I Think Donation Requests Are Getting Out Of Hands! ~Vent~

Business By ShopGrl1128 Updated 20 Nov 2009 , 3:31pm by GL79

ShopGrl1128 Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 8:41pm
post #1 of 39

Hello friends:

Since I opened my custom cake shop back in July I've been getting tons of emails asking for all kind of donations: church, high school reunions (!), single mom groups, hospitals, all kind of reseach foundations, you name it, I've got it.

I'm the 'new' business on the block so I guess everybody feels like I have money... I don't know; and not only the emails but people stopping by every day which is worse because they interrupt me when I'm in the middle of something.

I always tell them I've allocated my donation budget for the year and some of them get the message, but some of them take their time to make their little presentation and give their famous 'it will be a great way to put your name out there'...whatever.
Even when I tell then no some of these people leave paper work and forms that I trash right away and some of them even call me days later to follow up!

I received the latest request today: To donate a cake EVERY month for a year! WTH???!!! I'm not Walmart...this is a lot to me, I'm a small business owner and I find the request to be insulting!

I have spent my life savings on this shop and of course I will not be recuperating the investment any time soon, I don't have money to spare and any donation that involves time or money is simply not going happen..

I donate cake for the JDRF Gala every year, though.

I know their cause is usually good, but man...I've been thinking of putting a no soliciting sign on my door, but I don't want to be seen as rude.
What else can I do besides saying 'no'?

38 replies
cakesdivine Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 8:44pm
post #2 of 39

Even putting up a no solicitation sign won't stop some because they are too ignorant to know that what they are doing is considered solicitation...LOL! I feel your pain!

LaBellaFlor Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:00pm
post #3 of 39

ROTHFLMAO Cakesdivine you are hilarious!

It's not that they think you have so much money, they just think cause your new, you'll be desperate to drum up some business. They figure how can you resist the "great, FREE advertising opportunity"! I'm glad your standing firm. thumbs_up.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:06pm
post #4 of 39

Yea I think after they continue interrupting I would then have to talk to them like I would my 5 year old:
"Excuse me, but if you ask one more time you will be off my donation list forever."

I do think a no soliciting sign is a good move, but expect people to ignore it anyway icon_rolleyes.gif

KHalstead Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:07pm
post #5 of 39

what you do is say great, I'd love to donate...I'll donate 10% off of every order over $100.00

bakery_chick Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:17pm
post #6 of 39

2 years+, and I have 2 "No soliciting" signs on my front door. Doesn't stop them though. Their cause if so much more worthy than the next. I still get as many as I did in the beginning. I have become better at recognizing earlier in the conversation. I interrupt them and tell them I need to get back to my work. so sorry--gotta go.

BlakesCakes Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:21pm
post #7 of 39

You know, you really haven't been singled out by these organizations and their representatives. They're not picking on you--they're soliciting dozens, perhaps hundreds, of businesses hoping that a few will help them out.

Some of these people are paid to do this and some do it out of the goodness of their hearts because the charity/organization is near and dear to them.

If a charity is to use it's resources for a particular cause, then they often have to become creative in raising funds or limiting other expenditures. Times are tight for everyone--and even tighter for charities. It's a vicious circle.

They need to do their job, just as you need to do yours. They ask and you have every right to tell them no--nicely or not nicely.

Dealing with these people is just one of the hidden costs of doing business.

You can print up your own card or flyer that simply says you are not doing donations at this time, as all of your charity giving has already been allocated. When they start their speil, you can hand it to them and walk away. Phone calls are started and ended with, "I'm sorry, but I'm not doing donations at this time, as all of my charity giving has already been allocated. Good Luck. Good-bye." click

It's not worth the anger unless it's personal--and it's not.

Rae

this-mama-rocks Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:32pm
post #8 of 39

Get a sign that says "Solicitors will be given a laxative cupcake. Perisistent solicitors will be given two."

G_Cakes Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:38pm
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

Get a sign that says "Solicitors will be given a laxative cupcake. Perisistent solicitors will be given two."




