Felt obligated or guilted into donating money?

One of my biggest pet peeves is retailers asking me to donate or round my total up to whatever various charity they are sponsoring. I had been saying YES every single time for years. But, recently, it got me really thinking. I am a customer at their store spending my money on various items. What gives them the right to ask me for more? How do I even know what percentage of that money is really going to the charity?


I think my frustration with this practice stems from an encounter my son had at a soft pretzel shop in our local mall. He was there with a few of this friends. Since one of his most favorite things in the entire world is soft pretzels he stopped by to make a purchase. The cashier actually said “If you don’t donate to our kids with cancer cause kids will die” to him. Well, that is just horrifying to hear. Of course, he said yes as did his friends. When he came home and retold me the story I was outraged. How can anyone be okay with fear mongering children? I find it rather disgusting. We all care about children with cancer and want to help fight childhood cancer. But using scare tactics on kids can’t be the answer.


So, a few days ago during my holiday shopping, when I was asked again I replied “I already did before” even though I had not donated any $$$ in that store previously. Moments later, I realized what just happened. Since I couldn’t find the courage to directly say NO I have chosen to lie. So somehow in my mind lying to these complete strangers was easier than just saying NO. Why was I put in this situation?


This makes me wonder. They do this because they know that you are in a hurry and you will most likely to be embarrassed to say NO at the register with people behind you?


I appreciate the social work charities do and the need that they fill.  But I would like to be in the position to choose who I give money to without feeling intimidated or guilty.


I will continue to do my part by making donations to the charities of our choice. But I will not make forced donations anymore.


Were there times when you have felt obligated or guilted into donating money?


Merry Christmas everyone! ???



6 thoughts on “Felt obligated or guilted into donating money?

  1. For me, I’ve found it’s best to pleasantly and confidently say, “No thanks!” My confidence comes from the fact my wife and I already donate directly to the causes we value. Being pleasant comes from, well, just being pleasant. If on the rare occasion the clerk persists, I repeat “No thanks!” exactly the way I did the first time, with a smile and no signs of irritation. Not worth letting their request disturb my tranquility, right? I don’t feel I owe the clerk any additional explanation, so I never get into an explanation. I’ve been pleasant and I’ve been honest to a fellow human.

  2. I think your son’s experience at the mall is shocking. I would be inclined to stop by there to talk to the manager if I was at the mall for another reason (which I rarely am). I wonder if the manager or store owner knows that this is how the employees are soliciting donations (hopefuly it was not the owner who said that).

    I’m with you that we should all feel comfortable saying ‘no’ without having to justify the decision further or feeling guilty about it and it is both wise and prudent to be careful with who you donate money to. The ones that bug me are the charity organizations that collect money to just turn around and give it to another charity. Why wouldn’t I just give directly to the final organization myself? I’m more inclined to do that so I know it ends up in the right hands.

    It’s a tricky balance. I have said ‘yes’ and ‘no’ before but never experienced any negative reaction from either the cashier or others in line to be honest. Most people are just in a hurry to complete their transaction and get home – especially at the grocery store.

    1. Ha! I think you’re onto something in the grocery store. No one cares they just want to get out of there and get home ?

      I may be brave enough to stop by the mall next week and I think I will stop by the pretzel store and let them know what happened. Hopefully it was an isolated incident.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog again:)

  3. Hi, I agree this can be really disturbing sometimes. Donating someone for a good cause should be done when we actually want to feel like doing it. Not when somebody asks me to do. But many a times, we fail to say No to charity just because we don’t want to disappoint them.

    1. Yes! It is interesting that we feel like we are disappointing complete strangers. Thanks for stopping by:)

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