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Clients asking for donations/sponsorship

How do you handle requests?

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Hello,

I've been asked personally from a few clients who are also involved in non for profit organisations for either donations or sponsorship, this is in addition to the usual would you help for free requests, which are easier to decline in my experience.

Now, I don't want to appear unsupporting to some of my most profitable clients, but clearly there is a balance to be struck.

Any good/funny responses welcome

 

Replies (24)

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By Roland195
06th Dec 2019 12:01

One of the joys in running your own practice is that you get to set your own policy for this. No doubt some wee nyaff with a clipboard from the institutes will bunch their Y fronts at a potential conflict of interest though.

I find it difficult, especially at this time of year as there are so many good causes but badly run or ineffective charities.

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
06th Dec 2019 12:26

No. It's a useful word.

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Replying to Red Leader:
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By Justin Bryant
06th Dec 2019 13:04

Oh no it's not!

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By bernard michael
06th Dec 2019 13:34

Try No it does work

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
06th Dec 2019 13:45

You can always give an accountants answer, ie "we have already exceeded our charity budget for this year"

Although to be fair, we set ourselves a target of 1% of turnover about 3 years ago and I have failed to get anywhere close. Quick looks suggest I have managed £250 since Jan which is a bit wet quite frankly. Good intentions foiled by inaction.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By James Green
08th Dec 2019 16:29

This is my go to, followed by: “we have a standardised 47 page application form for support. Next years applications close in 24 hours, would you like me to send you the form to complete so you can send it back with the supporting evidence by 4pm tomorrow?” (And yes, I do have a 47 page application form available I found on google I can send if anyone says yes... but they never have)

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Replying to James Green:
RLI
By lionofludesch
08th Dec 2019 17:19

You may as well say no.

It's less offensive.

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Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
06th Dec 2019 13:46

Whenever someone comes begging for money, sorry, asking for donations, just respond by silently staring at them until they feel awkward about the situation and move on to something else.

Do that once and I guarantee you they won't come asking again.

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Replying to Lone_Wolf:
RLI
By lionofludesch
06th Dec 2019 13:53

Lone_Wolf wrote:

Whenever someone comes begging for money, sorry, asking for donations, just respond by silently staring at them until they feel awkward about the situation and move on to something else.

Do that once and I guarantee you they won't come asking again.

Jaysus - they probably won't come again, never mind come asking.

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Replying to Lone_Wolf:
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By Tax Dragon
06th Dec 2019 15:04

Your avatar is a selfie?

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By Moonbeam
06th Dec 2019 14:03

Point out that there is no margin in your firm's profits for this sort of thing and you already give to charity privately and have to draw the line somewhere. That's the truth for me, anyway.
If they use that as a way of offloading you, you'll be better off without a bully for a client (when you can find a replacement, of course!)

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
06th Dec 2019 14:03

One "excuse" used in a previous firm I worked for was, "We as a firm do not make donations, we feel choices re donations are better left to the individuals in the firm as a personal choice for them."

Catch is that only really works for cold callers not clients.

Path of least resistance- make donation and try to catch it back in the fee if you really do not want to donate or just make it if you do support the charity.

Frankly I am a bit jaded with a lot of UK charities and these days, with one exception, they have to be small, have low administrative overhead costs and do something I really believe in before I will give them any money-though I do recycle books/CDs etc via the Oxfam Gift aid scheme.

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By bernard michael
06th Dec 2019 14:14

I have in the past donated preparation of a tax return as a prize in a raffle or auction. These have been very profitable and produced several new ongoing clients

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Replying to bernard michael:
By Moonbeam
06th Dec 2019 14:52

This sounds like a good idea, but how would insurers view it?

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Replying to Moonbeam:
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By bernard michael
06th Dec 2019 15:04

Moonbeam wrote:

This sounds like a good idea, but how would insurers view it?

Is there an insurance problem? The prize winners went through the usual identity & AML checks. They have all passed to date

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Replying to bernard michael:
By Moonbeam
06th Dec 2019 15:50

I believe insurers hate us working for free.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
RLI
By lionofludesch
06th Dec 2019 16:07

Moonbeam wrote:

I believe insurers hate us working for free.

Au contraire.

I would suggest they love it.

Technically, you have no contract which means you have no claim if something goes wrong.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
06th Dec 2019 16:09

If you are basing that on a lack of consideration (dosh not the being helpful kind) I would point out that up here one does not need consideration to have a contract- we have the unilateral, gratuitous promise.

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Replying to DJKL:
RLI
By lionofludesch
06th Dec 2019 16:18

DJKL wrote:

If you are basing that on a lack of consideration (dosh not the being helpful kind) I would point out that up here one does not need consideration to have a contract- we have the unilateral, gratuitous promise.

Not sure whether that's a plus or a minus.

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Replying to bernard michael:
Slim
By Slim
06th Dec 2019 15:11

I thought about this in the past, knowing my luck someone with extremely complex tax affairs would win.

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By bernard michael
06th Dec 2019 15:26

I did get one of those but it was a good learning experience. Since the first free year I've been able to charge her a significant fee and recouped my generosity over the 5 years she been with me. She's also introduced 2 other clients - so result !!

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By Bob Loblaw
06th Dec 2019 16:53

No

or

"I'm sorry but our I've entrusted our annual sponsorship funds to a kind Nigerian prince who has promised to pay me back and then some once the bank of his late father (who died in a tragic car accident and left no will) has my funds which are required to process the release of cash to him. Unfortunately those funds have also been earmarked as I received a rather troubling phone call from another kind man at the IRS who advised me that I was going to be jailed if I didn't buy him 12 iTunes gift cards."

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By Crouchy
07th Dec 2019 13:29

suggest that you can make a donation, but that next years fee may increase to cover the cost!

I'd have a look at how long the client has been with me, and if its a worthwhile fee and worth 'giving something back'

You can't possibly support all clients with their day to day activities - whether that's fundraising, eating in the local cafe or using the builder who you know is probably a bit of a cowboy - if it doesn't fit with your own business or outlook on life don't go beyond your professional relationship, it will only cause problems down the road

the best thing you can do to support clients is providing good service

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By sculptureofman
10th Dec 2019 16:39

If it's in an email, ignore it and then reply after the event saying 'sorry, just seen this, hope all went well'

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