Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sidewalk Fundraising in Downtown Toronto

For the sixth of seventh time this week, I was asked "just for a minute" to discuss making a donation to a non-profit organization on the streets of downtown Toronto.

Street fundraisers are the new squeegie kids.

Is anyone else bothered by this? 

I am sick and tired of being accosted by aggressive fundraisers all over this city. I am not interested in being constantly harassed by well-intentioned but intrusive fundraising staff no matter what their noble cause is. I have worked in fundraising and it is a thankless job. And I donate to different non-profit organizations.

I worked in offices, or in direct mail-and was not directly and physically in people's faces.

However, I think that there is a bit of a scam in play here and I guess there is a lot of money at stake.

How come fundraisers for various organizations get to use public space (sidewalks) as their private fundraising offices?

Do fundraisers have to have a permit for soliciting funds on the streets of the city?

Maybe they should.

Why should any organization be able to make money on public property without some kind of permit or tax levied?

Toronto is a highly regulated city. People can't even operate food carts without being numbed into submission by the astounding and crippling regulations of the public health department. One can only buy hot dogs on city streets-everything else is too dangerous!

I'm thinking that maybe a percentage of the funds raised on the streets by professional fundraisers should go back to the city?

I'd love to run this by Rob Ford.