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Dear Street Canvassers, Stop.

Tell Street Canvassers to Stop Bothering You Without Saying a Word

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Listen—I know your plight.

I've defended you to my friends and coworkers for years. I've made the case that you work for righteous causes, that organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU need to scrap for money however they can, that the urbanites who resent you striking up conversations in public (gasp!) would be the first to panic if the organizations you're working for were to shut down for lack of funds.

But I can't defend you anymore. You guys are like kudzu: everywhere, aggressive, invasive.

There are swarms of you nowadays—not just a sprinkle in front of Nordstrom like in the old days—but packs of you roaming downtown sidewalks, in neighborhoods at every major intersection, outside every damn grocery store. Your vests change depending on the charity of the day and there's a different stack of paperwork on your clipboard, but your tactics are constant. "Do you have a second for the environment?" you ask in a friendly lilt. But then you don't take no for an answer, you stalk people as they walk, you hector them from down the block, you become petulant if we don't stop.

To be honest, I do have a second for the environment. I give money and time to Environment Washington—and to Planned Parenthood, PIRG, the DNC, and the ACLU. And I used to be a door-to-door canvasser myself. But the scores of mercenary canvassers—the ones who work for firms that simply switch uniforms to suit the charity of the day (red vests for the children, blue vests for the whales, green vests for MY MONEY)—who hassle me on the street aren't getting another penny from me. So, actually, I do have a second for the environment; I just don't have a second for you.

I don't mean to be rude. You're just doing your job. But there's a reason you're dubbed "chuggers" (charity muggers): Your increasing aggressiveness feels predatory. No means no—so stop asking. And to the folks at the charitable organizations that hire these canvassers: This fundraising tactic, the relentless street harassment, is now a liability to your own cause.

I'm done. And now when you approach me, street canvassers, I'm going to hand you a card.

Based on a similar card in Portland, it will explain why I'm not talking to you. We went ahead and made a .pdf of the cards so you could print them out at home (and we printed them in every copy of The Stranger) so folks can cut them out, carry them in their wallet or bag, and hand them to you. We mean well. And you do, too. But we've had it, street canvassers. Just stop. recommended

 

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146
Firstly some distinctions need to be made. I have been involved in Face to face canvassing on and off for the past 10 years. Why? Because I love the cause. Now I DO NOT work for a profit making marketing company fundraising on behalf of the charity. I have only ever worked in hous, which means working directly for the organisation, so the figure of 90% not going to the charity is so far off the mark that it's ludicrous. In fact the great majority goes to the charity because I work for the charity. Do any do you guys realise this distinction? No. Secondly outside of work time I spend countless hours volunteering towards the cause. Finally, at the end of the day, if you're not interested just say no thanks. Be polite, is it that hard? If any of you seriously spent any time doing this job you would not be able to handle the levels of abuse, anger and rudeness directed at us all day Long! And yet you find it so hard to deal with a brief interaction with a stranger. Now I'm fully aware that some canvassers go way too far, but I have always stressed to the people that I am coaching and training to treat everyone with respect and to never be pushy. When it comes down to it, we are offering people a chance to be a part of something important. A viice against injustice, greed, intolerance and down right criminality. So maybe instead of taking your anger and frustration out on individuals( that's right we're not all the same) who may have a high level of passion to help make a difference in this world, maybe you could start putting some of your energy into tackling the reasons we're out there in the first place. I and others like me would love nothing more than to never need to do this work again. Hopefully some of you can see things from this point of view
Posted by Theshaman on July 22, 2014 at 1:15 AM · Report this
145
As someone who's worked as a street canvasser, the majority of you guys are wrong. I worked for an organization that was very strict on making sure there was no harassment. We didn't change our vests for the "charity of the day", we changed our vests depending on what organization was hiring us. Normally only one at a time. We also don't get 90% of the money we raised, we were paid first, the money later went to the organization. One hundred percent of it. Because of us, Planned Parenthood ran the most successful voter outreach of any organization. When you donate to a street fundraiser, you allow us to continue the public outreach that wouldn't have existed before. Not as money people know who the ACLU is as you think. And when you tell us no, we understand that you have a life, we don't know it, we're not bothered by it. Maybe you should be less bothered too. We already work directly for companies that exploit us, with terrible working conditions. Don't make us hate the general public in addition. Just smile and say no thanks.
Posted by Vdog93 on November 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
144
The liberal fundraising racket was a sleazy way to make a living. It went against everything in my nature, but it was all I could find.

Companies like Grassroots Campaigns Incorporated, DialogueDirect (part of The Dialog Group Ltd.) and Fund for the Public Interest Incorporated, (formerly known as the Fund for Public Interest Research Incorporated) provide the service of converting liberal issues which average citizens might care about into a dollar amount. Such issues might include the environment, women's rights, third world poverty, animal rights, LGBT rights, eliminating organizations branded as “hate groups” with lawsuits, and campaigns for Democratic presidential candidates such as John Kerry and Barack Obama. They do this by sending people out on the street with a clipboard to talk pedestrians into giving them contributions.

Not only did I work for all of the companies I just mentioned, I eventually ended up in charge of training people how do the dirty work of convincing good-hearted people to part with their credit card information. I know exactly how it works, because I was counted among the top five best fundraisers nationwide by Grassroots Campaigns Incorporated in 2010. I bought a new couch and a $1200 television that summer because I made GCI enough money that they could afford to match what I had raised above my $140 daily quota up to 30%. It was more money than I had ever had at one time in my entire life, and it was just the crumbs they were throwing my way so I wouldn't think too hard about what they were making for themselves.

Not only do I know firsthand how lucrative working with non-profits, public interest research groups, and politicians can be, I also know how exploitative it is-- and not just of the people being convinced to give, but of the workers they get to go out and do it. These corporations put up tear-off flyers up all over town with “JOBS” written a bold letters, advertising promising paychecks in excess of $1000 to those who can cut it raising dough for the same political leaders who destroyed the job market to the point that people are willing to stand outside bothering strangers in the heat, cold, rain, and snow to scrape by.

They also bombard job message boards for people in creative professions with offers of instant hires, attracting struggling artists, starving students, out of work actors, semi-homeless college dropouts, and recent college grads who have loans to pay and no way to fulfill their financial responsibilities. Most of the people employed to do this fundraising work weren't as good at it as me, or as persistent. New hires were usually too exhausted and used up to continue after the first week or so. Even if they stuck with it, the company would have to let them go if their numbers weren't good enough.

I was part of a class action law suit against the Fund for Public Interest Research for exploiting its workers for unpaid overtime. The Fund unlawfully characterized its employees as “exempt” in order to deprive them of overtime pay. They settled out of court without an official admission of guilt, and I got a check long after the hardship caused by lack of those few, much needed dollars had already come and gone.

This is the true face of liberal political organizing. After these and many other first hand experiences with leftism, I have to say that I have been moving further and further right. Occasionally this puts me in some pretty eccentric company, but I'll take them over my old bosses.
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Posted by Former Chugger on September 24, 2013 at 2:44 AM · Report this
143
Just decided to become a canvasser because It sounded like a challenge and I have never done anything like that. It a 3 days I figured out you cant do this job good if you dont believe in a cause. I actually completely understand its disturbing but at the end of the day children are saved and people leaving with a big smile on their faces feeling like a heroes. So seems like it worths it. I can probably handle a couple of cards or *fuck of* for that. Thank you Seattle )
Posted by Lera on July 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM · Report this
142
Greenpeace spends $5 million on employment wages. The Greenpeace street canvass raised $42 million last year to save the oceans and rainforests you use everyday to breathe oxygen. The numbers speak for themselves.

Street canvassing is not a new idea. Any newspaperboy worth his salt would do everything he could to sell his stack of papers. It was respected work, child labor yes, but respected work.

Next time you see a young, in-debt, post-college individual that can't get another job opportunity take a minute to put yourself in their shoes and maybe you'll also be compassionate enough to take a minute to hear them out.
Posted by isiahcarlsmith on June 13, 2013 at 8:35 AM · Report this
141
OK, for what this is worth this is coming from a person who has worked both door to door and street canvassing for almost 2 years and in fact held lead positions at three org's here in Seattle. So do know that I truly did believe these org's were good worthy and caused driven org's that there was some good to what they were trying to doing with the contributions and their effort for change but sadly I was a fool to have wasted my time as especially because I have worked for some of the largest and supposed best in the state and world and in the end they really aren't what they say they represent nor do they take care of the employees most of the time. In the end I know there is NO chance in hell I'll ever work for any of these organizations again. SO with that I truly and sincerely apologies for bothering anyone or taking your money for what was miss-represented to me and in turn what I represented to you as a worthy cause. If they are on your charitable list please donate online or send a check! BUT DO know that canvassers’ are very hard working and wonderful people who I have tremendous respect for but that it’s the organization who I take issue here. Please be respectful and yes strong eye contact and a polite yet strong no is all you have to say to any of the good one’s to avoid them. So please fellow canvassers your working to cover your pay and if you quota out your gone! Investigate the organization ask smart questions about growth opportunities and Good Luck you'll make a great salesperson or activist someday!
Posted by HappyGilmore-R-Less on February 17, 2013 at 10:21 PM · Report this
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Wretched Harmony, I don't want to start a flame war, but you have your numbers switched. Generally speaking, at LEAST 80% of the donation goes to the charity, not the canvassing organization.
Posted by Carljp on January 9, 2013 at 6:45 PM · Report this
139
Canvassing is one of the hardest jobs out there. Most canvassers are good people behind good causes. There are some that use agressive and condescending tactics, but most just want to sign you up for a decent and legitimate charity. A simple smile and a "no, thank you" will do. They're people doing their jobs, even if it means standing on the sidewalk and (usually) politely greeting you. They work brutally hard for their cause and should be commended for that fact alone.
Posted by Carljp on January 9, 2013 at 6:37 PM · Report this
138
I aleays tell the greenpeace chuggers to fuck right off. Theyre out there standing on a sidewalk which is the product of mining at the same time they denounce any form of resource extraction. Theyre the definition of hypocrite.
Posted by Libertarians rule on January 5, 2013 at 6:03 PM · Report this
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Well, Former Canvasser, that's not true at all: according to some studies, DialogueDirect, Grassroots and other street canvassing organizations have some of the lowest percentages of cents on the dollar that actually make it to the charity. That's not speculation, it's fact. http://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/charities/… The money that people hand over isn't going to where they think it will; the money the charities use to finance canvassers is, again, taken away from other things that could be more important. I'm not donating to Planned Parenthood to give them the opportunity to carry out street harassment.

It's difficult to get donations as a street canvasser because people don't like being harassed on the street and handing over financial details to random strangers with clipboards. It's that simple. I care about the world and the problems therein. I just don't care about you, street canvassers.

Assuming that someone doesn't care about charity if they refuse to talk to you is disingenuous at best. Assuming that people are so stupid that they won't know about charities unless someone actually stops them on the street is again short sighted.

I personally will no longer give to any organization that uses street canvassers, so approaching me is the very best way to ensure I will never support your particular organization. That's one of the reasons I support Sea Shepherds over Greenpeace; Feed the Children over Save the Children, etc. The bottom line is that there are other charities out there who do not feel the need to use this for of marketing.
Posted by Sick of Canvassers on December 26, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
136
For those of you defending street canvassers, it's really pretty simple.

