Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

I’ve seen aggressive and deceitful fundraisers

at work. I’ve heard every gimmick; it’s OK

to cancel after the first month; this won’t

start for six to eight weeks; this is a one-off

donation; all your donations go to people

in the local area. However, fundraising isn’t

intrinsically aggressive, just as the majority

of fundraisers aren’t intrinsically deceitful

people. There are ways to get people excited

about supporting a cause without deceit.

Unfortunately, we sometimes get lazy, or

desperate, and I understand how easy it is,

in those circumstances, to cross the moral

boundary. We are constantly presented with

moral dilemmas. Can this person afford it?

Does this person understand what they are

signing up to? It’s easy to make the wrong call

or be forceful, especially when we’re having a

bad day. It’s a thin ethical line we tread.

So what are the consequences for deviating

from codes of best practice? It all depends

on the values of the fundraiser. There is

an underlying sense that, if my number of

sign-ups is high enough, bad practice will

be overlooked, not only by the fundraising

bosses, but also by the charities themselves.

This tacit acceptance only reinforces a culture

of unethical fundraising.

As for oversaturation, a lady recently

remarked: “We have people knocking two or

three times a week! Is it because we live on a

council estate?” It is universally acknowledged

that there are areas which are better to work

in than others. It seems counterintuitive to

mine the poorest for donations, but it is from

the most deprived communities that we see

the best response. Fundraisers rub their hands

when they see a council estate. They don’t see

scarcity. They see sign-ups.

We are constantly presented with moral

dilemmas. Can this person afford it? Do they

understand what they're agreeing to?

People here tend to be easier to talk to and

act with readier impulse. And so we go back

to the same areas over and over again. We

even avoid more affluent districts, where

people don’t mind giving but hate being

approached and the responses are, if not

hostile, condescending. Here, we’re never far

off being reported to the police (these areas

aren’t used to seeing fundraisers), which is

time-consuming if we’re stopped and sends

the wrong impression to the neighbours.

City centre apartments are the only exception

to that rule. They’re filled with impressionable

twenty-somethings with plenty of disposable

income. But knocking apartments is a risky

strategy. It’s a race against time before I’m

forcibly removed by the concierge.

31

MAY DAY 2016

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