HERE'S THE DEAL

It's your money.

It's your time.

It's your home.

It's your phone.

It's your brain.

It's your responsibility.

They won't give your money to charity - just a small portion of it but they won't tell you how much = they are DISHONEST.

They don't care about anything but the money they make = they are MERCENARY

They are not the charity but they pretend (misrepresent themselves) to be so = they are LIARS.

They are SALES people = they are $$SALES$$ people.

The main difficulty in dealing with a fundraising telemarketer relates to the very reason this form of fundraising is so diabolically effective. It's the dynamics of the communications between you and the telemarketer especially those practiced by the telemarketer. The telemarketer will attempt to manipulate you, to evoke appropriate emotions, to guide your behaviour by selective information and reward you if you respond to their wishes. You will be thanked effusively for your past support (ironic because the telemarketer couldn't care less about past sales) and thanked even more effusively if you give money again. You will be told how valuable your contribution is, without of course being told that most of it is dead money for profit, commission and administration and the costs of the silly, wasteful raffle. You will be seduced by prizes without being told how much of money targeted for a charity is wasted by this form of gambling. The telemarketer will have developed these skills perhaps in other sales jobs such as selling phone contracts. The telemarketer has been told to use your name and address you respectfully so that you co-operate. You the innocent prey, on the other hand may feel that as it is a fellow human being you are speaking to, you owe them modicum of respect. Hanging up on a person is not easy for some people to do. You may sincerely and earnestly attempt to discuss things with the fundraiser. You are at a huge disadvantage when you try that. You will be fair and honest – because you are dealing with charity (you think). The telemarketer will say whatever it takes to get your money. They will, as their manager may have said to them, “think of something” to say to get the job done. If you can easily be had  then they will persist. If not they will quickly dial the next number and try again. “It’s a numbers game” is a mantra in telemarketing. You are not special but the telemarketers are trained to make you feel special.

Try this. To escape the false compulsion of the trained and skilled telemarketer, have a prepared speech ready – they have a spiel so you need one too. Do not engage the telemarketer. Cover the ear piece and only use the mouthpiece if you prefer. Invent you own spiel. Write it down, leave it by the phone. It might be one of the following:

Sorry I don’t donate over the phone.

Sorry I already have my charitable commitments.

Sorry I never do business over the phone.

Sorry I don't do fundraising over the phone.

Sorry I don’t gamble.

Sorry I am mainly interested in supporting charity not the professional fundraising industry.

Sorry I do not approve of professional fundraising.

Sorry I do not pay for professional fundraising services.

Sorry I do not require professional fundraising services.

Sorry clever parrot. We have no crackers for you.

End your spiel with something nice if you would like to counter the uneasiness you may feel for ignoring or rejecting them. Resist the instinct to regard the telemarketer as a person. To them you are a number - a phone number, a credit card number, a dollar amount, a positive or negative statistic to be posted on the sales results board. It's important that you don’t let them get a word in that's why covering the ear piece can help. You could end by saying:

Have a nice day. Thank you for the call. Then hang up. Do it quickly.

Ignore their resistance. They are not real. Telemarketers are not real. What they say is not real. How they say it is not real. Who and what they pretend to be is not real. Resolve to do the right thing even if it is a bit difficult. People in other countries have to deal with those who might rob them of life and limb. Fundraising telemarketers just cheat you out of the money you intended and were lead to believe was going to charity. Have courage. Be fair. Be Australian. Don't reward the crude tactics of crude business people and one of the crudest most dishonest industries operating.

Have the courage and the committment to civilized business to resist them.

Don't let manners trump morals

We can't stress strongly enough that you must not engage the telemarketer. Think of them as like the deadly Sirens in ancient mythology. Block your ears if you have to. Think to yourself - it's my home, my phone, my money, my time  - and I won't let someone who could be on the other side of the country  mug me in my own living room. You probably don't invite liars and thieves and frauds into your home at night so why start now? Especially ones you've never met before.

And that leads to a far simpler and perhaps the best action to take when accosted by a fund raising telemarketer - or any other telemarketer. Simply hang up without saying anything. As soon as you have determined that it is a telemarketer withdraw the receiver hand piece from your ear and place it back on the phone's cradle. You need not be rude or say anything at all. Withdrawing the hand piece protects you from the manipulative suggestions of the fake commissions driven marketer. The only disadvantage of this method is that the call will be "dispositioned" (jargon) as an unanswered call so you and your number stay on the call list. You will be called again. But once you have acquired this simple skill future calls can be dismissed with a minimum of fuss. You can now set about supporting charity in your own way, much more efficiently and ethically and stop rewarding  conniving, mercenary, deceitful telemarketers.

But I still want to give to charity. How do I go about that without dealing with these dishonest telemarketers who are only interested in making money for themselves, who pretend to be calling from the charity and who don't tell me that only about a third of what I give gets to the charity?