I hate them. Maybe they're perfectly nice people, but I can't stand that they're random strangers who try to talk to me on the street. So I give them nothing, and say nothing to them. Why? Because if we stop giving them money, they will go away. All you suckers who give them money are only making it possible for them to still exist.
Posted by alguna_rubia on December 8, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
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It seems obvious enough to label everyone's complaints against canvassers under the large banner of: first world problems
Posted by Former Canvasser on December 7, 2012 at 1:07 AM · Report this
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Guess what, 100 percent of the money that people on the street or door give goes right to the organization the canvasser is raising money for. The organization, let's say Oxfam or Planned Parenthood, then take money out of their fund-raising budget and pay the canvassing office. If you've never canvassed then you have no idea how difficult it is to get people to give substantially to these charities, and they're not all going to give online or out of their own freewill, a lot of the donors have to be convinced by a person who happens to be working as hard as they can to get someone involved. These NGOs aren't idiots, they understand the importance of getting people involved in giving who aren't. That's why you see canvassers out there. Money is power, and while a lot of Americans spend useless amounts of money on frivolous consumerist things, the statistic is that Americans give more to charity on average than any other country in the world, so dig deep and give to a canvasser already if you haven't. And be happy you don't have to convince every random stranger to give a shit about something else than consumerist wish fulfillment.
Posted by Former Canvasser on December 7, 2012 at 12:59 AM · Report this
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Watch this video and understand: It's shit canvassers say after work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1MUkFRKz…
Posted by Former Canvasser on December 7, 2012 at 12:49 AM · Report this
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Watch this video: It's shit canvassers say after work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1MUkFRKz…
Posted by Former Canvasser on December 7, 2012 at 12:46 AM · Report this
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pssst...heads up. If you're working as a canvasser, you're hired by an agency or company that has a contract with the charity. These staffing companies are FOR PROFIT. Guess what, guys? You're working for The Man too! And you're doing these "good works" for money, not out of the goodness of your heart!

Real grassroots organizing is about volunteers getting together and taking action--not people who are paid to carry out street harassment.

I could cite the numerous studies from think tanks like Guidestar and the Center on Philanthropy that have pointed out that direct solicitations (telemarketing and canvassing) are NOT the most effective, but ARE the methods likely to deter and irritate potential donors.

I could also point out that money used to pay canvassers is money that is taken from the cause itself. Successful charities generally have large numbers of volunteers to assist in fundraising efforts; canvassers are an extra expense.

It doesn't matter, though. The ends do not justify the means. Canvassers in person tend to have the same entitled attitudes they show here: that they are the center of the world, that people are just waiting to hear their wisdom, and that anyone who refuses them is a Bad Person (tm). It gets old very quickly.
Posted by Savitri on March 28, 2012 at 8:08 PM · Report this
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Children's International is the worst. Who out there who works in Westlake has not been bothered by Shay? I already work for a non-profit and donate regularly to help children. I explained this to Shay and asked him for more information on his charity. He refused to provide any and continued to bother me, after I'd said no many times. Why would I donate money to something I know nothing about? I now change my route or go somewhere else for lunch when I see him on the street, because he continues to bother me.

It only takes a few bad apples to ruin the bunch - Children International canvassers are aggressive, rude, and pushy. I will NEVER give them money. There are better ways to help children in need.
Posted by lalalalostinseattle on January 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
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WHY DOES EVERYONE ON HERE ACCEPT THE STATISTICS GIVEN BY POSTERS AS TRUE, NON PROFITS PAY FUNDRAISERS, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD HAVE NO FUNDS, THE FUNDRAISERS NEED JOBS SO THEY DON"T HAVE TO WORK FOR THE SOULLESS CORPORATIONS THAT ARE CAUSING POVERTY, THE FUNDRAISERS MUST MEET A QUOTA AND MAKE THE CHARITY MONEY, WHY WOULD A CHARITY PAY PEOPLE TO LOSE THEM MONEY THAT IS RIDICULOUS DO RESEARCH...

ALSO, NOT ALL CANVASSING ORGS ARE THE SAME, A LOT OF THEM GIVE ALMOST ALL THE MONEY THEY RAISE TO THE CHARITY AND ONLY KEEP ENOUGH MONEY to ALLOW THEMSELVES THE OPPORTUNITY TO KEEP STAYING ON THE STREET RAISING MONEY, DO YOU THINK THE KID WHO GETS WATER AS A RESULT OF THESE PEOPLE GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONAL DISCOMFORT AT HAVING TO SAY NO TO A PERSON ON THE STREET, THIS IS ABSURD AND A PERFECT EXPRESSION OF OUR SOCIETY AND ITS SELFISH LACK OF EMPATHY TOWARDS ITS FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS. WOW
Posted by funboyhappypants on January 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Report this
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WHY DOES EVERYONE ON HERE ACCEPT THE STATISTICS GIVEN BY POSTERS AS TRUE
Posted by funboyhappypants on January 11, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
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Canvassing is the most cost effective way to raise money! Why does everyone automatically believe #3's post is an accurate depiction of fund allocation, do your own research you trolls! A large reason charities exist is because of grass roots movements!
Posted by funboyhappypants on January 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
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Some of the charities, like Children inernational, over 80% of funding goes to programs. So when people comment on here and say that 10% goes to the charity, its dishonest and harmful and potentially going to deprive someone from food or water, it's that simple. this is called a white person problem.."i can't believe people are trying to do something that is inherently good, can't they see I'm watching netflix on my ipod!" Grow up, man. Do you realize how silly you sound? Here's what you sound like, you sound like an infant. Who cares, just say you don't want to talk, they're trying and succeeding at getting FOOD into EMPTY STOMACHS.
Posted by funboyhappypants on January 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM · Report this
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this is called a white person problem.."i can't believe people are trying to do something that is inherently good, can't they see I'm watching netflix on my ipod!" Grow up, man. Do you realize how silly you sound? Here's what you sound like, you sound like an infant. Who cares, just say you don't want to talk, they're trying and succeeding at getting FOOD into EMPTY STOMACHS.
Posted by funboyhappypants on January 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
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I think the misconception here is that rejecting a canvasser = rejecting charitable donations. Not so.

When I ignore a canvasser or tell them "no thanks," I'm rejecting invasive, objectionable, high-pressure sales tactics. I'm rejecting making snap decisions about handing over personal information and/or money to a random stranger on the street. If I choose to give to a charity or support a cause I can do that all on my own, without being heckled by a canvasser.

Also, a lot of these people's tactics do border on street harassment. Putting your hands on someone? Blocking their path? Following them down the street? Fundraising for charity does not make any of those things okay.
Posted by Savitri on December 3, 2011 at 10:41 PM · Report this
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I like the pdf, it makes the point, in a nice way. The panhandlers in bright pink (cough) Planned Parenthood. They work two on the street, block the the sidewalk, and jump in front of you so you can't pass by. These aggressive tactics really beyond annoying. That little card is totally appropriate!
Posted by oceanpoetry on September 15, 2011 at 5:55 PM · Report this
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@45 HAHA Shay is one of my best friends. It may help (or not) you to know that Shay is the top sponsorship salesman in that company in the nation. He sold me.
Posted by rileytaylor on June 26, 2011 at 12:56 AM · Report this
121


Activism, Inc: How the Outsourcing of G… Stanford University Press, 2006.

Posted by Maggie on June 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM · Report this
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@The Wretched Harmony: You're playing with a straw man here. No one said the alternative was to give the money to bums who may use it for drugs. The alternative the author proposed was to give the money directly to organizations you support, instead of to the chuggers.
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on June 17, 2011 at 3:10 PM · Report this
119
Geez do people in Seattle not have iPods? Put in your ear buds, pop on your shades, and just keep walking.
Posted by chi_type on June 17, 2011 at 8:37 AM · Report this
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Where's Janine Garafalo (re: "Heather Mooney" from Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion) when we need her??

Posted by auntie grizelda on June 15, 2011 at 11:02 PM · Report this
A Magnolia Heron 117
Yeah! Lets print out stuff on paper that espouses our view on a controversial issue and then give it out to people who dont want it. Wait, that is what the canvassers are doing in the first place. Talk about a lame ass, eye for an eye philosophy applied to something as ridiculous as dealing with canvassers. Get a fucking grip and stop wasting paper. Say "no thanks" and move the fuck on. Jesus christ. This idea fucking sucks.
Posted by A Magnolia Heron on June 15, 2011 at 9:03 AM · Report this
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WOW. You guys can't be serious. I am ashamed as an American to read this article.

As a person from seattle who's signed up for EVERY charity i donate to on the street because of my good experiences and my research of their efficiency, you mr holden, make me laugh and want to punch you in the face at the same time.You are a very small percentage of seattle. this is the most generous city in the USA. Most people i know who donate have done so on the street very happily and have been proud supporters for years both of our local fundraisers, their passion, and their causes, and I happily greet them when I see them.

There are street canvassers out there who are actually really fun and respectful, I talk to them regularly.
They're non-comissioned and most of them fully support their cause and don't treat you badly no matter what, you're just blowing up your frustration. How is it such a progressive city has people lumping all professionals into one category, i'm so sorry to burst your bubble guys but there are bad businessman and supreme ones in every field. And every one of you who is going to refuse to talk to ANY street rep because of bad experiences, u obviously are not serious about wanting to help anyway and will use this as a crutch rather then telling the aggressive ones to fuck off and listening to the respectful and RESPECTED ones. Some of these issues are actually very pressing, and we can do our part to solve them, but we also should choose wisely which charities and fundraising companies to support. That's my thought on street fundraisers.

I actually looked up the way the non-commissioned fundraising companies work, they have a zero tolerance policy for rude behavior, and these guys never cost the charity money, in fact they bring in more help than any other type of fundraising. use your head, if they did do you think a NON-PROFIT would have them out on the street as representation? COME ON. I don't however support the commissioned fundraisers, their companies do actually cost the charity money.

So mr. holden Way to encourage a healthy society, way to battle passive aggressive bs with a coupon, that's not passive aggressive at all. do u feel your balls shrinking? i think u announced the answer to that yourself in your stinkin article. yes. some are fundraisers are good and some are bad. so how dare you try to speak for all of seattle just because you can't stand up for yourself. take your own passive aggressive bs and eat it. that's putting it nicely. u wanted to battle aggression with aggression.

Meanwhile, I will continue to support the people who do their job well in representing a cause i support, because they are sent out there BY THAT CHARITY precisely to talk to the people who do give a shit. I will continue to tell the assholes to fuck off, and address the problem where it matters, just like in any other situation. I encourage the rest of the WORLD, not just this city, to do the same. Please don't shun an entire organization/cause because of a personal day-to-day discomfort that can easily be overcome. That's just so so selfish. and petty. and you're a jackass and a sheep if you do.

To all of you who are upset or feel misinformed- do your research and grow a pair. u live in the land of the free.

And to you mr. holden, next time you deal with a shitty fundraiser, find out who their employer is, contact said employer AND the charity, and DO something productive about it.
Don't you dare try to represent the good people of seattle with the very passive aggressive, hindering bullshit that u bothered to complain about, the well-mannered fundraisers are good people just like us to take the job very seriously actually make a huge positive change for the charity that hired them, so you are also saying you won't support their number one way of sustainability. Congratulations, you are a hypocrite and it bothers me that u even live in my beloved city. You obviously just wanted to complain, and didn't really want to solve the problem. You have lost any respect I could have had for you as an individual, and i know I'm not the only one who's pissed you opened your mouth and threw up rather than being constructive. way to go. And you, Stranger, growing up i used to respect your newspaper and it's sharp progressive opinions, lately I've seen more and more self-centered emotional bitching articles that I wish I hadn't taken the time to read. This one takes the cake.
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Posted by AlvinM on June 15, 2011 at 1:29 AM · Report this
115
WOW. You guys can't be serious. I am ashamed as an American to read this article.

As a person from seattle who's signed up for EVERY charity i donate to on the street because of my good experiences and my research of their efficiency, you mr holden, make me laugh and want to punch you in the face at the same time.You are a very small percentage of seattle. this is the most generous city in the USA. Most people i know who donate have done so on the street very happily and have been proud supporters for years both of our local fundraisers, their passion, and their causes, and I happily greet them when I see them.

There are street canvassers out there who are actually really fun and respectful, I talk to them regularly.
They're non-comissioned and most of them fully support their cause and don't treat you badly no matter what, you're just blowing up your frustration. How is it such a progressive city has people lumping all professionals into one category, i'm so sorry to burst your bubble guys but there are bad businessman and supreme ones in every field. And every one of you who is going to refuse to talk to ANY street rep because of bad experiences, u obviously are not serious about wanting to help anyway and will use this as a crutch rather then telling the aggressive ones to fuck off and listening to the respectful and RESPECTED ones. Some of these issues are actually very pressing, and we can do our part to solve them, but we also should choose wisely which charities and fundraising companies to support. That's my thought on street fundraisers.

