are more likely to be spending "extra" money as opposed to buying necessities.

      Does that make more sense?
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        Jun 27 2013: This seems to work on a local level. I live in a small state and if there is a situation where a house burns down or a child needs an operation the community steps up and gives in the ways you are imagining.
        This might not translate well in most urban areas but I think it is true in many parts of the country still.