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Rejection 27 – Getting Donation For Charity on The Street

I drive by at least a few panhandlers per day. I have never imagined to be one myself. However, Karen from North Carolina wrote me an email describing how tough it is for her to ask for money, even for someone else or for charity. To experience this myself, for hopefully the only time in my life, I took a sign to the street and asked for money for Austin Food Bank. The entrepreneur in me prompted me to test out different signs to gauge their effects.

When you don’t normally ask for money, doing so in a public setting can be excruciatingly difficult, as I found out. Among all the panhandlers, those who are honest and are in real need of money for their families, my heart goes out to them. It hurts pride to do this.

Learning: 1. Messaging matters a ton in any requests, whether it’s asking customers to buy your product, or asking strangers to give you money for charity. Make sure your message is specific enough that people know where their money is going. 2. Be very careful in using humor. If the humor is not well-designed (like in my case) or in the wrong environment (charity), it could backfire big time.

  • rojopaul

    Very interesting endeavor here. This would be so hard for me to do, and I also admit that I might not have trusted that you were going to give to the food bank, so I could see myself reading your sign and not giving. Great idea for today’s rejection therapy, Jia!

  • Ashley

    Did anyone else notice that most people that donated were women? Interesting.

  • Liz Macias

    If you would have placed the website address on the sign, you would have looked more legitimate.

  • wordcoaster

    I don’t know if you can count this one as a rejection because of the indirect effects that most likely resulted. Of the 195 cars that passed your sign, 147 of them passed it when it made reference to Austin Food Bank. Though only 5 decided to donate, perhaps some were merely cautious. If I passed you on the street corner I most likely would not have donated on the spot, but I would have looked into Austin Food Bank. After I found out what they were doing and why (and that they were legitimate) I would feel much more comfortable giving money. So, just because you only saw $15.73 doesn’t mean that Austin Food Bank didn’t see a slight rise in their donations due to your efforts. Keep up the good work! 🙂

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