I actually looked up the way the non-commissioned fundraising companies work, they have a zero tolerance policy for rude behavior, and these guys never cost the charity money, in fact they bring in more help than any other type of fundraising. use your head, if they did do you think a NON-PROFIT would have them out on the street as representation? COME ON. I don't however support the commissioned fundraisers, their companies do actually cost the charity money.

So mr. holden Way to encourage a healthy society, way to battle passive aggressive bs with a coupon, that's not passive aggressive at all. do u feel your balls shrinking? i think u announced the answer to that yourself in your stinkin article. yes. some are fundraisers are good and some are bad. so how dare you try to speak for all of seattle just because you can't stand up for yourself. take your own passive aggressive bs and eat it. that's putting it nicely. u wanted to battle aggression with aggression.

Meanwhile, I will continue to support the people who do their job well in representing a cause i support, because they are sent out there BY THAT CHARITY precisely to talk to the people who do give a shit. I will continue to tell the assholes to fuck off, and address the problem where it matters, just like in any other situation. I encourage the rest of the WORLD, not just this city, to do the same. Please don't shun an entire organization/cause because of a personal day-to-day discomfort that can easily be overcome. That's just so so selfish. and petty. and you're a jackass and a sheep if you do.

To all of you who are upset or feel misinformed- do your research and grow a pair. u live in the land of the free.

And to you mr. holden, next time you deal with a shitty fundraiser, find out who their employer is, contact said employer AND the charity, and DO something productive about it.
Don't you dare try to represent the good people of seattle with the very passive aggressive, hindering bullshit that u bothered to complain about, the well-mannered fundraisers are good people just like us to take the job very seriously actually make a huge positive change for the charity that hired them, so you are also saying you won't support their number one way of sustainability. Congratulations, you are a hypocrite and it bothers me that u even live in my beloved city. You obviously just wanted to complain, and didn't really want to solve the problem. You have lost any respect I could have had for you as an individual, and i know I'm not the only one who's pissed you opened your mouth and threw up rather than being constructive. way to go. And you, Stranger, i used to respect your newspaper, lately I've seen more and more self-centered emotional bitching articles that I wish I hadn't taken the time to read. This one takes the cake.
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Posted by Alvin on June 15, 2011 at 1:25 AM · Report this
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107-

if you see the same people on a daily basis, why not make a new friend with a fundraiser instead of being a condescending bitch? that way, you'll have real humans to complain to instead of queefing your first world problems all over the internet! "oh, you're actually awesome! previously i had to walk an entire extra block to avoid talking to you about doing something AWESOME so i could go get my sandwich!"

as for seattle's lunatic wet brain population, it blows my mind that people have sympathy for addicts and people who are "just down on their luck!" what a sick guilt complex.

however, you can not stand people who are gainfully employed who have a direct impact on things like your reproductive system (you're welcome!), disaster relief (you're welcome!), people in the developing world who don't have alternate routes to sandwiches to bitch about (YOU'RE WELCOME!), your civil liberties (YOU'RE WELCOME!), etc.

get oooooooooover yourself.
Posted by really, 107? on June 15, 2011 at 12:53 AM · Report this
113
i keep reading "yes but they're still essentially taking money away from the charity." this isn't true. all fundraising costs money. even if you've got a bunch of volunteers with jars, somebody had to buy the jars. canvassing has an aim of a 3:1 return on investment within an allotted amount of time. Usually 5 years or so. it takes money in the short term, and then triples it in the long.

Also. Apologies for anyone who's ever been aggressive with you. If you need to tell us to fuck off, or hand out a card, or spit or what have you. That's fine. Sometimes things like being asked repeatedly to talk about an issue can be annoying. I'm not being passive aggressive. I really do understand.

I would just ask that you try to be cool about it. It sounds weird saying something like this, but many of you probably have friends that canvass. These consultancies employ a lot of people. Do your best to treat the strangers with clipboards the way you'd treat a close friend who happened to be a canvasser. Be respectful, regardless of their behavior, and either move on or listen. It's fine either way.

I've had a lot of friends who've groaned when i tell them what i do, but many over time have come to be a lot kinder to folks that canvass just because they know that i'm a reasonable, generous, level headed person. if i'm out there, then they probably should be nice to the whole lot, because they wouldn't want to be shitty to someone who could possibly be me (that whole sentence sounds super arrogant. my apologies).

i know. fuck off canvassers. leave me the fuck alone. i know. feel free to say it directly into my face. it's a free country. i'm going to keep working though. i might as well try and help while im young and able bodied. also a fuck off or a sneer or even a punch in the gut isn't nearly as bad as dying from cholera. so i'll probably be ok.

anywho. big fan of the stranger and free papers in general. from chicago and we have one here called the reader. it's nice. shouts out to city pages in minneapolis and all the other free rags. thanks for keeping writers writing. if there's ever a canvass for people who write for free papers, i promise i'll give my $15 a month.
More...
Posted by kliko345 on June 14, 2011 at 11:40 PM · Report this
112
i keep reading "yes but they're still essentially taking money away from the charity." this isn't true. all fundraising costs money. even if you've got a bunch of volunteers with jars, somebody had to buy the jars. canvassing has an aim of a 3:1 return on investment within an allotted amount of time. Usually 5 years or so. it takes money in the short term, and then triples it in the long.

Also. Apologies for anyone who's ever been aggressive with you. If you need to tell us to fuck off, or hand out a card, or spit or what have you. That's fine. Sometimes things like being asked repeatedly to talk about an issue can be annoying. I'm not being passive aggressive. I really do understand.

I would just ask that you try to be cool about it. It sounds weird saying something like this, but many of you probably have friends that canvass. These consultancies employ a lot of people. Do your best to treat the strangers with clipboards the way you'd treat a close friend who happened to be a canvasser. Be respectful, regardless of their behavior, and either move on or listen. It's fine either way.

I've had a lot of friends who've groaned when i tell them what i do, but many over time have come to be a lot kinder to folks that canvass just because they know that i'm a reasonable, generous, level headed person. if i'm out there, then they probably should be nice to the whole lot, because they wouldn't want to be shitty to someone who could possibly be me (that whole sentence sounds super arrogant. my apologies).

i know. fuck off canvassers. leave me the fuck alone. i know. feel free to say it directly into my face. it's a free country. i'm going to keep working though. i might as well try and help while im young and able bodied. also a fuck off or a sneer or even a punch in the gut isn't nearly as bad as dying from cholera. so i'll probably be ok.

anywho. big fan of the stranger and free papers in general. from chicago and we have one here called the reader. it's nice. shouts out to city pages in minneapolis and all the other free rags. thanks for keeping writers writing. if there's ever a canvass for people who write for free papers, i promise i'll give my $15 a month.
More...
Posted by kliko345 on June 14, 2011 at 11:38 PM · Report this
111
This is silly. People like charity, and the people who like giving to affect people like people. Having a person to present the charity is a lovely way to get involved particularly because heart to heart face to face is a stellar way to have these orgs presented. Familiar or not it's an opportunity to get involved and nobody has to stop or do it but those that want to get to in a savvy, cost efficient, plesant and personal way. These NGOs invest innthis medium of fundraisig actually because it's the MOST cost efficient method of fundraising. Be powerful, stop if u want, don't f u don't. Enjoy the fact that you get to :) not all cities in America have this resource. (face to face street fundraising) And not all nations have toilets to flush or clean water to drink. I love learning about charities, do not love junk mail and think fundraisers are an asset & that probably we can all e respectful
Posted by douknowwho? on June 14, 2011 at 10:44 PM · Report this
110
one ignorant person posted a false comment and no one bothered to make sure it was true. no fundraiser on the street earns 90% of what the donor gives. and if you check into any organization, they all put away a small percentage for fundraising. you may not like face to face, but they are reaching out to a huge group of great people. don't ruin it for them.
Posted by kasia on June 14, 2011 at 7:42 PM · Report this
109
one ignorant person put up a false statement and no one bothered to look it up. no fundraiser out there gets 90% of your donation. and if you look into any organization, they all put away some money for fundraising. you may not the face to face but some people do. don't ruin it for them.
Posted by kasia on June 14, 2011 at 7:39 PM · Report this
108
I say give them a penny and demand a receipt for your donation, (the federal government now requires a receipt for all charitable donations no matter how small in order to write it off)

Also, sick of Safeway asking me to donate to whatever that month's charity is by rounding up my change. If Safeway wants to donate some of it's corporate profits, by all means. Have at it. I, however, have my own charities that I care about and budget for, and even if it's "only 36 cents" I don't care. You're not even matching it, and it's not what I'm there for. This goes for all stores that try to get my money for charity at the check out counter.
Posted by pirate_wench on June 14, 2011 at 2:03 PM · Report this
noodles' girl 107
OK, I've read about half of these and first, what's with all the hate on homeless people, and the assumption that they are "crazies" and "addicts"? Fuck, it's called mental illness, addiction, and plain being down on your luck and is not related to the canvasser issue at all. At least in Ballard, the homeless folks are pretty much the same crew and they keep to themselves or sell real change. I could go on, but back to the canvassers- for those who thing it's passive-aggressive, sometimes you get past the passive point when it's a daily occurrence, like every time I walk down Market Street in Ballard to get a sandwich or take a work break. I HATE it when they target me from half a block away and wave and hog up the main intersection where after denying one person, there are two more waiting across the street for you. I don't want to get to the aggressive stage of being angry with them, but I am a bit past the passive stage. I already alter my route to take a street north of Market. It seems they'd have better luck on weekends and not when the regular population who live and work in Ballard and just doing their daily thing. When did being passive aggressive become worse than being passive or aggressive??? And give me a break if you think this is a western Washington thing, it's an American thing.
Posted by noodles' girl on June 14, 2011 at 11:42 AM · Report this
106
This whole thread is a bunch of over exaggerated pissing and moaning sprinkled with stereotypical PNW/Seattle cry baby bullshit.
Posted by yea, ok on June 14, 2011 at 12:11 AM · Report this
loosenut 105
@93 is spot on. These guys are aggressive. I can't walk to lunch without someone jumping in front of me trying to hand me a flyer. I don't expect them to have perfect recall and remember the last time I said "no", so maybe I need an opt-out card taped to my forehead.

Obviously we can't rely on common decency. So maybe we could pass a law that forbids certain behaviors for solicitors. Such a law should include, at least: do not move your body or limbs to interfere with someone's direction of travel.

Also, it might be a impossible to legislate, but I'd also like it if they would give up after I tell them "no" the first time. And please don't interrupt the conversation I'm having with my friend.

Posted by loosenut http://www.principiadiscordia.com/book/56.php on June 13, 2011 at 1:30 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 104
@103: "But here's the deal--we identified a huge number of people who became actively engaged as volunteers and advocates for environmental, consumer and tenant-landlord issues."

Yeah, there's absolutely no interest in or structure for motivating and mobilizing people from street canvassing.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM · Report this
103
I canvassed door-to-door for many years and ended up being a canvass director for 5 years after. I enjoyed the work and made my non-profit bones that way. True, a lot of money went into the administration of the canvass, very little into the pockets of canvassers. This was all better than a decade ago.

But here's the deal--we identified a huge number of people who became actively engaged as volunteers and advocates for environmental, consumer and tenant-landlord issues. We also talked with people who eagerly gave more and larger contributions over time, effectively changing the administration-to-issue work ratio dramatically. If I observed people being rude or intimidating, they were fired on the spot. If I got a complaint from someone we canvassed (our contact information was on every piece of paper we handed out), I gave the canvasser an opportunity to tell his or her story, and then decided how to handle it. My rule was that if a canvasser got more than three complaints in a month, they were fired. I never had to enforce that rule. Complaints were very rare. I got perhaps two in the course of an average year.

