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My Experience Collecting Donations for a Local Charity Organisation

I have been in a Network Marketing organisation for about 2 years. I think I have enough experience there to share about my stories.

Types of charity work

There are many activities out there that you can do to help the various charity organisations. You could distribute food items to the less fortunate. You could provide free tuition classes. Furthermore, you could provide cleaning services. Well, you could even raise funds for the less fortunate.

The point is, there is no fixed approach to helping the less fortunate. It all depends on whether you are willing to put in the time for them.

In this article, I will be sharing my experience working in a third-party marketing company where we help to raise funds for one of the Singaporean charity organisations.

Volunteer or paid?

If you have not read one of my previous articles, I described my experience working in one of the network marketing companies. Click here to read the full article. When I was working in that network marketing company, our main income was through the collection of donations.

Yes, I can't stress this enough, but we do get a commission out of every donation made by donors. The rate will vary according to the organisation. Of course, for privacy purposes, I will not mention the commission we are getting per donation.

You may be wondering, why didn't I just do it on a volunteer basis. Well, the thing is, before I joined the network marketing company, I had no idea that I will be raising funds for the charity organisation. Sure, there are plenty of organisations out there that sets up volunteering activities to raise funds for them but let's be honest here. If you were to run the charity organisation, would you rather engage volunteers or outsource the fundraising to external parties while giving them a percentage cut as commission?

Let's go through the pros and cons of each method.

Volunteering

Pros

  1. No costs incurred
  2. Free publicity and marketing

Cons

  1. Uncertainty of donations - Without a motivated team to help drive up donations, the amount which you can expect from such fund activities can be uncertain

Pros

  1. Getting the job done - You can hate them for all you want, but these outsourced contractors do an outstanding job in raising awareness and funds for the charity organisation.
  2. Excellent planning of locations - With a proper marketing team, they will have experience in all the different locations around Singapore, and they can better advise which location would be a preferred location.

Cons

  1. Negative Reputation - What these hired fundraisers will do is approach everybody around their site to raise funds for the cause. In Singapore, almost every day at strategic spots, you can expect to see different organisations raising funds or selling items to the everyday person.

What is my daily routine?

With that out of the way, what is a typical routine of somebody who works in such organisations?

It is actually quite similar to the article I've written about My Experience In A Network Marketing Company.

8am: ICs (In-Charge) and managers will plan out the location for the day

830am — 930am: Upskilling session where every single fundraiser will go through a certain training to improve their closing rate.

930am — 10am, The main meeting. Typically, a manager will run the meeting and address issues or give another layer of training.

10am — 11am: Transit to location and early lunch.

11am — 4pm: This is the period where all the fundraisers will be at their location trying their best to raise funds.

That sums up the daily activities. Occasionally, though, that won't be the end of the day. After we have wrapped up the numbers, probably by 430pm, most of the fundraisers will head back to the office for after working hours activities.

This could range from just hanging out with other more successful people, playing games, having another learning session or simply discussing certain issues that are happening in the campaign or organisation.

When it ends really depends on the host for that activity. It can end as late as 4am, or it as early as 8pm.

Is it worth it?

Let's face it, the majority of the people working there are not there because they like helping the charity organisation. They are doing this purely for money. How this network marketing organisation operates is through commissions. There is no basic pay. It is 100% commission based. Meaning, if for that day you did not manage to close any donations, you will go home with zero dollars. Akin to volunteering for the charity organisation.

When asked whether is it worth it or not, I will have to say that it depends. Here are some perspectives that I can think of, and I will even give my perspective at the end.

Career Progression

As mentioned in my experience in a network marketing article, people tend to stay in network marketing purely for career progression and the thought of them being able to potentially achieve that someday, is what makes them stay strong.

The main income from such companies is not the commission you earn from getting a donation, it is through the commissions of your underlings who earned their commissions from the donors.

Helping out the less fortunate

For some, they have joined such organisations as a way to help the less fortunate. Having such a perspective helps to prevent them from having any negative thoughts when a person does not donate to their cause.

The thing is, if you have such perspective here, I'd rather you commit to another full-time job and approach the charity organisation directly for volunteering activities. Not earning because you are not driven to close the donations is not sustainable.

My perspective

In my perspective, the whole idea of a full commission job based on charity donations is something that is not worth doing, especially if you are living in Singapore. The thing is, people island wide, has seen many charity organisations on a daily basis. Every single person wants you to donate something. Let's be honest, there is no way we can afford to donate to every cause. This and the fact that living in Singapore is not getting cheaper anytime soon will make it harder for people to be willing to donate frequently.

This fact alone will directly impact the income that you can potentially receive. Remember, this s a fully commissioned position. No donations = no income.

How did the community react to us fundraisers?

To be frank, it's a mixture of positives and negatives. I'll list down both for you.

Positives

  • There are some groups of people who are generally nice towards fundraisers, as they understand that there are people out who require financial assistance. These types of users will typically donate a certain sum to every organisation or if they are not able to afford it, they will offer food or drinks to you.

Negatives

  • There are some people out there who despise us fundraisers, and they will do whatever it takes to get away from you. They can shout at you, they can even hurl vulgarities at you. Don't take it personally, but if you were in their shoes, you'd feel annoyed too.
  • Unfortunately, for those who fall under this category, it is best to just avoid them and to not disturb them further. You will under no circumstances be able to make them donate to your cause.

Should you switch careers?

The answer is no. Whatever your reasons may be, it is not advisable to switch careers and work as a full-time fundraiser if you are living in Singapore. The amount you can expect to earn is not significant, especially during these COVID times.

If you wish to help these charities get donations, I would rather you do that on a volunteer basis. At least you will still have a stable income while giving back to society.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Muhammad Shairazi

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