Are you still donating as much as you used to?

ex Facebook via RNZ

ex Facebook via RNZ

I have to admit I’m not.  I simply don’t carry cash like I used to.

The charity’s chief executive, Michelle Branney, said it had a deficit of $100,000 a year between its outgoings and donations.

She said EFTPOS New Zealand gave the mission four portable machines, which allowed people who did not carry cash to donate.

“I think when you give a person an EFTPOS machine and say would you like to donate, we’re finding that they’re giving $5 or $10,” she said.

Ms Branney said the charity raised $58,000 dollars in its annual street appeal and, of that, $3200 was donated through EFTPOS by people who otherwise would not have given at all.

EFTPOS New Zealand general manager Peter Hansen said, in the past year, the company had ramped up the number of charities it donated the terminals to, including the Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Foundations and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

“All of those organisations suffer from the same problem – that people carry less cash,” he said.

Mr Hansen said people would often be far more generous to charities if they could use EFTPOS.

With the rise of Tap and Go cards, and paying with your smartphone, it is even more a problem for charities to get money unless they get with the times.

The ones that are going to lose out are the local charity drives that can’t afford to organise EFTPOS terminals for their street appeals.

I’ve not seen any that have gotten smart by at least handing out slips of paper to their Give a Little page (for example), or showing other ways to donate through 0900 numbers, sending a TXT or via Internet based methods.

I’m giving less these days because people that want my money can’t take my cards.

How about you?





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  • im just getting pickier about who i give too – and i cant stand the thought of 85% of my donation being sucked up by a bunch of administrators with their noses deep in the trough

  • Tom

    I would support the mission but after seeing all those fat sponges in nice cars getting fed for free I don’t think I would now.

  • minnie

    Sallys have a donation coming from us, hope they take cheques tho!!

  • Chris EM

    I still carry cash, but I only give to the same charities each time. As mike b said, I’m not giving any money to some outfit who only pass on a small percentage to the charity they’re collecting for.

  • Cadwallader

    The only charitable donation I make these days is via Lotto. Where the $$$$ end up is anybody’s guess.

  • Tippex

    I tend to donate my time to our local Hospice. As others have rightly alluded to; it’s hard to know how much of a cash donation goes in the right direction.

    • Reaper

      This is what I do – donate time to my local animal shelter. I know they need money, but I don’t have a lot to spare and I figure there are quite a few people out there that would rather donate money that go and clean up cat s**t in the mornings, so I do that and hope it all evens itself out somehow.

    • Sagacious Blonde

      I donate my time, both in admin and as a volunteer to our local opportunity shop (a amalgam of seven local charities). Been known to spend money there as well – lol, a hazard for most of us volunteers.
      Don’t know if the school and kindergarten qualify as charities, but there is not many weeks go by that the household isn’t supporting one or the other in some sort of fundraising.

  • Jp

    Or the alternative is to sign up for a monthly debit from those wonderful Greenpeace people that want you to sign their petitions.

    • peterwn

      Wonderful? A Greenpeace woman got snakey with me when I refused to sign her shark fin petition while waiting for a bus. I wished in retrospect I had created a real scene.

  • Wallace Westland

    I’m sick and tired of them all. Every time you to the mall there is some old dear or young filly there with their hand out at their poxy little trestle tables all wanting cash.

    Salvos, SPCA, save the whales, deaf people, blind people, people with no money, people with disabilities that want me to pay for their world trip to some sport, Greenpeace loonies and god bothering freaks, hippies, Buddhists, arthritic sufferers, surf lifesavers and the one that does my head in is what sort of bloke puts on a firemans uniform then walks up to a bloke in a mall and asks him if he wants to buy a calendar with half naked men in it. Idiot!

    So like the equal opportunist I am I give them all the same…a blank look and then my water off a ducks back grin when they glare and hiss at me!

    EDIT: Didn’t mean for the cuss to be in there and formatting.

    • Carl

      We had a fire women outside the local supermarket and I purchased one of the women calendars which is very nice.

      • Sooty

        One of the fire woman is loca. Rumour is her employer was not amused and gave her a hard time.

    • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

      Wal if that does your head in best you stay away from Queen Street in the CBD
      Unfortunately I had to go down Sat 27 December (10am) and is my first time since Lenny boy invaded in 2010.

      What a bloody disgrace with filth all over the place on the footpaths,gutters,door entrances and park benches.I am not talking litter here I am talking animals with two legs or less.