I can't stand street canvassers. I just do not ever engage with them, no matter the issue. But if someone comes to my door, they get a drink of water, the bathroom if they need it, a quick and professional critique of their rap, and some cash if I agree with their issue. I have money to contribute now, and I love the look on a canvasser's face when you contribute. Door-to-door canvassers are a different breed--bold, observant, friendly, more thoughtful and usually more knowledgeable about their chosen issue.

Maybe I'm just old school.
Posted by catholicblock on June 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Seeds 102
Boo fuckin hoo. Go buy a latte.
Posted by Seeds on June 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Paxlotl 101
@69:

Your comment about this being a problem for "spoiled whiney bitches", while seemingly clever is self-riteous and misguided. One could argue that by using aggressive tactics to garner support, street canvassers are hindering their potential by creating a negative connotation with their cause. That is a problem worth complaining about. Also, they are being tasteless and ill-mannered. Traits that are the root of some of the gravest problems facing humanity today.
Posted by Paxlotl on June 12, 2011 at 3:31 PM · Report this
100
UH, I don't need no stinkin card. I stomp Broadway daily and I just ignore them. Easy squeezy, lemon peasey.
Posted by Wild Bill on June 12, 2011 at 2:34 PM · Report this
99
@96: Yes, it's always someone else, isn't it?
Posted by suddenlyorcas on June 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM · Report this
98
@63 and 64: That's nice, but you seem to be missing the reason why most of us carry disdain for chuggers. You may be just barely meeting your quotas and your organizations may be struggling to stay funded, but that does not negate the fact that they are essentially taking money away from the causes they claim to be champions for. No amount of desperation in the person working a job would make it any less disgusting to passersby. Sorry.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on June 12, 2011 at 12:31 PM · Report this
97
@43: So you're offering to house and care for all of the mentally ill on the streets of Seattle? What a big heart you have!
Posted by suddenlyorcas on June 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM · Report this
96
Let's not lump all street canvassers into one category. Not all are aggressive and invasive. If you plan to use the douchey card, don't hand it to just any canvasser. Use it wisely.

Thanks to the writers of 55, 63, and 76 for your thoughtful comments. I highly doubt these former canvassers were the type that everyone is so pissed off about here. I wasn't either.
Posted by boooo! on June 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM · Report this
95
@94 What a dumb fuckin response, no wonder you dipshits can't find a real fucking job.
Posted by hks on June 12, 2011 at 9:21 AM · Report this
94
stay out of YOUR way? outside is our office, chief. YOU'RE in OUR way.
Posted by hahaha on June 11, 2011 at 10:38 PM · Report this
93
Although well intentioned, a survey of the above comments misses the point of the article.

The above comments/arguments posit: Whether chuggers get paid or not, whether commission is high/low, whether the cause is worthy/not worthy, it's a hard job, blah blah blah ad nauseum as justification for chuggers horrid aggressive public behavior

The above arguments both for and against chuggers commit informal fallacy of the Kettle type: using multiple inconsistent arguments to defend a position.

The main point of the article, which some of the comments miss, is the aggression of the chuggers. Some of the comments imply that because the chuggers are doing charity work, all is fair game in how they do their job. They can block my way, they can corral me, they can impede my traffic by whatever means they deem necessary because it's for a noble cause, because chuggers have to work too, blah blah blah. And this most incoherent argument from above: chuggers have the right to intrude into my personal space on the (all knowing and incorrect) assumption that I have white collar job. WTF?

Chuggers, your egregiously aggressive approach violates the social contract of basic decent behaviour in a public space: do not harass one's neighbors. Set up a fucking table. Stay out of my way and leave me the fuck alone. Keep your limbs to your fucking self and out of my fucking face.

Again, Chuggers, leave me the fuck alone
Posted by Chuggers leave me the fuck alone on June 11, 2011 at 7:32 AM · Report this
92
yes, they get paid! They get paid to to get people to sign up to worthy causes. What does everyone else do on here? Work in a bank, or for the government, or for a newspaper. Give up your day job and volunteer full time for a charity, then you can give out to these people or give them a little card...
Posted by Campbelllovesbarrymore on June 11, 2011 at 2:28 AM · Report this
91
I'm not employing a woe-is-me tactic. No, quite the contrary. It's just the ridiculous, innate nature of human beings with all of our petty excuses, enough to make one's hair stand on end. If we want to better our species, it sure as fuck isn't going to come about as a result of apologizing and going about our merry way when we obviously come across someone who is genuine and non-aggressive. Otherwise, what's the fucking point? Should we just throw everything out with the trash every single time we reject a do-gooder? "Sorry, see you later!" No, no, that shit doesn't fly. It doesn't initiate real change. I know for a fact that I sure as hell would rather delight in conversing with someone who actually knew what the fuck they were talking about speaking on behalf of the organization they are working obviously very tirelessly for. And that is the whole thing, Dominic. 'Scuse the fuck out of me for saying it like it is, but your narrowmindedness just makes you a pisspoor representation of progressive Seattle.
Posted by SeattleElite on June 11, 2011 at 12:58 AM · Report this
90
Speaking of which, how LEGITIMATE do we have to be to get our fellow Americans to stop? One can only do so much to be "official".
Posted by SeattleElite on June 11, 2011 at 12:52 AM · Report this
89
Dominic Holden, you are an asshole. Obviously you have a sour taste in your mouth due to the fact of being harassed by the douchebags who spoil it for the rest of Seattle's do-gooders. But look at what we canvassers have to go up against: "Sorry!" "Thanks" "I don't have time." I am fucking GENUINE about what I do, and I do not employ the aggressive canvassing techniques like some individuals in Westlake and elsewhere (not naming names) do. I WEAR THIS GODDAMNED VEST for a reason. I genuinely care. It is sad that our city has to be so turned off by street fundraising, because some idiots spoil it for the rest of Seattle, given the fact that we're supposed to be the most philanthropic city in America? Sad fact, considering the claims against the genuine individuals. I do my DAMNEST to ensure that I am doing my part to better humanity. My co-worker nailed it on the fucking head. Wake the FUCK up Seattle. There's a reason why few exist to hold up the majority of humanity. And if not me, then WHO? I am the change I wish to see in this world. Yeah, it might not come about in my lifetime, but I'll be fucked if I don't do my part to engage in actual CONVERSATION with my fellow human beings. Communication, communication. Hear that fucktard? Strong language is all that is necessary at this point in time. Our society is perpetuated by the worldwide web, and a reliance on convenience. "Oh, I'll just go to the website!" How many more excuses must one genuine person endure before the awful realization sets in? That our society is gravitating towards a downward spiral. YES, to all you assholes, genuine or not, going about your merry way on your cell telephones. I wasn't born yesterday. We have excuses, we make excuses. Look at me! I'm not some goddamned robot, or a slave to the masses. I can't be, else I would be a hypocrite. No, the light is few and far between. 5 motherfucking percent. Yes, ME, in red, 5th and PINE, five days a week.
More...
Posted by SeattleElite on June 11, 2011 at 12:30 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 88
Once I was walking down Broadway and was stopped and asked if I wanted "to help kids in Africa."

I replied. "No, I beleive in euthanasia."

The chugger replied, "We help kids in asia too."
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on June 10, 2011 at 8:57 PM · Report this
ron_in_PDX 87
Chuggers, douchy little cards, and piles of hobo shit. I learned so many new things today.
Posted by ron_in_PDX on June 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM · Report this
86 Comment Pulled (No) Comment Policy
85
If the chuggers just stood there, fine; but they don't. They're exceedingly aggressive, as aggressive as some downtown panhandlers: they stand in my way, try to corral me with their hands. They try to engage me with provocative one-line teases. Do the charities these chuggers are acting on-behalf of know how their agents are acting, offending the very people they want money from?

In downtown, at every block, I am put in the position of having to say no at least 1 dozen times. There is no need to make a distinction because they are a charity. It is irrelevant how much the chuggers pocket and how much goes to charity. If 90% went to the charity, I would be no more charitable to the chuggers. They're tactics are offensive. Chuggers, leave me the fuck alone; get out of my fucking way.

Now, I tell them to get their fucking arm away from me and other bon mots. I wear a scowl on my face that implies to the them I should be the last person that they should want to stop. I walk next to the curb to avoid them. Chuggers, again, leave me the fuck alone; get out of my fucking way.

Chuggers, leave me the fuck alone, the onus should not be on me to say a damn word. If I want to engage, I will.

Chuggers, stay the fuck away from me, stay the fuck out of my way. You have been warned,

Posted by Chuggers leave me the fuck alone on June 10, 2011 at 6:47 PM · Report this
84
Alright, I'm not sure how everyone is so misinformed but I will attempt to set things straight. First off, as far a the breakdown of a charity's budget goes, not a single one has a 90% overhead like everyone is ranting about. It's not even considered a non-profit unless the overhead is smaller than 75%, and every single charity you see on the street is far more effective than that. To see more about a charity's fiscal responsibility:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

While it is true that some fundraisers out there can be overly aggressive, please remember that it is actually illegal for a canvasser to follow you more than 10 steps without consent. It is stalking. If you encounter such a canvasser, don't hand them a card, call the police and their head office.

I think it should also be mentioned that there isn't just one fundraising company in Seattle. There are several, and each focuses on one, perhaps two charities at a time. There is no "charity of the day," and I have no idea who thought that up. Many of us take a lot of pride in who we represent and spend a great deal of time outside of work researching our charity. Also, many canvassers actually donate to the charity they represent because it does make a difference. We are out there because it is the most effective form of fundraising.

I like my job. I talk to awesome people and I help make a difference in the world. A lot of people do care about what we have to say. We don't pressure people, we empower them to make a difference.

Bottom line: saying no isn't hard and neither is being nice about it. Smile everyone; it makes you feel better. If being spoken to makes you that awkward or upset or uncomfortable, then don't go outside.

Oh yeah, that card wastes paper anyway. Don't you have a second for the environment?
More...
Posted by Canvasser on June 10, 2011 at 6:46 PM · Report this
83
@ 82: Eh? What does any of that have to do with my comment? I don't expect the organizations I support - Planned Parenthood, the EFF, the ACLU, etc - to have zero administrative overhead. But using street canvassers is not an effective way of getting me to donate, since I don't know for certain that the person approaching me actually works for the cause or organization in question, I sometimes am not familiar with the cause or org, and if they're annoying they can actually sabotage that cause or org. This isn't limited to street canvassing, the ACLU lost my money one year because they hired a really obnoxious telemarketer.
Posted by Chase on June 10, 2011 at 6:13 PM · Report this
82
@81 Nothing's for free. Campaigns have to be paid for, websites designed and maintained, donors serviced, direct mail sent, and so on. Staff and managers (including me, cough cough) like to eat. Marketing and administration take their share of any dollar.

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't donate to a NFP. You should do so, absolutely, and the world would be a better place if more people donated more money, more often. And sometimes a high administrative and marketing ratio is necessary to get the dollars in the door and the job done. Judge the NFP based on your personal circumstances, how much and why you agree with their social mission, and their ability to execute that mission.
Posted by TokenCanadian on June 10, 2011 at 3:37 PM · Report this
81
You guys do realize that the increase in number of street canvassers is almost certainly the result of the recent cratering of the job market? Some of these people would be assholes regardless of where they were, but a lot of it is probably desperation.

I donate money online, so I can research who it's going to and make sure it's actually going directly to them. I don't see any reason to pay a middle man; if the goal is finding employment for these people, there are better ways of doing it (like investing in infrastructure). But if printing up cards to hand out seems easier than saying "not interested, thanks" and moving on, maybe you need to work on your personal assertiveness. It'd be a lot more effective to call the charities directly and explain to them that you're not donating because they use street canvassers.
Posted by Chase on June 10, 2011 at 10:18 AM · Report this
watchout5 80
If money could have solved these problems they would have already been fixed. Their issue is less with money, and much more about being a slave to it.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on June 10, 2011 at 3:56 AM · Report this
79
TSK! TSK! TSK!

