So (and I love to start my blogs off with "so", like I have been waiting all day to tell you this), I own a children's boutique. I used to get hit up at least once a week for a donation of some sort. For a church homecoming dinner, for a realtor function, for the high school's band and so on and so forth. For the longest time, I would just donate to anyone and anything because I felt bad if I didn't and I just wanted people to "like me" and the store. I thought that donating to the smaller organizations would bring in business, or least some gratitude from the person soliciting. After all, I was donating something of MINE to their little fundraiser. Uh, no. I cannot think of one church, school or other small-time event that has brought in one dollar of business. Sometimes not even a friggin thank-you note.
After about 4 years, I decided I had had enough of that crap! Donating to anything other than a well-run local charity is a waste of my time and money. I now only donate to one organization per quarter--The Joseph Sams School, Fayette Youth Protection Home, The ACS of Fayette County, plus a local golf tournament and I choose another once a year that I feel warrants it. I do it up right, and while I don't expect to make a ton of money from new customers I might garner from it, it doesn't really matter because I CHOSE THEM and feel that their causes are worthy.
I now have a sign on the front door that says, "No Soliciting of Any Kind AT ALL. Donations and Ads included." I understand that people need fundraisers for their organizations, but I am not King Midas and can't give you a $50 gift certificate or a $100 basket just because your kid's school needs a new microscope. My child goes to a small private school, so on top of tuition, I would like to help them out. I go to church when I can and therefore donate to MY church--I should not feel like I need to sponsor something at your church.
The worst solicitation is from people that I "know" and whom have never shopped in my store. Even worse than that, is people who I KNOW have shopped (a LOT) in other stores in Atlanta. Where do they get off? If you have had a baby in the last six years, and didn't buy your furniture from me, or at least a few outfits, do not ask me for a donation. I am not going to tell you that is why I am declining to donate, but it will be.
There, I feel better and a little bit self-absorbed. Much better.