LOL
thats funny, how about a sign that reads:

"Donation given to those who are 75 years of age and older, and only if accompanied by their parents"

indydebi Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 10:13pm
post #10 of 39

When we were getting ready to open, hubby (who grew up in a family business) gave me advance warning that the first 50 people who walked in my door would be wanting to either sell me something or would want me to donate something.

That's pretty much how it worked out. Since it rang so true, it became funny!

CakeForte Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 12:33am
post #11 of 39

I'll donate under the following conditions: Everyone in their office needs to order a birthday cake at full price and pay in advance; or basically become regular customers. I also need a free full page color ad on every event program. And their email newsletters need to list me as a platinum sponsor that with a link to my website. tit for tat.

costumeczar Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 12:36am
post #12 of 39

Hee hee hee, I'm enjoying the suggestions.

Seriously, if you want to get rid of people tell them that you wish that you could help, but you already support a specific charity that is meaningful to you, and that your resources are limited so you can't donate anything else. You'll still get people asking for stuff, but they'll understand. If they don't, then it's time to get out the laxative cupcakes!

justducky Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 1:00pm
post #13 of 39

I give out business cards that have a 10% donation listed on the back. They can fill in their organization. When anyone gives me that card with their order, I give 10% to the organization. No orders, no donations.

bbmom Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 1:35pm
post #14 of 39

You could do like the big chains do and only give to offically recognized 501c3 organizations. They make you fill out this long form on your org letterhead with your 501c3 status number, you need to submit it at least 30days before the event needed and it will be reviewed by the "team" then you get the letter saying they've already done all their donations for the year. But this will weed out the ones that arent a "real" charity, because either they dont have nonprofit status or they cant be bothered to go through all that for a free cupcake.

leah_s Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 3:50pm
post #15 of 39

I was a bit frustrated once when I'd gotten about a dozen of thoes calls in the same day, and this popped out, "I'd be happy to donate if you'd just give me a list of your employees who have done business with me this year. If your company or employees have done business with me I'll donate to you."

Their answer?
"Thanks anyway."

costumeczar Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 6:07pm
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I was a bit frustrated once when I'd gotten about a dozen of thoes calls in the same day, and this popped out, "I'd be happy to donate if you'd just give me a list of your employees who have done business with me this year. If your company or employees have done business with me I'll donate to you."

Their answer?
"Thanks anyway."





Ooh, that's a good one! You could combine that with Justducky's method, too.

rosiecast Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 8:10pm
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

Get a sign that says "Solicitors will be given a laxative cupcake. Perisistent solicitors will be given two."




ROTFL. This made my day. well this and the look on your cookie's face. lol

tootie0809 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 9:29pm
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

When we were getting ready to open, hubby (who grew up in a family business) gave me advance warning that the first 50 people who walked in my door would be wanting to either sell me something or would want me to donate something.

That's pretty much how it worked out. Since it rang so true, it became funny!




This is so true! My business is only about 3 months old, and I was just telling my hubby the other night that it's frustrating that 90% of the phone calls and emails I get are from people who WANT my money (thru advertising or donations) versus the 10% who actually call and want to PAY me for a cake. Guess it's all in the process of growing a brand new business.

ladyellam Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 9:42pm
post #19 of 39

I own a winery and the donation request is almost daily. Some of them are worth doing and other not so much. I think the two that really stood out was one for a party to raise money for women who wanted breast implants that couldn't afford them. My response was to get a job. The other one was a woman who had just bought a million dollar home and wanted to have a fun wine tasting party and if I could donate a case or two of wine that would be great. You really don't want to know what I told her.

newmansmom2004 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 9:49pm
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyellam

I own a winery and the donation request is almost daily. Some of them are worth doing and other not so much. I think the two that really stood out was one for a party to raise money for women who wanted breast implants that couldn't afford them. My response was to get a job. The other one was a woman who had just bought a million dollar home and wanted to have a fun wine tasting party and if I could donate a case or two of wine that would be great. You really don't want to know what I told her.