      But what really got me was the collectors / beggars,I am surprised Lenny boy has not provided them with Eftpos terminals so they can live in the most liveable city in the world.

    • WeaselKiss

      ‘Half naked men’…well, which half?

      • Wallace Westland

        Buy the calendar.

  • Nige.

    no.i dont trust any of them anymore. there is a local bludger here who swindled the town into giving her money that she said was going to hospice and she blew it on drugs. shes back in court this month i think.

    charity does stat at home and i dont hand over money to anyone unless it is the directrecipient ie no middlemen

    • mommadog

      Agree wholeheartedly.I would rather help out my Mum who manages on a pension as her sole income than some so called charity organisation. The Auckland City Mission at christmas this year was a good example of what not to support.

  • HSV325

    Only donation I make is to Whaleoil. You just don’t know who is behind all the people with buckets collecting money.

  • caochladh

    I have two primary charities that I have always supported. Apart from that, I will indulge in charity auctions as often you can buy items as Christmas presents that are otherwise unavailable. In saying that, my garage is littered with “items” purchased at charity auctions that no one wants including a monstrous US town square clock, the same as the one on a famous golf course.

  • cows4me

    Shouldn’t government be doing charities, after all they know better how to spend than we do. The amount we pay in total tax increases ever year despite the so called tax cuts, I’m talking about all, indirect taxes, rates, ACC, Fuel, GST etc. The more we pay in tax the more charities struggle, should not this be the other way around. People aren’t being look after because a bloated public service and various hanger ons are feeding of this tax and it isn’t going where it should.

  • mommadog

    I’ve never had the funds to give a lot but even so I have cut back on what I do give. Like other comments here there are very few organisations I would trust to actually spend the money on what they advertise. I’m tired of the scammers and those big charity organisations that spend something like 90-95% of donations in admin fees including their salary so very little getting to those in need. To get my dollar these days I have to be very sure of who and what it is going to. As I was reading this post there was an add on the radio (ZB) about how child poverty is real in NZ – we need your help. I turned the radio off before I heard who actually was advertising. I’m definitely not giving to a supposed child poverty in NZ cause. I did once when it first came up a few years ago before I really looked into it and thought about it more. As they say Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  • ProudChiwiSince1990

    Mrs. Chiwi and myself make regular donations to Starship. Rarely donated to streetside collectors, particularly those Greenpeace collectors who pester you for a good 10 – 15 minutes down the street.

    • Michael

      I just say, “Hello, I don’t deal with chuggers.” And keep on going, no matter how pretty they are.

  • jonno1

    We continue to donate a chunk of our income (not a “tithe” as such, although that seems to be a practical amount without going short ourselves) to various charities by AP, direct debit or online. No cash. Like others, we are very careful where it goes and cycle it around, ie give to a particular charity for a couple of years, then to a different one. Of course, the gummint kindly returns a third!

    There are a couple of red flags I look out for: anyone pushing global warming or “poverty” (unless it’s a legit budgeting service) gets dumped, as does any charity who phones up suggesting I increase my monthly amount because of blah blah blah. I also monitor admin costs; 10% tops.

    Oh, and used clothes and surplus appliances go to the local hospice shop, not to Trade Me!

  • papagaya

    I don’t trust most charities, as their administration chews up most of the money. If even one charity came out and specified that their admin expenses were say, 15 per cent, and the rest went to the needy, then I would give. But none of them ever do that, do they?

    • david W

      good charities outline in there annual reports what % went on management and what went to those in need.

      • papagaya

        That’s great, but I meant they should use it in their marketing material, including on banners when they’ve set up stalls. It would make all the difference to me.

  • david W

    I think charity is an essential part of a healthy society. There will always be those who through stupid decisions, or bad luck end up in dire straights. However I never have cash on me. When I ever come into coins they go in a special place in my car so that if I ever park in our local city, I can feed the meters (yet another reason why central city in Hamilton is dieing, who has coins to feed meters). So yes I am aware that charities wanting cash get nothing from me, where in the past I would have given something. They do need to get with the times, I would seriously consider donating if they have electronic means.

    the people I really feel sorry for are buskers. My dad knows one and some days he will make $3 over a whole day. So yeah they are feeling the pinch.

    • papagaya

      Sorry to say it, but usually a busker’s earnings are down to the talent, personality and acumen of the busker.

