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Do Tell: What Do You Do When Asked to Donate at the Store?

If you've been grocery shopping lately, I'm sure a cashier has asked you: "Do you want to give $1 to fight cancer?" (Or educate children, or help the homeless?)

When it happens to me, I feel like I have to say yes or risk seeming like I'm taking a stand against those causes. Wouldn't everyone in line think I'm a cheap, heartless shopper who cares more about blue cheese and white wine than saving the world? OK, maybe not.

While these checkout asks are an effective way to raise money and awareness for worthy charities, they can feel intrusive and pushy. A recent story on Slate recommends saying: "Thanks, but I've got my own giving plan!" When you're asked to donate at the grocery store, do you give all the time, only to causes you're passionate about, or not at all?


Join The Conversation
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
I just say no thank-you because I am unemployed right now and can't spare the money. I am close to getting food stamps and they ask for a donation. Also I have a disabled son so I concentrate on giving my time and money for autism. If people only knew I was am the person that the donations are for.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I just so no thank you or not this time or I already donated. I think this practice is incredibly rude. I don't agree with it at all. I think they should put up a sign asking you to donate if you want or can.
Carrie-Sue Carrie-Sue 8 years
I was one of those cashier's asking the question...didn't bother me a bit to ask, and it didn't bother me when people said no. That's just how it goes. Surprisingly, more people say yes than no (if you ask it like you actually care, that is :)). On the other side, though, I usually give, unless I'm strapped for cash. Now the people that hang out outside Walmart and ask you to buy stuff? Avoid them like the plague. I try to sneak in the back door, fully expecting them to follow me until I surrender my purse!
oni1 oni1 8 years
i'm sure most of the cashiers ask only because they're required to do so or they get some type of reward for how many donations they can get-just like the credit card offers. because of this, i don't feel bad giving a flat out-no thanks. if it were me i wouldn't be too interested in the reason behind the no.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Same here -- I just say, "No, not today. Thank you."
Annie4385 Annie4385 8 years
i always decline. i'm investing in another way-- i'm putting myself through graduate school getting a masters degree in architecture. i'll help the homeless eventually.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I tell street collectors (with the clipboards wanting bank details) and such "I'm a support worker, can I have details of your organisation to pass on??" and they usually don't have any. Ergo, no money for them.
Briandiesel Briandiesel 8 years
I will always donate something if I have change or a couple extra dollars. I gave $5 to the firefighters on the street the other day. I was only going to give a dollar but that man was HOT.. so I handed him a five :)
bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
I give because that's what's in my heart. If the store gets a write off so what? I'm not giving to get soemthing, and frankly I think that's a really bad reason to give to charity anyway. When I'm asked at the grocery store for easter seals or the children's miracle network I usually give more than the dollar they ask for and then I put my late sister's name on the little balloon or star or whetever they give you to make abig deal about your donation. I don't care who knows I'm giving or how much I just want to make a difference
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I always say "no" and thats it. Why does there have to be an elaboration, the cashiers dont give a rip, they have to say that line!
ang1885 ang1885 8 years
I always say yes. I have a lot to be thankful for and spend money on stupid stuff so saying yes isn't a big deal.
jkatie jkatie 8 years
i only donate if the people are stupid ex: clerk: would you like to donate money for breast/prostate/lung/etc cancer? me: no, i'd like to donate money for the fight AGAINST cancer stupid stupid people
gidigirl gidigirl 8 years
I go to the grocery store almost every otherday.. So yeah, i'm comfortable saying "Not today..Thanks"
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
PS - At the grocery store my mom only gives if she's buying wine. She feels that if she can afford alcohol, she can afford to donate $5 to a Food Bank. I like her logic (but I still always say "No")
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
I just say "No, thank you". I don't give a reason b/c the cashier could less. I don't feel guilty b/c I have charities that I always give to. I find it much harder to say No to a person on the street who asks.
KMattes KMattes 8 years
I used to work at a store where I had to ask customers to donate. I hated asking people.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
no, i'm a student and every dollar counts, they can ask me when i'm rich and i'll say yes every time
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
Wow, you think that's bad?! Hahaha, I get asked for money by various people at least once a day... in the grocery store parking lot, on the street corner, walking around, both by organizations and bums, yikes. You just get over feeling anything and say no and move on with your day. I don't even bother to say sorry... what am I sorry for? These health organizations give money to people to do what I do everyday--research and medicine. Giving dollars to these organizations is NOT the best bang for your buck. If you have a written form of giving, you can get money taken off taxes and give more the next year.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
I always say I simple, No, sorry. I give to charities in well thought out plans. To where my money can do the most good. Or something that I feel passionate about. Not just because I don't want to look like a big old fat greedy green eyed monster. Sometimes I will if it something I am passionate about. But I don't really like the practice of asking me. Have it posted that you are accepting donations, but don't ask me, it's kind of rude.
PontNeuf PontNeuf 8 years
I never give to grocery store dollar-charities. While it may raise a large amount of money, it all gets donated in the name of the store. Essentially, all of your donations just bought that store a massive tax write-off, which is paid for (again) by you, (assuming you pay your taxes.) I donate my money to charities that I choose and refuse to be pressured into giving money on the spot.
staple-salad staple-salad 8 years
Sometimes I put my spare change in collection jars, but never anything bigger than a quarter. My family has had some pretty bad experiences with "charities" that pop up at stores, so I avoid donating. Long before I was born, one of my uncles died in a car crash at a gas station right after he came home from Vietnam. My mom's family was pretty down-trodden economically, and my mom worked at a 7-11 at the time. Her boss put up a collection jar that said "Donations for the the Funeral of [my uncle's name]". My mom watched the jar fill up as she worked and felt really happy that people were donating their money to help out her family. Never saw a penny, her boss kept all of it. I don't know which charities are legit and which ones are like that, so I just don't donate and get my brownie points volunteering and doing things that I KNOW will actually help people and animals.
laurelm laurelm 8 years
I dont feel obligated- if i feel like it- i donate- if i dont feel like it- i dont donate. Usually depends on charity and if I have heard of it or know what it actually does then blindly donating. I have never felt bad about it- the cashiers usually dont blink an eye if you say no.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
I have no problem saying no and I don't feel obligated to explain myself. Just a simple no does the trick. I have never had a cashier get pushy with me or make me feel guilty.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I don't feel like a jerk if I don't. Every time around the holidays I give donations to the Salvation Army all the time. I also always give items to Goodwill and to the Veterans so most of the time I do say no as I think I give back as much as financially possible already.
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