Oh uh-uh - - please tell me you're joking!!! icon_surprised.giftapedshut.gificon_surprised.giftapedshut.gificon_surprised.gif

GL79 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 9:50pm
post #21 of 39

CakegrlPA, i love your avatar pic, it brought back memories. Is that from the cartoon series "Candy"? If so, I grew up watching the series and it was a constant cry. OOps sorry I got off the subject.

ladyellam Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 9:55pm
post #22 of 39

I truly wish I was joking! Do you think I could have thought that up?

ShopGrl1128 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 9:57pm
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by GL79

CakegrlPA, i love your avatar pic, it brought back memories. Is that from the cartoon series "Candy"? If so, I grew up watching the series and it was a constant cry. OOps sorry I got off the subject.




Yes, yes, yes! I'm a huge fan of Candy, I still can remember all the songs icon_smile.gif

I used to watch the show back in my country but when I've asked people about this show here in the States nobody recognizes it!

Last time the played re-runs I was in college and I used to miss classes so I wouldn't miss Candy icon_lol.gif ...yeah...tears begining to end.
I've been trying to buy DVDs or something but no sucess.

...Back to the Topic: thank you for all your suggestions...the laxative cupcakes sound tempting icon_twisted.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 10:00pm
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyellam

You really don't want to know what I told her.




I bet we'd all get a big kick out of hearing what you told her! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

Some people just shock me...I used to manage a little store and I had a girl working for me in the afternoons. One day one of my regular customers asked how much more we needed to collect for Kat's college fund. It turns out the afternoon girl was setting out a cup for donations on the counter after I went home...her rationale being that she was a hungry college student (who lived with her parents). We had a box that we left on the counter collecting for Jerry's Kids and she would take that down and put hers in its place.

ladyellam Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 10:06pm
post #25 of 39

That kid was probably related to my million dollar home lady!

ShopGrl1128 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 10:10pm
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyellam

I own a winery and the donation request is almost daily. Some of them are worth doing and other not so much. I think the two that really stood out was one for a party to raise money for women who wanted breast implants that couldn't afford them. My response was to get a job. The other one was a woman who had just bought a million dollar home and wanted to have a fun wine tasting party and if I could donate a case or two of wine that would be great. You really don't want to know what I told her.




Wow...I mean...Wow...asking money for cosmetic surgery?...some people just plain suck, how dare them?! thumbsdown.gif

GL79 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 10:14pm
post #27 of 39

CakeGrlPA,
Sorry to get off the subject again, but you can actually get the vidoes online. Last time I search on amazon.com but not all the series is there. I think theres three DVD's. They are not the originals, my friend one time said that they're still fighting over copyright issues and they haven't realeased the videos yet. I have the last DVD it's where she's all grown up. Also, if you have relatives in Mexico ask them if they can get them for you. They have a lot of video stores where they sell pirated vidoes, I'm not a fan of those but with her I'll make an exception.

Anyways, I wish you luck in your business.

MyDiwa Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 10:17pm
post #28 of 39

Ok the cosmetic surgery you really could stretch and think of a scenario where it might not be frivolous (like say someone's had a masectomy for medical reasons or something I don't know), But it might be fun to have someone give me a CASE or two of wine for my party in my expensive house???? Are you kidding me? Where's Mensch and her bat?!

ladyellam Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 11:24pm
post #29 of 39

I actually thought at first the same thing. Had it been for cancer survivors that would have been a totally different scenario. I asked them who were the recipients that would benefit and they told me "you know, just everyday women on the small side wanting something more." That's when I told them they would appreciate their breasts more if they worked for them. They didn't like that answer.

springlakecake Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 11:38pm
post #30 of 39

This is funny. I haven't gotten TOO many requests yet, but I definitely have been asked if I could do something for cheap because in their words "it will be GREAT advertising for you!" Everywhere my cakes go is great advertising...honestly. I love the comebacks though...I will keep them in my mind for future.

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