It's kind of demoralizing to see that an article like this was written in one of the most philanthropic cities in the country. However, if you think that something as ignorant and negative as this article will stop us, you are sadly mistaken. If want us off the streets...stop...listen...and stand up against the injustice that is plaguing our planet. The fastest and most effective way to be rid of us is to eliminate these problems. I await the day that I don't have to go out there and talk about these issues!

ISSUES:
*22,000 children die every fucking day from some preventable, treatable disease. (I hope you all are appalled by that figure)

*Seattle is the #1 port in this country for sex trafficking! (Do you have any sisters or kids? Imagine them being put into a brothel at the age of 9 and being abused to the point of death.)

*The junk mail distributed in the U.S. accounts for nearly 30% of the worlds mail! (...FUCK...)

>>>WAKE THE FUCK UP SEATTLE! Even if you don't appreciate the work we do, I guarantee you that your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren will be grateful for US taking action.

P.S. YOU ARE WELCOME!!!
Posted by erick.but.you.can.call.me.awesome on June 9, 2011 at 10:57 PM · Report this
78
TSK! TSK! TSK!

It's kind of demoralizing to see that an article like this was written in one of the most philanthropic cities in the country. However, if you think that something as ignorant and negative as this article will stop us, you are sadly mistaken. If want us off the streets...stop...listen...and stand up against the injustice that is plaguing our planet. The fastest and most effective way to be rid of us is to eliminate these problems. I await the day that I don't have to go out there and talk about these issues!

ISSUES:
*22,000 children die every fucking day from some preventable, treatable disease. (I hope you all are appalled by that figure)

*Seattle is the #1 port in this country for sex trafficking! (Do you have any sisters or kids? Imagine them being put into a brothel at the age of 9 and being abused to the point of death.)

*The junk mail distributed in the U.S. accounts for nearly 30% of the worlds mail! (...FUCK...)

>>>WAKE THE FUCK UP SEATTLE! Even if you don't appreciate the work we do, I guarantee you that your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren will be grateful for US taking action.

P.S. YOU ARE WELCOME!!!
Posted by erick.but.you.can.call.me.awesome on June 9, 2011 at 10:40 PM · Report this
77
Some dizzy bitch covered in shitty tattoos tried to hand me a card today, but defeated the purpose by engaging in conversation.
Posted by aiidina on June 9, 2011 at 10:11 PM · Report this
76
@63
I worked as a door-to-door canvasser for a major national environmental organization in the early 90's and it WAS my entry level ticket to a non-profit career.

I too cringe at the tactics of many street canvassers, but have empathy for them.

Also, the purpose of canvassing programs is not so much to raise a ton of money on the spot but to identify donors for direct mail and major gifts campaigns. Non-profits have to constantly identify and cultivate new donors in order to survive and do their work. That's reality.

It's too bad so many idealistic kids get chewed up and spit out by these canvassing operations and burn-out before their ever able to do any actual fieldwork.
Posted by bellelaide on June 9, 2011 at 9:51 PM · Report this
75
Can we get The Stranger to stop dumping thousands of invasive papers where they are neither wanted nor needed? I might otherwise enjoy reading this paper.
Posted by rustyloam on June 9, 2011 at 9:49 PM · Report this
74
@44 I use that one too, can't sign your petition, can't donate to your (political) cause, etc, I'm Canadian.

That said, I have a confession to make - until a few months ago, I was a numbers monkey (otherwise known as a quant marketing analyst or, simply put, a statistician) for a large nonprofit. A VERY large nonprofit. Big NFPs do a fair bit of numbers work. Not as much as they should (personal opinion) but a lot.

All channels for acquiring donations cost money. Issue marketing and brand marketing costs money, too. Welcome to harsh reality; it may be distasteful but it's a greens fee. If you want to do something, you need money to do it, and if you want money, you need to get it from somewhere.

I don't know what the profit-to-expense ratio for street canvassers is. Not my side of the house. If it's anything like other channels, it's probably somewhere between 35% (someone's getting fired) and 75% (you get the steak knives). 10% seems like it's not worth the risk to the nfp, unless it's on spec. And even then probably still not worth it.

Last but not least, I do donate to street canvassers. Not frequently, but yeah, I'm an easy mark. I think I did it more when I was living downtown in Big Canadian City; clearly the suburbs have warped my brain.
Posted by TokenCanadian on June 9, 2011 at 3:12 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 73
@71: "All (that is 100%) of the money that they collect from donations by the canvassers goes straight to the charity."

This is not universally true.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 9, 2011 at 3:11 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 72
@69: I wish the blessings of a million telemarketers upon your house.

It's dealable, and most of the people in this thread *do* ignore them or tell 'em to fuck off. I don't know why people say this as if it's a magical idea that's not already in use. They're annoying, telling them to fuck off does not make them less annoying.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 9, 2011 at 3:09 PM · Report this
71
Passive-aggressive much? If you don't have the backbone to physically say "no thanks," then you have a problem greater than being annoyed at canvassers.

Just to clear up confusion on how much money goes to the charities in street-canvassing operations: Charities hire canvassing groups on contract; they pay upfront to the group which is paid to the individual canvassers hourly. All (that is 100%) of the money that they collect from donations by the canvassers goes straight to the charity.
Posted by 16334578 on June 9, 2011 at 3:05 PM · Report this
70
@68: There is, it seems to be enforced either selectively or serendipitously. Three steps after exiting a drug store I was asked by a man, standing two feet away from a large sign reading 'This area is under 24 hour surveillance', for money. I was about to tell him the location of the nearest food bank (one block east then one block north) when a Seattle Police patrol car stopped in the parking lot. Two officers emerged from the car to talk to the panhandler.
Posted by the hilarity of police reports on June 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM · Report this
Seeds 69
Having to choose to not talk to people who approach you on the street is such an awful problem to have, isn't it, you bunch of spoiled whiny little bitches.
Posted by Seeds on June 9, 2011 at 1:36 PM · Report this
68
Last time I was at TJ's in Ballard there is a sign outside that says something along the lines of "We don't allow canvassers or solicitors outside Trader Joe's. If anyone approaches you, it is not rude to ignore them". My favorite part of that sign was that it was in the funny TJ's font.

Also... is there not a rule against pan handing in Seattle? I can't go to Broadway Market without chuggers and bums harassing me. I mean, there is usually a fat cop sitting right inside the store not doing a thing...
Posted by okayokay on June 9, 2011 at 1:30 PM · Report this
67
@39, 54: We don't like you. You and the company you work(ed) for drains money parasitically away from the causes we support and offer little in return.

Non-profits existed before this job, and they'll exist when they're long gone, with far less annoyance for all involved.

We all understand why you work(ed) there, but you'd have to be stupid to not understand why it's so disliked.
Posted by we really love being heckled by chuggers on June 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM · Report this
The Wretched Harmony 66
@29

When you enable street crazies and addicts by giving them money on the street, you're taking money out of the pockets of real charities that actually help the homeless and substance abusers. Serious harm.

People who give money to panhandlers are perpetuating a culture of phony charity that fuels addiction. I'd be fine with a law that punishes the givers as much or more than the panhandlers. It's a major social problem, after all, and maybe drastic measures are called for.

But if all we're doing is complaining without intending to do anything (it is the Stranger after all, where doing nothing about problems is a way of life), I'd much rather complain about the ones that stink and hear voices in their heads than the ones that don't.
Posted by The Wretched Harmony on June 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM · Report this
The Wretched Harmony 65
@9

That's an inane experiment. Just because they take the food or bus tokens doesn't mean they wouldn't prefer cash to get wasted with. If that's all you're offering, why the hell not take it?

Next time, give them a choice between food or money. Or booze or bus tickets. Get back to me on that.

At the very least, if you give them a bus token, and instead of going and getting on the bus they stand there and ask more people for cash, well, that's your answer.
Posted by The Wretched Harmony on June 9, 2011 at 12:14 PM · Report this
64
Standing with TB here. I haven't seen the Seattle chuggers, but I worked for one of the better canvassing outfits in Raleigh for a few months because I couldn't get anything better as a fresh college grad in November 2008.

Maybe most of your canvassers are white, but let me tell you, most aren't middle class. 20% of the canvassers I worked for were homeless. Canvassing is the best paying job you can get around here without a permanent address. Plus, since some fraction of your coworkers really do give a shit about the issues, you can usually find someone who'll help you cash your paycheck at a real bank or let you store your good shoes in the office so they don't get stolen at night.

It isn't cushy, either. Every canvasser has a quota. Fail to meet your quota 3 days in any month, and you are fired on the spot. Even if you miss your quota because your team leader misread the damn map and set you canvassing in the middle of Tea Party turf, where you not only get insulted, but also spit on and kicked. Most canvassers make $8/hour for their work.

The kids with college degrees are put in salaried "leadership" positions with an effective wage of $5.10/hour. These folks can be required to move across the country at 1 week's notice and their own expense, according to the whim of the company. Regularly moving canvassers with college degrees is an established tactic to prevent canvassers from building up support networks they might use to resist.

So why are there so many more canvassers lately? Cause there's a lot more people without jobs, taking the best thing they can get.

Canvassers know that their organizations divert a significant fraction of the donations into executive salaries, but can't admit it or they get fired. They know you don't want to give them money. They wouldn't give themselves money if they were you. But they have got to do anything they can to get you to give, or else they don't make the rent.

Best way to get a canvasser to leave you alone is to offer them a job, or even a job lead. I would have flung my clipboard on the ground on the spot.

Otherwise, save your condescending cards and keep walking. They already know.
More...
Posted by catrin on June 9, 2011 at 12:11 PM · Report this
63
Speaking as a former canvasser, I think there's an issue missing here.

The progressive world has not institutionalized the critical importance of making quality entry-level jobs available to passionate young people, so as to not lose them to jobs that will suck away their passion in the corporate world. (Conservatives have done this extremely effectively; it's part of the right-wing explosion over the past few decades.)

Canvassing jobs are always available in abundance. Progressive young adults with a heart flock to them as they'll make more than Starbucks and they'll get that "I believe in what I do" feeling, even though truthfully, the vast, VAST majority of canvassers (in my experience) would jump at the chance to get a stable office job with benefits or a compelling fieldwork opportunity, actually doing the work instead of asking for the money to do it.

Most of our organizations are chronically underfunded and would not survive without doing everything in the book to try to bring in the bucks. There are many ways of fundraising, and where I work, we use almost all of them - not canvassing, though, but it's actually on the table as a possibility.

How I wish we had a few more angel billionaires in the mix who committed large amounts of money to awesome NGOs on the condition that it be used specifically to create new entry-level positions to give the graduating generation a stable door into the world they want to serve.

As it stands, looks like we're stuck with people spending five hours straight asking for money and trying desperately to make quota, while inspiring all kinds of complicated, frustrating emotions in the people who avoid them or turn them down.

My job filled me with constant panic, but it was the best door in to better work that I had at the time, plus I made some of the best friends of my life there. I was also utterly surprised by the generosity of some people. I did actually have the experience of knocking on a door, being welcomed, and apparently being exactly the right person to give the woman I spoke to the final push to sponsor her fourth child (big giver). It was kind of amazing and unforgettable.

That said? Now that I have a stable, awesome nonprofit job with benefits, I would never, ever, EVER go back to workin' the clipboard. But it's only stable because we do every damn thing we can manage to raise money, and yeah, so long as any method actually works, we and other NGOs will go with it.
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Posted by TB on June 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM · Report this
62
@44, Amanda,

pretty much sums it up quite nicely.

These are a bunch of efftard douchebags, whose parents refused to listen to me over thirty years ago, when I tried and tried to get them involved in the political process when the rich psychopaths began overtly dismantling the economy for their own greedhead gain.

They were too busy watching TV, movies, sports, partying, doing drugs, drinking, or just sitting in the corner and j**king off.

