As traffic returns and cities regain their bustle, street corner donation solicitations for charities have resumed. This sentence may conjure images of college students with bright t-shirts and clipboards trying to get your attention as you walk to a meeting or between shops. Some organizations prefer street corner solicitations because it presents an opportunity to educate the public within a few minutes, garner support, and raise funds. This tactic helps organizations gain recognition by casting a wide net, but it doesn’t have a high success ratio.
How Should I Respond?
When it comes to street corner donation solicitations, your only obligation is basic manners. Do not feel guilty for saying a quick “no” or asking questions about the cause before declining your support if it does not resonate with you. There’s no need to give to every organization seeking donations in public, but if your interest is piqued, follow these steps:
Consider the cause. Your donations are personal, and your giving should support things you believe in. Don’t feel that you need to donate to every organization. Establishing your giving values and goals can help you identify which organizations are worth investigating.
Do your research. If you are excited about the work of a charity, it is essential to check that the organization is effectively completing the work. A quick Charity Navigator search can provide insights into an organization’s effectiveness.
Decide on a giving strategy. If you are convinced that the cause and organization are a good match, it is time to decide how you want to support the organization. You can give a one-time donation immediately, but your support can do more good over time. Set up a recurring donation through the organization directly or Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket. Decide how much you want to give each year and what percentage of your total giving you want to commit. Then, you can set up your donation to go out monthly or quarterly.
Beyond Financial Support
Some organizations also solicit petition signatures or other forms of support instead of or in addition to donations. Joining a petition movement can be an impactful way for you to engage with issues. You should choose whether or not to lend your voice to a cause with the same care you select charities to support financially.