|Front Door open (Photo credit: cottonM)|
“Hi, I’m Sarah from NY PIRG, and I’d like to thank for your support.” (NY PIRG is New York Public Research Interest Group, a non-profit education and advocacy organization for environmental and health issues affecting NY state residents.)
“Now is not a good time, I’m in the middle of a big project.”
“Well this won’t take long, since you’re already familiar with us…” and the bubbly young college student at my front door continues without missing a beat.
Smart. She knows that if I close the door she won’t be able to come back. She also knows that if she keeps talking, she won’t leave without a check.
I don’t need to hear her pitch – in fact, I’m barely listening. Instead, I am focused on the fact that this articulate, bright, young adult has chosen to spend her summer as an intern, ringing doorbells, giving the same speech over and over again, sounding as excited as she can (and she is practically bouncing on my front porch), just to raise money for a cause she clearly believes in.
Having recently joined the board of directors for The Kids with Food Allergies Foundation, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what causes people to open up their checkbooks, and how they choose one cause over another.
And as I listen to the intern, it occurs to me – if you want a donation, send a student.
I can’t say no to the college student at my door any more than I can say no to the Girl Scout selling cookies (even though none of her cookies are gluten-free and I won’t be able to eat them). Enthusiasm and passion are part of the equation, but it’s also the innate desire that many of use have to help our children be successful. I can ignore the fund-raising letter that comes from a college President, but when a student from my alma mater calls and tells me how much my gift means to them, they’ll get my commitment for a donation.
At this point, it doesn’t matter whether I support the cause that Sarah is at my door to tell me about (and she’s know her stuff inside and out), she will leave with a check.
When being asked for a donation, what triggers you to say yes?