Next, the spawned a bunch of 'tards, who couldn't care less about anything but earning a few bucks, just like their efftard parents who spawned them.

End of story: today there are two classes in America, the stupid criminals and the sharp criminals.
Posted by sgt_doom on June 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 61
@45 OH GOD, did I laugh!!!

I hate this guy too!! He stakes out one of the courners right outside my building, can't even get a smoke in edgewise! Though not as much as I hate Fake-Irish-Accent douchebag. You must work downtown like me. No matter how many times I talk to that douche, he never remembers me. And I see him nearly every day. *BARF*
Posted by More, I Say! on June 9, 2011 at 10:28 AM · Report this
60
I used to treat chuggers with the same respect as I'd treat a homeless person, but that was back at the start when they were still a rare sight. Now you would be hard pushed to walk 30 minutes across London without being accosted for three or four causes, and the level of aggression is far higher.

So now I treat them the same way I treat street scammers - the people who claim to have 'lost their wallets' but who curiously seem to manage to lose them every friday and saturday nights. London has a lot of them too, and they don't get eye contact, they don't even get their existence acknowledged - I just step around them, like dog dirt.
Posted by Cloudgazer on June 9, 2011 at 7:56 AM · Report this
Paxlotl 59
True Ladies and Gentlemen always strive to make others feel comfortable. It's a total breach of etiquette to introduce oneself to random strangers on the street. I just glare at canvassers who offer to shake hands like they are being classless, tacky and presumptuous. They leave me alone.
Posted by Paxlotl on June 9, 2011 at 7:51 AM · Report this
Mrs. DePointe 58
Why not just carry pennies? When you get a particularly obnoxious chugger, hand him a penny and keep walking. Then he can't hassle you for refusing to donate.
Posted by Mrs. DePointe on June 9, 2011 at 5:45 AM · Report this
57
If you're going to hand out cards, make them directions to a nearby homeless shelter. Give them to chuggers and panhandlers alike. If you want to hand out a sandwich at the same time, no harm done.
Posted by KINCAID on June 9, 2011 at 2:30 AM · Report this
56
Then there's the tactic of shuffling along in your old clothes, hands in pockets.... when you're approached by a canvasser, ask 'em for some spare change. If there are three of them, you've got three shots at it.
Posted by KINCAID on June 9, 2011 at 2:16 AM · Report this
55
Street fundraising is cost effective way for NGOs and charities to build up a base of sustainable donors. Unfortunately, there are some fundraisers who aren't professional. Thankfully, they don't last long.

That being said, not every canvasser works for the same fundraising consultancy. There are several different organizations in Seattle that fund raise on the street level. Not every consultancy pays on commission. There are fundraisers who genuinely love the charity they represent.

The whole shebang is more complicated than it looks. A lot of time and effort is spent training fundraisers - we work closely with the charities because we love them. We love what we do.

What's more is that there may be dozens of us, but there are thousands of you people that we have to deal with daily. 99% of the people putzing around Seattle are amazing. The people who are completely and perpetually miserable are few and far between. I am a big advocate of reminding my coworkers to not push people or take anything personally. You never know what kind of day someone is having; the person who just told me to go get fucked could have just lost his or her job, or had a death in the family, etc.

Further, we help people out all of the time. I've returned wallets full of money that people have dropped, cell phones, given people directions, etc. I've witnessed a homeless man getting stomped by some awful person and given a police report. I've also been spit at for saying "Hello!" to someone, had disparaging remarks made about my body, had coffee thrown on me, and lots of other extra lame stuff.

Saying that you get "accosted" daily is a gross exaggeration of some personal slight that you've managed to conjure up in your paranoid little brain. If anything, canvassers ACTUALLY get accosted. That's not the point.

It's egregiously unjust to pigeon hole fundraisers together. We're not all bad. Most of us are pretty awesome. Our work actually does have a direct impact on the world, and that's our biggest motivator to do this daily.

Fnarf, you actually have no idea what goes into fundraising on a person to person basis. Generally, canvassing is an extremely cost effective way for charities to generate funds. Consultancies are a part of preexisting fundraising budgets. Every charity has one. When you sign up on the street, every penny of what you give right there goes to the charity. Every penny. I'd go further into detail but I doubt that you'd be able to understand it.

So, anyway, Seattle. Stay fresh. Y'all are wonderful, entertaining, and provide so many amazing conversations and experiences. If you've had a sour experience, I apologize on behalf of the fundraisers who strive to be respectful. Cheers! :)
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Posted by aiidina on June 9, 2011 at 12:46 AM · Report this
54
Street fundraising is cost effective way for NGOs and charities to build up a base of sustainable donors. Unfortunately, there are some fundraisers who aren't professional. Thankfully, they don't last long.

That being said, not every canvasser works for the same fundraising consultancy. There are several different organizations in Seattle that fund raise on the street level. Not every consultancy pays on commission. There are fundraisers who genuinely love the charity they represent.

The whole shebang is more complicated than it looks. A lot of time and effort is spent training fundraisers - we work closely with the charities because we love them. We love what we do.

What's more is that there may be dozens of us, but there are thousands of you people that we have to deal with daily. 99% of the people putzing around Seattle are amazing. The people who are completely and perpetually miserable are few and far between. I am a big advocate of reminding my coworkers to not push people or take anything personally. You never know what kind of day someone is having; the person who just told me to go get fucked could have just lost his or her job, or had a death in the family, etc.

Further, we help people out all of the time. I've returned wallets full of money that people have dropped, cell phones, given people directions, etc. I've witnessed a homeless man getting stomped by some awful person and given a police report. I've also been spit at for saying "Hello!" to someone, had disparaging remarks made about my body, had coffee thrown on me, and lots of other extra lame stuff.

Saying that you get "accosted" daily is a gross exaggeration of some personal slight that you've managed to conjure up in your paranoid little brain. If anything, canvassers ACTUALLY get accosted. That's not the point.

It's egregiously unjust to pigeon hole fundraisers together. We're not all bad. Most of us are pretty awesome. Our work actually does have a direct impact on the world, and that's our biggest motivator to do this daily.

Fnarf, you actually have no idea what goes into fundraising on a person to person basis. Generally, canvassing is an extremely cost effective way for charities to generate funds. Consultancies are a part of preexisting fundraising budgets. Every charity has one. When you sign up on the street, every penny of what you give right there goes to the charity. Every penny. I'd go further into detail but I doubt that you'd be able to understand it.

So, anyway, Seattle. Stay fresh. Y'all are wonderful, entertaining, and provide so many amazing conversations and experiences. If you've had a sour experience, I apologize on behalf of the fundraisers who strive to be respectful. Cheers! :)

More...
Posted by aiidina on June 9, 2011 at 12:44 AM · Report this
Sandiai 53
But I agree that the cards are a bit much. I'd feel weird when it came down to handing one out. Don't think I could do it.
Posted by Sandiai on June 8, 2011 at 11:42 PM · Report this
Sandiai 52
@49. "Then she got all bitchy when I DARED to say that I would read up on her ballot measure online before signing"

Ohmigod they HATE that. Most won't even give me their website when I ask. My standards for giving are pretty low with regard to street canvassers: I only expect them to be true supporters of their cause, as in genuine. I'm really very idealistic I guess.
Posted by Sandiai on June 8, 2011 at 11:39 PM · Report this
murray chatauqua 51
@14: This.

These cards are completely douchey, and about as passive-aggressive-Seattle a thing as I've ever seen. If you feel too important/busy to just say no, don't say anything at all. Jesus.
Posted by murray chatauqua on June 8, 2011 at 10:39 PM · Report this
mister_fusspot 50
Where's Mark Sidran when we need him?
Posted by mister_fusspot http://www.fusspot.net on June 8, 2011 at 9:52 PM · Report this
49
During the last election I had some girl get all pushy with me about her cause. I was wearing a t-shirt from one of the many firefighter charity events I've been in. She got all chummy on how her parents were firefighters up north somewhere. Then she got all bitchy when I DARED to say that I would read up on her ballot measure online before signing. I'll accept information if I choose to talk to a canvasser. But pull that pushy, indignant, down right hostile crap and I'm done. And try to play the " my so-and-so is a firefighter" as a way of telling me I have to support your cause? Big F U.
Posted by Andy(not-a-registered-user) on June 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM · Report this
48
Thank you for these. I'm tired of smiling and saying no, or ignoring them, and being chased down the sidewalk anyway. If they'd like to wave pamphlets in my face as I walk to the grocery store, they can handle having one of these waved in their face.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on June 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM · Report this
47
Thank you, Dominic.

Just this afternoon, I was heading to the Columbia City farmers' market. At the entrance I saw ... THEM. I saw three vultures circling, then I stopped counting. I went somewhere else.

(Oddly enough, one of the somewheres else was a Stranger newsbox where I discovered your article. I will certainly cut out the convenient "NO" cards you have provided.)

(Also, sorry to any farmers or other vendors who didn't get my money today, either. You were the real losers today.)
Posted by co149 on June 8, 2011 at 8:27 PM · Report this
Eric F 46
@13 has it. "No thanks," "sorry man," something along those lines, nothing more, don't break stride, don't make eye contact, don't answer further questions. It's not naive, it works for almost any street situation, you just have to remember that protecting a stranger's high opinion of you and your liberal cred is not your priority today.

If you've never lived in a city or a time where walking on the sidewalk was potentially perilous, I understand that you are having to build a new set of skills here, but really, have you never?
Posted by Eric F on June 8, 2011 at 6:56 PM · Report this
45
I'd like to take a moment and grind my axe for a moment on the biggest dipshit out there with a clipboard. Yup, I'm talking to you Shay. You 6' tall read bearded, beanie wearing fucktard. How 'bout you size me up from a half block out again, continuing to dance back and forth across the sidewalk like I'm going to try and score a goal for commuting Seattlites while you protect some invisible net for Children International ... brah.

I've been kind and said "no" like the naive folks here think will work. I've had rational conversations with you explaining that you're in fact violating section 4 of Seattle Municipal Code 12A.12.015 and that your tactics are piss-poor, short sighted, and are enraging our city. I've changed my commute to avoid you and your clipboard toting guilt guild only to see you on entirely new blocks. I've told you to fuck off a dozen times. I've told your friends to do the same. I've stood 6" from you and told you to try and remember my face ... you see it almost every day so it can't be that hard ... and no my name's not Sam, despite introducing myself to you three times now. I've written to your shitty organization, Dialoge Direct, and a host of charities who employ you (as well as loads who don't) to call out your "shake my hand brah, just shake my hand" antics. I could give half a fuck that your organization raised $91M last year, because you're doing it at the expense of others who are trying to do good in their own world and are left with an awful taste in their mouth heading home from work.

Shay, you're an asshole and a blight on our city. The only way that I'd ever give to your organization, and by your organization I mean Children International, ever again is if I received a personal letter saying that they fired you and the rest of Dialogue Direct for misrepresenting them, for jumping in front of thousands of people daily like some coked up hippie with a hard-on for shaking hands and manipulating people with decent souls. You are the Moby Dick of dipshits in the Westlake "gauntlet" ... the Molly Moon's Planned Parenthood folks are minnows compared to you and the rest of your company.

Feel proud for your notoriety for a moment, after all, you personally got a shout out in the comments on The Stranger from someone who loathes seeing you every day! You've made a difference in lives! Childish of me to solo out this one chugger from all of his peers? Maybe, but so is being an absolute douche for your job by pissing off the city that feeds you. Passive aggressive? Gotta go with no there since I've told you directly to fuck off numerous times, Shay. Think of this a a PSA for other commuters who haven't had the pleasure of meeting you.

With that I raise a glass to you Shay. Rain or shine, sleet or piles of hobo shit, you're out there 5 days a week ... sometimes more ... standing up for your 1st Amendment right to speak your mind as an asshole cloaked in a charity vest with a clipboard. Here's to livin' the dream, sir. See ya tomorrow Shay, and no, I won't shake your hand, brah.
More...
Posted by Fuck You Shay on June 8, 2011 at 6:27 PM · Report this
44
I've had people plugging certain political causes follow me down the street even after I've told them I'm Canadian.

