Office Solicitations Getting Out Of Hand? Here’s How To Keep Money From Slipping Through Your Fingers
First, it was Betty, the office receptionist, asking you to buy cookies to support her granddaughter’s Brownie troop. Then came Zach, checking to see if you’d like to support the charity he’s representing in the half-marathon he’s running. Now there’s a collection being taken up for Anthony’s retirement dinner, as well as his cake and gift. You don’t want to seem unthoughtful (or cheap) but all of these coworker causes are becoming an unexpected financial burden.
The following strategies can help keep workplace solicitations from wreaking havoc with your carefully planned budget or wrecking your reputation as an all-around nice coworker.
1. Never Give At Work
If you have a flat refusal in place that indicates you don’t give money at work, you won’t need to worry about offending any of your coworkers. You’ll be covered by a blanket policy that stipulates you prefer to make charitable donations to agencies or causes outside of the workplace.
2. Make A Charitable Budget
Think about how much you’re willing to contribute to office solicitations either per year or per request. By choosing an overall annual budget, you can explain to anyone who requests a donation after you’ve reached your allotment that you’ve maxed out your charitable giving budget and to try you again next year.
3. Give In Specific Categories Only
Decide in advance which charitable categories you plan to support: for example, medical research, children, education, animal welfare, etc. If a coworker requests a donation for a category you haven’t included on your list, you’ll find it easier to explain that although the cause is worthy, it isn’t one you’ll be supporting this year.
4. Know Your Workplace Policy
If you’re feeling pressured to give at work, find out what the specific policy is at your company or agency regarding soliciting contributions. For example, employees might not be allowed to go desk-to-desk asking for money but it may be permissible for a sign-up sheet to be posted in the break room where individuals interested in contributing can sign up and indicate their preferences. If a sign-up sheet is company policy and someone asks you directly for a contribution, you can respond by saying you’ll consider the request and that you’ll sign up later if you decide you can contribute.