Tzedokoh solicitation by phone

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  • #602706
    The little I know

    I receive upwards of 10-20 calls a week at work soliciting tzedokoh donations. While I have utmost sympathy for the charitable needs in our community, and I have full awareness of the desperation that exists in our current economy, I still find these solicitations offensive. We are already inundated with tzedokoh requests in every shul, we receive typically 15 pieces of “schnorring” mail every week, and we are indebted to many organizations and mosdos due to direct connections.

    Besides interrupting my work day (I get all the calls at home anyway, and the duplication is valueless), I am angered at the average opening line. “You were so nice to donate $18 dollars last year. Can we count on you to increase that donation this year?” The continuing efforts are about keeping the figure steady, but at the very least, pledging. They also beg, but really beg for my credit card numbers. They do NOT accept no for an answer, even though I tell (truthfully) that I am way overextended in my tzedokoh giving. Here’s the beef. I do not know the calling organization, have never heard of them before, and have never donated anything to them. They begin with a classic lie about having given them in the past.

    Tzedokoh is a wonderful mitzvah, and it is upsetting to see it being caked over with lies and tricky sales pitches. Perhaps some of these solicitors are scams, but most are probably legitimate organizations. With whose haskomoh are they scheming and using dishonesty to shlep money from someone who may not have it?

    The envelopes in the mail “As per our conversation” are likewise irritating. The lie is printed on the outside of the envelope. Can this be stopped?


    Many times the caller works with a telemarketing company that takes a percentage of your donation, per their agreement with the tzedaka organization.


    I understand your beef-i chuckle at the repeat requests to lower their starting number-boy, charity collection has started using real ‘collection tactics’. It is a sign of the times-don’t sweat it, just say firmly, we are sorry we are not in a position to help your organization, you are welcome to send me an envelope. Thank you for your efforts and have a wonderful day-if they interrupt, which they will, just say it again and hang up. You feel bad because you have a yiddishe neshama and you don’t want to mix tzedaka with marketing, but that is what has happened, and you have to politely resort to the same tactics. I seriously think that this could be ‘onaah’ on the part of the organizations because it hurts to have to say you can’t give, so try very hard to avoid feeling hurt or bad.


    I’ve made the same mistake in the past- giving a real phone number.


    Feif Un

    That’s what caller id is for. If you don’t recognize the number don’t answer


    I get approximately 10 such calls A DAY. In fact I just got one TWO MINUTES AGO!!! They have NO RACHMANUS. You could be in middle of washing dishes, cooking, bathing. (Actually that’s what brings them on – I mean it!) You have to interrupt whatever you’re doing and contend with the latest:

    <pasue>, <slow motion> “Hello Mr./Mrs. So and So, I’m calling on behalf of <non-Jewish articulation> XXXX. Could we kindly count on your support this year for $250? <Wait for negative response> OK we understand you’re currently going through financial difficulties. Could we count on you for $250?…”



    I tell them the truth, that a) I do not recall ever pledging $100 to anyone, because I don’t have it and b) send me an envelope, and if I am able to I will try to send SOMEthing. The more they try to pin me down to a number, the less inclined I am to give to them. I get that people have to raise funds, but derech eretz should come before they make that call.

    tomim tihye

    So refreshing that people still have a conscience and feel bad saying “Kish!”

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