Them: Do you support health care for everyone?

Me: Yeah, but I'm Canadian, so ... (walking away)

Them: What?! You're just saying that! (following me)

Me: No, I'm not, I'm really Canadian.

Them: Well, can't you still vote here?

Me: No. I'm not a citizen. Don't you know your own rules?

Them: Well, can't you just --

Me: Fuck off!
Posted by Amanda on June 8, 2011 at 6:04 PM · Report this
The Wretched Harmony 43
@26

It's my business because the chuggers and the street crazies are both asking me for my money. Isn't that the whole point of Dominic's little game here? To say that one kind of street solicitor deserves your money and another kind doesn't? Because of where the money goes?

And this on top of the prior crusade present company carried out to protect the right of people who smell bad to harass you on the sidewalk.

I simply don't get how if they smell bad they should be allowed to harangue you for money with impunity but if they shit indoors and shower every morning then Something Must Be Done. The only explanation I have for the double standard is that one is "anarchy" (silly urban hipster "anarchy" I mean) and the other is square.

I'd ban all panhandling if I could. But if any kind should be tolerated it's the non-mentally ill, drug-and-alcohol free kind kind.
Posted by The Wretched Harmony on June 8, 2011 at 5:49 PM · Report this
42
@23, BLUE, and any and all the rest who actively believe (we call you RUBES, not BLUES) all this foundation nonsense.

"I support all of the chuggers' causes."

But those foundations which collect those monies don't, fool!!!!!

Sometime actually do some due diligence for once in your pathetic lives. Don't believe because the title claims Save The Children Foundation, that it has anything to do with saving the poor children.

Instead, look deeply into the background of its foundation chairperson, Zoe Baird, also head of the Markle Foundation, long time member of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission, former insurance coroporation executive, etc.

Last time Zoe was in the news it was because she withdrew her name from a nomination because she hired undocumented workers (technically illegal), not out of a sense of charity, but because she could pay them lower than minimum wage!!!

Check out the rest of the directors of that saving the children foundation as well.

Sure, Planned Parenthood is an excellent idea, but the local PPNW is both a member and long-time supporter of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, which has long worked against the interest of local workers and the citizenry on behalf of the corporate control.

Screw them, and thanks for all the unemployment you jackholes have supported!

Also, a number of others: If the ACLU ever functioned at 30%, we wouldn't be living in a Corporate Fascist State today --- catch a clue, doods!

Sure, the one outfit they chug on behalf of, Greenpeace, is on the up-and-up, but has been so severely compromised by stealth infiltrators from the oil cartel and the banksters' police outfits, it accomplishes very little anymore --- although that doesn't matter as it is really too late at this point in time.

Another of those chugger outfits, League of Conservation Voters supports the exact opposite of Greenpeace -- making it a fraudster outfit -- not worthy of ANY contributions, assuming any donations actually reach anyone there.

Back in the '70s, when everyone was much more saavy about foundations and their true purpose: hiding ownership and the true wealth of the rich and super-rich, an investigation was urged on congress.

They fell under the influence of the Rockefellers, who contribed to get their boy, Peter G. Peterson (see web site link below, please), to head yet another phony commission to waylay any investigation, later to be known as the Peterson Commission on Foundations.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/06/b…

Today, far too many guileless, lazy-brained "believe anything" types fall for that simpering brainless notion that all foundations are good people!!!!

Peterson's private equity firm, which he not too long ago retired from, the Blackstone Group, for many years the world's largest private bank (probably still is), has been behind the privatization of prisons, the shutting down of oil refineries to drive up the price of oil, endless leveraged buyouts -- created by and continually responsible for the creation of -- untold amounts of colossal debt, unemployment, and the dismantling of the American and foreign economies.

Peterson is also behind the neocon, America Speaks, Peterson Institute (for decades advocating the eradication of Social Security, all Medicare/Medicaid, any and all forms of social net for women and children, the offshoring of as many American jobs as possible), and Peterson was the guy Clinton put in charge of his commission "to end welfare as we know it", to further destroy any and all remnants of a social net in America.

Peterson, like so many others these past several decades, is yet another phony debt-financed billionaire -- who has shoveled the debt onto the rest of us.

From a site many of us forensic econ types peruse:

http://www.nomiprins.com/thoughts/2011/6…

The best way to illustrate the debt creation/profit stream is to feature the man who complains the most about the deficit and has for decades sought to eradicate Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and offshore as many American jobs as possible, Peter G. Peterson and the world's largest private equity firm he co-founded, the Blackstone Group.

Between 2005 to 2007, the top ten commercial and investment banks in North America made leveraged loans in the amount of $633.8 billion to private equity LBO (leveraged buyout) funds for a total of 956 deals.

These "leveraged loans" were based upon securitized debt, financial instruments created and generated by the banks from debt (previous loans, commercial loans, auto loans, student loans, corporate loans and subprime loans -- and it's important to understand that subprime derivatives [which a portion of the loan amounts were derived from] constituted a drop in the bucket of total credit derivatives).

So, debt created at that point, was utilized by the banks for LBO funds, which would be used to create ever greater mountains of debt. As an example, when the Blackstone Group did an LBO on Danish telecoms operator, TDC, in 2006, they put down only 10%, while taking out loans for the remaining 90% against their LBO target corporation, TDC. (In other words, their target, TDC, was also their collateral for their debt!)

Because of this, there was an estimated 12% reduction in Danish tax revenues due to that major LBO in Denmark by Peterson's Blackstone Group. Therefore, Blackstone created debt against that company, and further created more debt for the country and taxpayers of Denmark by that leveraged buyout purchase of theirs.
So there was debt creation by the banks in those structured finance leveraged loans to the PE LBO funds, and further debt creation against their targeted takeover companies, and further tax reduction (i.e., more debt creation) from their LBO-type of takeovers.


To add even more debt, many of those PE LBO targets were across the healthcare sector (and consider the extraordinary number of types of companies falling into that sector: clinics, medical instrument companies, R&D labs, hospitals, medical personnel, etc., etc., etc.); thus dramatically raising the price of healthcare sector costs in North America and elsewhere.

To further add to the healthcare sector costs, there was considerable hedge fund speculation across the spectrum of the healthcare sector (there were an estimated 90 specific healthcare hedge funds during that period, plus general hedge fund speculators as well). Some of these major hedge funds are owned by the top banks (JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, B of A, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley) and some are financially interlocked with the top banks, as well as a few independents.
Thus, we see how, just between 2005 and 2007 (according to GAO analysis of Dealogic data from a GAO report on private equity) two primary cost drivers in healthcare: hedge fund speculation and private equity firm LBOs, which was simply an item in the lengthy string of debt creation.


And then that debt is socialized, i.e., shoved onto the public as exploding deficits and involved in increased deficit spending (with dramatic reduction in the tax base), further exacerbated by Peter G. Peterson, and his fellow debt-financed billionaires screaming for a reduction in the deficits which they created, profited from, then shoved onto the public!!!!

And it was from debt they derived their fortunes, a most ill-gotten form of gain, which they will never pay back.
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Posted by sgt_doom on June 8, 2011 at 5:41 PM · Report this
41
I'm handing these out to the next Girl Scout troop loitering with their damn cookies when I'm trying to get in & out of a supermarket.
Posted by Ban ALL of them on June 8, 2011 at 5:10 PM · Report this
40
I would also point out that there are multiple third-party organizations that employ people to stump for charities. I can only speak to my experience, but I was explicitly told not to get in people's way, follow, harass or do anything save ask people if they had a second. Apparently a couple of the other companies encourage their folks to take a really aggressive tactic.
We were told-- as a matter of policy-- not to be overaggressive, use guilt, etc. Obviously, every canvasser had their own methods ("hey! I like your shirt!") but that's to be expected. If you were seen harassing, yelling, blocking, following, you got in trouble.
Furthermore, at least where I worked, we weren't paid on commission; we were paid hourly. The charities hire the company to stump for them. The donations people sign up for go something like 92 cents on the dollar directly to Red Cross/Planned Parenthood/Save the Children/___. How it breaks down beyond that, I wasn't around long enough to find out.

Posted by gi on June 8, 2011 at 5:09 PM · Report this
39
I read up until #18, and then got disillusioned up with the ratio of moral certainty to personal experience in this thread.

None of those comments mentioned having any direct experience either working as a street canvasser or panhandling. If that's true, a lot of you (with a few gracious exceptions: thanks #9, #35, et al) are drawing sweeping generalisations about things you don't know much about.

The cliche about walking a mile in another person's shoes applies here. (In case someone asks, I do indeed have personal experience with both canvassing and panhandling. I don't think that makes me qualified to make generalisations either.)
Posted by David (Aussie) on June 8, 2011 at 4:47 PM · Report this
38
Holden is a scaredy cat and can't deal with the big adults.
Posted by Jizzlobber on June 8, 2011 at 4:31 PM · Report this
37
I feel like canvassers have gotten less obnoxious in recent years, and I walk past them every day in Berkeley. Perhaps its just because I'm older and wiser and I don't have "mark" written on my forehead anymore so they don't bother. But I don't support any form of business that's based on the sucker model.
Posted by Karey on June 8, 2011 at 3:58 PM · Report this
36
Being Assertive is not something Western Washingtonians seem to be good at.

It's not hard to avoid chuggers. When they ask, say no. Not, "maybe..." Not "well..." Whatever you do, don't raise an eyebrow.

Just look em right in the eye and say:
"I don't have any money for your organization."

"I don't want to talk to you" also works well.

Or my favorite - when they make eye contact, keep your eyebrows lowered, raise either index finger, and wag it back and forth.

If you can't do these things, perhaps being mobbed by chuggers is the universe's way of teaching you to be more assertive.

It's a free country, even for chuggers - any rule restraining speech inevitably creates a risk of abuse. I bet a lot of politicians would like rules banning pesky, invasive reporters from courthouse and legislature steps.
Posted by Anonymous Commenter on June 8, 2011 at 3:50 PM · Report this
35
Alright. I think I have some insight into this. Because this is a job I've briefly held. I have, in fact, been "that guy."
It's a shitty job. I wasn't too good at it and consequently lasted about a week. I don't blame anyone for not talking to canvassers, especially if you pass them every day. But a self-righteous little card? Seriously? Most of these folks are already having a bad day. Just walk by.
A card like this isn't going to change the fundraising policies of anyone; it's simply a way to feel smug.
Posted by gi on June 8, 2011 at 2:42 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 34
@18: "It's incorrect to say the panhandler gets to keep the money you give them. Their dealer keeps it. Or the fortified liquor industry keeps it. Panhandler is only holding on to it long enough to walk a half a block to where they can get high. Which is harmful.

The chuggers don't do anything harmful with the money. It's a big difference."

Chuggers don't spend their money on liquor and pot? Bullshit.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 8, 2011 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Jason Josephes 33
28: Getting to third base trumps adoption any day of the week, or so my Uncle Jerry always said.
Posted by Jason Josephes http://www.myspace.com/bluemoonseattle on June 8, 2011 at 2:32 PM · Report this
32
I hope the tide ebbs on this. For now, charities are going full-out on this simply because it still works for their bottom line compared to other fundraising methods, even factoring in payments to the canvassing companies. Once this stops working for them they'll drop it from their fundraising strategies quick enough.
http://www.charityfacts.org/fundraising/…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_fund…
Posted by gloomy gus on June 8, 2011 at 2:29 PM · Report this
31
"Based on a similar card in Portland" isn't much of a citation.

