Personal Finance

Door-to-door canvasser

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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
9049 posts
4884 upvotes

Door-to-door canvasser

So I was at a friend's house yesterday when someone knocked at the door. My friend went to answer the door only to be greeted by a door-to-door canvasser from a large, extremely well-known national charity. She started introducing herself and giving her presentation and my friend acknowledged that he, too, had done his share of canvassing and knew what it can be like. The canvasser suddenly became agitated, almost ready to be argumentative, and then broke into tears. My friend was very startled by this behaviour and asked if she was okay. She then said she was having a bad day, left and sat down on the curb in front of his house totally crying for all the neighbours to see. This was very disturbing to both of us and seemed like very odd behaviour for a door-to-door canvasser.

My friend and I looked at each other thinking what to do. My friend grabbed a tissue and went outstide to talk to her. My friend ended up making a donation but was quite disturbed by the whole incident and actually felt that this is not how the donation process should work. I don't think it is fair to this canvasser nor the people that answer the door to have to be put through this type of stress. (Although my friend did not say anything to the canvasser, both of us actually have a couple of issues with some of the political choices this organization has made in the past and would probably like to contribute to organizations that are more aligned with our ethics and not what we believe to be as questionable politics but yesterday sure did not seem like the time to bring up this topic for discussion.) It seems to me that this very large and well known charity should get their stuff together and not be sending out people door to door who are not cut out for this type of work. I don't expect anybody who reads this to be able to do anything but I thought if I shared it, it might make me feel less disturbed.
13 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2012
1041 posts
475 upvotes
Trois-Rivières, QC
What's the name of the "large, extremely well-known national charity" in question?
That would help in case other people have seen the same pattern before.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
8514 posts
1669 upvotes
Was it her first day? I find when canvassing (politically in my case), the first day is always the hardest, but after that it's pretty much "who cares what the people at the door think or say to me? On to the next one!"
Money Smarts Blog wrote: I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
9049 posts
4884 upvotes
airodyssey wrote: What's the name of the "large, extremely well-known national charity" in question?
That would help in case other people have seen the same pattern before.
I feel like it might be inappropriate to say and there is always the possibility that the canvasser may see or hear of this post which may not fare well for my friend. However, it would be interesting to see if this story causes anyone to say that they have had the same thing happen to them.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
13002 posts
9929 upvotes
Edmonton
How is the organization supposed to know that someone is "having a bad day"? Unless the organization suggested to their canvassers that they put on an act like this, I fail to see the point in blaming them.

Second, you and your friend could man up. You can be sympathetic to someone's emotional state without trying to buy their happiness with a donation. Lending an emotional should was a great thing to do, and far more valuable to that person's emotional state (I suspect) than a financial contribution.

C
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 22, 2014
536 posts
273 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
I'm not sure how to feel about this thread. She was probably just having a bad day. Maybe you should just be sympathetic to her instead of worrying about yourself and how it apparently caused you stress.

Unless you think she was faking and duped you out of a donation, I am not sure what the point of this thread is?
Deal Fanatic
Mar 24, 2008
6208 posts
2607 upvotes
Toronto
Looks like someone got conned into making a "donation".
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Deal Addict
May 15, 2013
1858 posts
521 upvotes
Montreal
choclover wrote:
airodyssey wrote: What's the name of the "large, extremely well-known national charity" in question?
That would help in case other people have seen the same pattern before.
I feel like it might be inappropriate to say and there is always the possibility that the canvasser may see or hear of this post which may not fare well for my friend. However, it would be interesting to see if this story causes anyone to say that they have had the same thing happen to them.
The reason you created the thread is because you think all was acted and the company is doing this with many canvassers to get money. If that the case, there is no way she would know who you are as she would have done the same act 20 times per day so far.
Deal Addict
Nov 6, 2015
1045 posts
620 upvotes
Guelph, ON
choclover wrote: It seems to me that this very large and well known charity should get their stuff together and not be sending out people door to door who are not cut out for this type of work.
You are going to make a gross generalization about their hiring practices based on one isolated incident?

Besides which, how is any organization to know for sure who is "cut out" for the work? People quit jobs or get fired all the time when, despite the best intentions of all involved, it turns out they were not "cut out" for the job.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 24, 2013
6241 posts
2987 upvotes
Kingston, ON
iamthebest wrote:
choclover wrote:
airodyssey wrote: What's the name of the "large, extremely well-known national charity" in question?
That would help in case other people have seen the same pattern before.
I feel like it might be inappropriate to say and there is always the possibility that the canvasser may see or hear of this post which may not fare well for my friend. However, it would be interesting to see if this story causes anyone to say that they have had the same thing happen to them.
The reason you created the thread is because you think all was acted and the company is doing this with many canvassers to get money. If that the case, there is no way she would know who you are as she would have done the same act 20 times per day so far.
Not to mention, how would it not "fare well" for the friend? Is the charity volunteer going to leave a bag of dog poop on their porch and light it on fire? Call a mob hit? Doubt it.

As far as charities are concerned, all donations gained by door-to-door are additive, so they don't need to be that picky in who they send around. Same with political canvassing. They do it because it works, but I'd rather do my own research and donate to a charity of my own choosing in a larger amount than give to these various door-to-door or retail checkout causes.
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
47124 posts
7525 upvotes
Richmond Hill
iamthebest wrote:
choclover wrote:
airodyssey wrote: What's the name of the "large, extremely well-known national charity" in question?
That would help in case other people have seen the same pattern before.
I feel like it might be inappropriate to say and there is always the possibility that the canvasser may see or hear of this post which may not fare well for my friend. However, it would be interesting to see if this story causes anyone to say that they have had the same thing happen to them.
The reason you created the thread is because you think all was acted and the company is doing this with many canvassers to get money. If that the case, there is no way she would know who you are as she would have done the same act 20 times per day so far.
Another reason could be because he thinks the company is giving these canvassers a lot of stress in how much amount of donations they have to meet per day, stressing them out. At least that's how I first read it.
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
3489 posts
1231 upvotes
Ottawa
I've collected door-to-door on several occasions. I don't do it anymore because people really don't like it, many times people are home but not answering the door. There was never any pressure about amounts collected, they're just grateful anyone will volunteer to do it.

I've never heard of paid door-to-door canvassers, only volunteer. I always donate when someone comes to my door, especially when it's students (and they always go in twos, for safety I suppose), because it is a volunteer activity and I know how unpleasant it can be (bad weather, rude people, no one gives).

I don't donate when organizations phone, because I think those are paid to do so, and I already give enough in monthly amounts to my chosen charities.
Member
Apr 2, 2016
482 posts
318 upvotes
Well, if this “charity“ is anything like Telus, their canvassers are treated like dogs and paid on commission only. You don't sell, you don't eat. If that is the case, then you can probably understand why she was crying.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
17690 posts
5753 upvotes
London
OttawaGardener wrote: ...
I've never heard of paid door-to-door canvassers, only volunteer. I always donate when someone comes to my door, especially when it's students (and they always go in twos, for safety I suppose), because it is a volunteer activity and I know how unpleasant it can be (bad weather, rude people, no one gives). ..
I don't give to door/phone canvassers anymore. I will ask for a website to make direct donations. I have the impression most door/phone canvassers are 3rd party paid companies hired by the charities

https://www.thestar.com/news/investigat ... _mess.html
Charities in Canada raise money by using volunteers, their own paid staff or third-party fundraising companies. While volunteer fundraising is the least costly, it's sometimes hard to get volunteers. So charities, particularly big ones, often turn to a third-party company to knock on doors, stop people in the street, telemarket or run events.

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