Under Pressure: Charitable Giving at the Office

Pressure Gauge, originally uploaded to Flickr by wwarby.Reader D wonders about charitable giving at the office:

Around this time every year, non-profits make a big fundraising push. Do you (and your readers) think it’s appropriate for employees to solicit donations from other employees for non-profits they support? Relatedly, I have found that in many offices, there is some pressure to donate to causes or nonprofits that the company supports. While the causes may be worthy, compelled charitable giving is a little uncomfortable. Any thoughts on how to gracefully decline donating to the firm’s non-profit(s) of choice?

Yeouch. This should be an interesting thread. For my own $.02, I think the senior people should really do their best to “protect” the office from this kind of compulsion (including employees pressuring employees). Anything beyond a sign-up sheet for Girl Scout cookies posted discreetly in someone’s office or in a communal place — or a single email about how X is running Y race, and won’t you consider donating — is, to my mind, pushy, annoying, and unprofessional. Of course, half the time the pressure is coming from the higher-ups — I have one girlfriend whose boss puts tangible pressure on everyone to give lots of money to the charity for which he sits on the board. Classy! (Pictured: Pressure Gauge, originally uploaded to Flickr by wwarby.) [Read more…]