Look out! Here they come! Oh, no. You see them heading your way with smiles on their faces, paper work in hand, with pencils or pens poised. They’re the dreaded co-workers who want to separate you from your hard-earned money. You’ve given in the past and these requests are beginning to negatively affect your finances, especially in the current economy. You don’t want to give anymore and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings for asking.

            “Don’t we all want to drive a new minivan? All you have to do is purchase a few raffle tickets (the more you buy, the better your odds of winning). Plus, you don’t have to be present to win. This will help buy backpacks for needy students.  How many would you like to buy?”

            “Haven’t you been waiting all year to support the Girl Scouts by buying at least five boxes of yummy Girl Scout cookies?”

            “For only $1.00 per bar, you can help some boys win a trip to Disneyland? How many would you like to buy today?”

            “Ssssshhh. We’re going to surprise Becky with a baby shower gift. How much would you like to donate?”
            If you find yourself quietly mumbling unpleasant words under your breath as you open your wallet or purse to part with your money, consider the fact that you do have options. You are not obligated to partake in this donation ritual of “if you don’t buy something, you’re a Grinch.”
            First of all, you are not a Grinch if you choose not donate. The secret is how you avoid donating. The easiest way to avoid office donations is to:
  1. Smile
  2. Look your co-worker directly in the eyes.
  3. Congratulate your co-worker on being involved with such a worthy cause.
  4. Say, “I’ll pass on donating, but I wish you luck in raising a ton of money for ______” (fill in the blank).
  5. Continue smiling. You do not have to give a reason as to why you’re passing on this “golden opportunity to donate.”
  6. Change the subject by asking a question that is not related to the fundraising, such as, “I love your blouse. Is it new?” or “Did you see the game last night?”
      Be firm. You might be asked, “Well, would you consider giving at a later time?” Your answer is, “No, I won’t.” (Remember, keep smiling). If your co-worker is persistent, he or she might say, “But it’s only a dollar for a raffle ticket. That’s nothing.” Your response could be, “All the same, I’ll pass.”
      Don’t get caught up with weak statements such as:
  • I’ll think about it
  • Try me later
  • I don’t have cash or my checkbook on me
  • I’d love to donate, but can’t right now 
            Those statements will eventually cause you even more angst because you’ve just dug yourself into a hole from which you’ll never get out. Those co-workers will hunt you down or make a special effort to be wherever you are until you succumb.

            Keep repeating, “I’ll pass.” Remember to smile.

            Congratulations. You’re not a Grinch. You’re an honest person who is in control of your finances and will not be intimidated. Plus, you’re showing respect by being polite.

            Remember, it’s always okay to say NO.