Sunday, June 28, 2009

On the highs and lows of street charity fundraising

So I'd been trying my hand at this melarkey for just over a week... I got good at stopping people on the street, bantering with the ones I didn't stop, talking about the charity but as soon as they hit me with excuses I crumbled.
"Oh I'm really skint right now..."
"We're going through a transitional phase in life right now, we've had to cancel a lot of our standing orders to charities..."
"I'd like to think it through. Do you have a website?"

"Oh that's ok, don't worry about it, I totally understand..." is supposed to be followed up with what is called "objection handling" in charity fundraising which is a form of arm-twisting, or as they call it "allowing people to see things from the charity's point of view" but I could never bring myself to do it! So I've temporarily lost my job. Temporarily because I'm apparently a nice person to work with and good for team morale so they want to give me another bash at it. So when they move onto another campaign I'm going to try my hand at it again if I don't find something else in the mean time. Anyway it definitely wasn't a wasted experience even if I don't go back. I certainly learnt a lot, including such valuable knowledge as...
- How to stop people in the street (you have to stand in front of them and start chatting to them from a distance, not side on or close up or they'll just walk straight past)
- People are very friendly even in Edinburgh! (or at least when it's not raining)!
- I am not in any way, shape or form a salesperson (though I think I kinda knew that already)
- fundraising is a tough job... show some respect for your local street fundraisers!

1 comment:

Eilidh said...

Dish, I'm very impressed by the fact that you were/are doing this kind of thing, I know I wouldn't have the guts to talk to random people on the street! I had a good conversation with one Amnesty International guy in Inverness a few weeks ago. I probably frustrated him slightly, but he did his best! well done, and I hope something works out soon :)