Pixel Tracker

Saturday, November 17 , 2018, 10:12 pm | Fog/Mist 53º


John Daly: How to Say ‘No’ to Donation Requests

If you work in an office, are a parent or just plain have friends, you’ve most often been tapped to “donate to a worthy cause.” Not once, or twice, but multiple times on a regular basis. I don’t know about you, but I literally cringe when I have to disappoint someone who asks for my help.

First of all, I am in no way suggesting that you should not give to charity. We all should give when we can to support others. But the operative words are “when we can.” And, if you are like me, when “we can’t” because money is tight or you just aren’t inclined to do so, you feel terrible. You may not always know what to say in those situations.

Because I never like to let anyone down, I read with interest Julie Blais Comeau’s recent article, “Sticky Situations: Saying No to Charity,” in The Huffington Post Canada. She offered the following guidelines that I felt were helpful.

» In times like this, and actually at all times, you should respect yourself and be true to your budget foremost. Set your own limits. Make them annual, seasonal, or monthly, as you wish.

» Define your charitable objectives and have a clear set of giving rules. Pick a charity of choice or make a prioritized list of favorites. This way, when you allocate within your budget, you will have a personal code of giving for the causes that you identify and empathize with. Should your financial situation change, you will be able to refer back to your objectives and adjust accordingly.

» Remember, it is always appropriate to say that you have an annual charity budget and that you have already allocated it to your charity of choice. Businesses do this all the time. Use the same principle for your donations.

» You may add that you would be happy to consider them next year. If you so wish, you may even want to ask to be reminded in advance.

» You can always offer to contribute your talents and your time, in lieu of money.

» Honesty also works. When, and if you ever choose to go that route, in the case of a charity that you had supported for many years and simply cannot afford to or do not wish to donate this year, simply say: “I really believe in your cause and was always proud to support it. Unfortunately, this year I will have to decline but, I do hope to continue to support it next year.”

» Don’ feel guilty. Philanthropic giving is a personal choice, so no guilt should be associated when declining to give.

In addition, if you find that you are being asked at work to the point that you are beginning to feel uncomfortable, and you are going through tough times financially, Comeau suggests you speak to HR and inform them privately of your situation. They may be aware of similar situations within your team and may, as a result, implement a “No solicitation at work” policy.

Remember, you do have a choice to give, to go to a fundraiser or to participate, or not. Just because you are asked does not mean you must say yes. HOWEVER, if you are invited to a fundraiser or an event of any kind that sends an RSVP and you can’t or do not wish to attend, don’t just throw the invite in the trash. RESPOND! Please do not display bad behavior just because you do not want to attend.

The point of these suggestions is to set up honest objectives to accommodate charitable giving while supporting the causes closest to your heart. In that way, you can continue to help others and not feel badly about not being able to always support everyone.

The Art of Saying ‘No’ in Other Situations

(John Demartini video)

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or to get his book. If you have questions about business or social etiquette, just ask John at [email protected]. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjrClick here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Elizabeth Wagner
Elizabeth Wagner
"I consider myself to be an up front and honest agent and willing to talk my clients out of purchasing a property that isn’t right for them or won’t meet their needs in a year or two."

Full Profile >