      • david W

        Doesn’t matter how awesome the busker is, I don’t have any cash at all on me. I wonder how many other people are like me and would give a dollar or two, but since they don’t have coinage or notes it never happens.

    • Rick H

      Then why don’t they get a real job then eh?

  • exactchange

    Wellington City Council produced a mobile phone app a couple of years ago as an alternative to giving money to beggars. Money collected was to go to homeless charities. There were also supposed to be charity boxes for cash donations, bit I’ve never seen any of them. The phone app, which IIRC cost around $40k, was quietly dropped after it was a failure.

    The rationale was so money was not given to people directly but to organisations that support the homeless, hopefully put to better use.

    So, not chuggers but a failure of a tech based system all the same.

  • Disinfectant

    Maybe it is time for charity collectors (and charities) to produce daily records of takings for the public to view on request.

  • Aucky

    I think another factor is the increasing number of homes that no longer have a landline. We cancelled ours in November and aaaah the peace at mealtimes is fantastic!

  • Orange

    More now, with both worldvision and you. I could say something more about that but won’t.

  • Marlise Erasmus

    I do less ad hoc donations because I refuse to sign a monthly debit for every charity who knocks on my door. Two charities this year refused cash donations and insisted that a monthly debit was the only way we could donate – well, bye then!

    We still donate the same amount, it’s just spread across fewer charities.

    An eftpos machine is a good idea, because I will probably give a $ or 5 on the spot – I find it almost impossible to say no!

  • TreeCrusher

    I got dupped by a charity with an EFTPOS machine. I was in the pub and they came over to our group with their bucket jiggling in front. I proclaimed that I would love to donate but couldn’t as I didn’t have any cash. They quickly retorted with “it’s ok we have EFTPOS” at which point I had painted myself into a corner and donated $10.

    Beware of the stealth EFTPOS.

  • Polly

    Happily give several hundred dollars to a selection of charities each year, but I only ever give direct to them , and with a receipt. . Then I claim a third back from IRD at the end of the year….. So for every eg $300, only actually pay $200! Don’t know why more people don’t do it like this.

  • Intrigued

    I used to give to the charities over the phone that wanted to send children with disabilities or living in “poverty” or sick children to various shows or events. One year I ended up giving to at least three or four and then every year after that I must have been on the database for at least twice that number of charities that called. I’m on the Board of a charity and know how hard it is to raise money but got wise to the fact that there is an organisation that contracts out its services to charities (at quite a cost) and I figured it was probably the same kind of organisation that was always calling me around dinner time. We didn’t end up contracting them cos too much of the donor’s contribution paid for the cost of the fund raising service!
    After a couple of years I realised that the same “patter” over the phone was being used every single time I got called (thanking me for my generous donation the year before etc etc) and often the same chap calling me for money to support these needy children (ie I recognised his voice). I’d previously always left a cheque in the letterbox made out to the charity concerned so I don’t think it was a scam but who knows? Maybe it was? Later it became a visa transaction and after a couple of those I stopped. How did I really know it was getting to the children I thought were benefiting from my donation?
    That’s when my husband and I decided on a plan. We would donate a set amount yearly to three charities of our choice and that’s it. I already donate a large chunk of my life to one in time and energy so the other three are purely monetary. It makes it so much easier to explain to the caller – whether at our door or on the phone that we have made our charitable donations for the year and we don’t have the budget for more, but wish them all the best.
    When it comes to the charities with their buckets outside supermarkets or on street corners, unless I’m moved to put some dollars in their collection buckets and actually have cash on me (rarely cos I have kids!) I smile and carry on. It’s tough out there in the charitable sector but for me Eftpos will only make me stop and think about how much I’ve already given and won’t move me to give more. But that’s just the way we do it now in our family. There are crooks out there purportedly operating in the charitable sector and you have to be careful that your donation is going to the organisation you intend it to go to.

  • Will Travers

    Living in London a few years ago and had someone knocking on the door asking for a regular monthly contribution for their charity (Greenpeace IIRC). When I told them I couldn’t afford it and got an incredulous reply of how on earth couldn’t I afford it I resolved never to contribute to charities that bothered me for their money. Since then I keep a list of charities that try to collect money over the phone, call at your door and hang around outside the supermarkets. I refuse to donate to them and inform them so whenever they try to collect money from me. In my opinion if you encourage irritating behaviour they will only continue it.

    I still donate lots of used stuff to op shops which raises funds for their charities and keeps landfills emptier so figure that counts for some good!