Especially since you copped the design and much of the wording it might be nice to cite the source ;)

Just click the first link after googling: wkstudio+canvasser

Posted by joeshmoe on June 8, 2011 at 2:26 PM · Report this
30
I think the current tactics of canvassers has become incredibly counter productive. Up until recently, I'd at least talk to someone, but if I'm going to give money I'll give it directly to an organization. However, things have become so saturated up in my neighborhood (Capitol Hill) that I get pestered more for my "time" than my "money". I've actually taken to avoiding Broadway while out on a walk because of the ridiculous amount of canvassers on every corner and at all places in between. Is it just me, or has that job become the new telemarketer?
Posted by sjaudio on June 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM · Report this
Fnarf 29
@24, another harm: how many people refuse to give to, say, Planned Parenthood or World Wildlife Fund or whomever because they're sick of being harassed on the street and associate the charity with the canvassers? Considering how tiny the amount of canvassed money that goes to the charity is, it wouldn't surprise me if they turned out to be a net negative on donations.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 8, 2011 at 2:04 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 28
@19,

Soon-Yi's adoptive parents are Mia Farrow and Andre Previn.
Posted by keshmeshi on June 8, 2011 at 1:50 PM · Report this
Fnarf 27
@24, exactly. These canvassers ARE committing harm, because they're taking money that is intended for someone else -- the charities.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 8, 2011 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Fnarf 26
@18, harmful to whom? Why is it your business what people do with the money they make? How is a panhandler buying a sandwich harmful while a canvasser buying a sandwich is somehow saving the world?

Neither one of them is adding any value to the world. Of course, the canvassers are 100% white and middle class, so that's all right then. They don't need to work. They just deserve our money for existing.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 8, 2011 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Hernandez 25
@13 That's what I do too, and most of the time it works like a charm.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on June 8, 2011 at 1:25 PM · Report this
24
@3, the "other 90%" does NOT go into the paycheck of the canvasser. Understand that the companies that many of these canvassers – the intermediaries, or middlemen, if you will – are typically FOR profit groups. So maybe 10% goes to the charity, and maybe another small percentage goes to that chugger that you'd cross the street to avoid, but this is most definitely capitalism getting in the way of charity.
Posted by Manos on June 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM · Report this
BLUE 23
I support all of the chuggers' causes. I do not support the chuggers. Better, far better, to donate directly to your charities of choice. If you're a wimp, hand out the token. If you're an adult, say "no" and keep moving. Because they seem human they do deserve slightly more respect than a piece of junk mail or spam.
Posted by BLUE on June 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM · Report this
blip 22
I'm accosted by hippies with clipboards every day when I go to lunch on 4th st in Berkeley. I find that ignoring them works quite well, or a simple "no thanks" if I make eye contact. Added bonus: no wasted paper and no embarrasing public displays of passive-aggressive behavior.
Posted by blip on June 8, 2011 at 1:18 PM · Report this
21
i appreciate the fact that it seems they only hire pretty hottie hotties, though. maybe if they were nakeder, they'd make money? (hee..."maybe".)
Posted by Adrian Ryan on June 8, 2011 at 1:17 PM · Report this
care bear 20
@18 How do you know those assholes at Westlake don't go straight from cashing their paychecks to bars or drug dealers?
Posted by care bear on June 8, 2011 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Jason Josephes 19
In the 1940s, Pepsi adopted a red, white, and blue logo to support America's war effort. In the late 70's, Woody Allen adopted a Korean girl to get a date. These days, I'd like to adopt absolutely no one. So how come whenever I go downtown or to the University District, I'm being asked to save the unwanted children?

You've seen these clowns: they wear matching shirts, carry matching binders, and congregate in a small area. You can't just ignore/say no to one of these people, you have to do it to THREE of them. They have yet to master the art of camoflage and/or subterfuge. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then I think we can legally straitjacket the third member of the team who witnesses me brushing off their two compatriots. Hey, last in line: You're not special. That's why you're a third-party panhandler.

Last week I'm doing my usual good job of avoiding the hell out of these mercenary do-gooders when the 19 year old guy on annoyance duty said to me: "I like your sweater. It reminds me of 'The Brave Little Toaster.'"

OK, seriously, who says that to another human being in an attempt to start a conversation? Luckily, I ended it fast: "That's the worst pick-up line anyone has ever used on me." For some reason, he continued to try to talk to me but it was hard to make out what he was saying with all of the walking away from him I was doing.

Here's a life lesson for those of you donning the red jacket or the blue t-shirt or whatever stupid color is coming next: We, as Americans, love children. I don't, but other Americans do. But - and here's the key, so lean in close and write this down - only the ones we make ourselves, like little your cretin seed Tyler Jr or my insufferable niece Brandy. But those little brown children covered in flies sitting in mud puddles playing with medical waste? Unless your last name is Jolie or you're the aformentioned Mr. Allen, not a chance. And even if we did, we're still climbing out of this recession. I should be out there with a clipboard and a jacket collecting money for me - I have mock turtlenecks to buy.

At least the job has a turnover rate matched only by street level drug dealers and whoever Steve Raible has to pay for an under-the-table handjob.

(I originally posted this on Yelp, but it deserves a reposting here.)

More...
Posted by Jason Josephes http://www.myspace.com/bluemoonseattle on June 8, 2011 at 1:06 PM · Report this
The Wretched Harmony 18
@12

What part of "Maybe that's not the absolute best thing to do with your spare change, but it's not harmful" did you not understand? I'll say it for a third time because a lot of people are being dense here: Maybe that's not the absolute best thing to do with your spare change, but it's not harmful.

It's incorrect to say the panhandler gets to keep the money you give them. Their dealer keeps it. Or the fortified liquor industry keeps it. Panhandler is only holding on to it long enough to walk a half a block to where they can get high. Which is harmful.

The chuggers don't do anything harmful with the money. It's a big difference.
Posted by The Wretched Harmony on June 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM · Report this
More, I Say! 17
@10, you misunderstand the point @9 is trying to make. Note the phrase, "non-corporate panhandlers," which is to say, bums. They are talking specifically about homeless folks asking for a handout. Those aren't the kind of folks asking if you have a minute for civil liberties. And, he's entirely right. I often carry extra snacks for those with "need $ for food" signs. If they refuse the food, they get nothing.

I'm surprised at how coherent your response to @3 was, and yet you somehow completely missed @9's point.
Posted by More, I Say! on June 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Fnarf 16
On the other hand, if "fuck you" is too strong for you, I support the idea of handing out these cards -- only print them as displayed, the size of postage stamps.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 8, 2011 at 12:47 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 15
Their subcontracted interest in the cause goes as far as me giving them my check or credit card number.

Every single one I've asked about getting materials from or a call from someone else higher up in the organization has rejected the request. They don't care about getting money, they care about getting their cut, right then.

Fuck 'em.

@3: "This money is spent on education, housing, food, clothing, transportation and other vital living expenses for the worker or the company's other employees and owners."

Yes, all wasteful and unnecessary overhead. This is an outdated business model and needs to be stopped. I'm paying for a cause, and I intend for 100% of it to go to ACTUAL EMPLOYEES, not 92% of it to go to people who train chuggers, who get a small percentage of that still.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 8, 2011 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Pithy Name 14
These Passive-Agressive Confrontation Cards(tm) are pretty douchey. I have no problem saying "No" or "I hate trees" or "Nancy Reagan told me pot is bad" or just ignoring them.

It's not like these people accost you, tie you to a lamppost go through your pockets.

Passing them a card feels...snobby. Bourgeois. Douchey.
Posted by Pithy Name on June 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 13
the proper response to both bums & canvassers is a smiling "not today", with direct eye contact and moving legs.
Posted by Max Solomon on June 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Fnarf 12
@3, you say "the other 90% goes into the paycheck of the canvasser" as if that's a GOOD thing. In other words, they're panhandling -- only panhandlers get to keep more of the money I give them.

I still don't see what's wrong with a muttered "fuck off" as you brush past them. They deserve neither respect nor pity.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM · Report this
11
Yeesh. I'm with you. The only people I hate more than street canvassers are meter maids.
Posted by Chester Copperpot on June 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
10
@3, good argument if the canvassers are saying, "Do you have a second to spread capital throughout the local markets and offer employment support to me?" But they are not. And not only is your argument amazingly bad, you're kind of a dick about it.

@9: if they ask me to save the whales, should I give them a whale? What about civil liberties? What the hell are you trying to say?
Posted by CrankyBacon on June 8, 2011 at 12:10 PM · Report this
John Horstman 9
This is a consequence of neo-Liberal economic policies and the ceding of government functions to NGOs. If our government isn't doing charity/welfare/social safety net programs, they become a business. The cards aren't going to have an impact; only structural changes are going to do much of anything.

@3: Actually, plenty of the money you give to non-corporate beggars goes to food, housing, clothing, etc. There's an easy test: offer the person the thing they claim to want directly. If someone asks you for food money, offer to buy them a sandwich. If someone asks you for bus faire, offer them one of the bus tickets you carry around for just such a contingency. In my experience, about half the people asking for money really need it for food or travel.
Posted by John Horstman on June 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM · Report this
8
Somehow I think the fact the Dom gets all worked up about saying no says more about him than it does about the canvassers.

Seriously, passing out cards like that makes you a grade-A douche crouton. Saying no doesn't make you a bad person.
Posted by dak7e on June 8, 2011 at 11:23 AM · Report this
7
@3 Sorry if I donate to charity, I actually want to DONATE to that charity. It isn't 'hippie bullshit,' it's called common sense. It completely defeats the purpose when 90% on my donation goes towards someone's salary. That sort of business model is inefficient and potentially unethical for charities to follow. There are better ways to raise money.

I think the cards are brilliant, and I can't wait to use them at the Broadway QFC. Those canvassers have the doors completely surrounded from sunup to sundown. Sometimes I just want to break into a sprint to get past them.
Posted by Ashley on June 8, 2011 at 11:19 AM · Report this
6
@3 "On the other hand, when you give money to addicts and crazies on the street, 100% of that goes to buy booze and drugs. It perpetuates substance abuse, crime, and violence. You're literally helping to kill the person you're giving money to."

That's why I never give money to panhandlers.

I always give them booze or drugs... AMERICAN owned and manufactured booze and drugs.

No one wants to perpetuate foreigners and their unAMERICAN activities, and I feel good knowing that the poor, desperate person I am supplying up, won't accidentally be sending our money and jobs overseas, supporting their habit.

I feel good about stimulating our economy and doing my part to make the often rough life of various street people more comfortable.
Posted by Thanks for reminding me to do my part on June 8, 2011 at 11:19 AM · Report this
5
How about just saying "sorry" instead of handing them a righteous little card?
Posted by spock on June 8, 2011 at 10:45 AM · Report this
4
Dominic is dead on...particularly on Capitol Hill. I feel like wearing a badge when I walk down Broadway that says "I gave at the office" but I don't think that would dissuade them.
Posted by ddmama on June 8, 2011 at 10:06 AM · Report this
The Wretched Harmony 3
The thing is, if you give money to them, yes, only 10% goes to the charity. But the other 90% goes into the paycheck of the canvasser, or the company they work for. This money is spent on education, housing, food, clothing, transportation and other vital living expenses for the worker or the company's other employees and owners. Maybe that's not the absolute best thing to do with your spare change, but it's not harmful.

On the other hand, when you give money to addicts and crazies on the street, 100% of that goes to buy booze and drugs. It perpetuates substance abuse, crime, and violence. You're literally helping to kill the person you're giving money to.

But childish middle class suburbanites like Dominic Holden, angry because their parents were too ordinary I guess, think giving money to somebody with a job is uncool. Productive members of society are all "tools of The Man". Or some hippie bullshit.

Ah! But if they smell like piss and are hell bent on destroying themselves! That's cool! It's like some William S. Burroughs type shit there, brah!
Posted by The Wretched Harmony on June 8, 2011 at 9:51 AM · Report this
2
I've found that a simple "no thanks" usually works. If it doesn't the subsequent "get the fuck away from before I hit you in the fucking face" does the trick.
Posted by Shove off on June 8, 2011 at 9:29 AM · Report this
1
All the ones that hang out in front of Whole Foods on Westlake have been pretty non-aggressive so far. Let's hope it stays that way.
Posted by madcap on June 8, 2011 at 9:16 AM · Report this

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