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#59 Hello gorgeous, fancy a chat about poverty?

This week’s blog was inspired by a particularly poorly researched opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald authored by a ‘journalist’ more interested in the Kardashians and Beyoncé than actual news. Sadly, the author has stumbled upon a very important area that directly impacts the well-being of our potential donors, the image of our charity clients and the public opinion of our fundraising channel.

Most face-to-face fundraisers are taught that it takes seven seconds to make a first impression, and we know that it is hard to shift perceptions after that point, so why do some of our number insist on misogynistic, sexually and physically aggressive introductions?

"Hey babe, aren't you looking absolutely gorgeous. Come here, come here."

“Hey sexy, are you calling me?”

“Did you know it’s ‘talk with a handsome fundraiser day’?”

The writer of the piece in question points out that the fundraiser who approached her was larger than her, he commented on her looks, verbally and physically cut her off, and reached out to take her hand. This is intimidating and totally unacceptable.

We know that the PFRA has banned all the behaviours mentioned above, but their inspectors cannot always be everywhere to oversee all fundraising. These behaviours need to be stamped out by the managers and team leaders on site.

Our fundraisers and managers need to realise that they must exude confidence but not at the cost of intimidating or frightening others.

Male fundraisers, please take a moment to consider your actions and how you are viewed by others, especially women. How safe would you feel if you were in a closed-space like a lift surrounded by guys twice your size? How secure would you feel if a guy a foot taller than you and twice your weight reached out and grabbed your hand and refuse to let go? How would you feel if you were walking down the street and this giant steps in front of you blocking your exit and commenting on your looks?

If we are going to improve our relationships with potential donors and the media, we need to put an end to these behaviours by speaking out when you see them and reporting them to their managers. It’s time to act like the superheroes we aspire to not the super villains we are seen as.

PS: at midday on 09.08.2018 the article had accumulated 181 comments bleating outrage at all ch****rs and calling for our ban. Shape up or ship out.

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