Question of the Week: Street Canvassing in Uptown

Featured — By on February 6, 2012 6:07 am

Street canvassers for a variety of causes have become a regular feature at the corner of Hennepin and Lake.  What do you think of their presence in the neighborhood? Do you donate to corner canvassers?



  1. pbg says:

    I guess they have a right to be there. I don’t care for being stopped whilst I’m walking to be asked to donate (even worse, to sign up for an email list).

    The real question is how these orgs think that this is a good use of their time/money. I imagine the success rate is close to zero? Why not hire a PR firm to do some targeted marketing to people who are likely to donate to these causes?

  2. Cedar Phillips says:

    That’s how I feel, too. They have the right to be there, but it is incredibly irritating to be hit up for money all the time. It presumably must work (or have some benefit), although I would think there’s also incredible backlash for the organizations who engage in this. (I personally refuse to give money in that venue, as I don’t want to encourage them to go with this approach.) I believe they also justify this approach as a way to build better relationships with potential or current donors, but with that comes the risk of turning off many other potential supporters who don’t like being heckled every time they have to run their errands. During the summer months the canvassers also really clog up the corners, which while I guess is their right, is also really annoying.

    I wouldn’t mind some sort of other venue for nonprofits to make their case and solicit funds/provide information, though — or even some sort of more formalized speakers corner of sorts. I also think that I would be far less annoyed by this if the people were (a) volunteers, and (b) representing local organizations, rather than just (seemingly) the big ones who have the money to throw at practices that bring in little money.

  3. Andrew says:

    I’ve did a door-knocking for Clean Water Action and it was the worst job I ever did as I sucked and it was horrible asking people for money. Furthermore, they only hire you long-term if you can bring a certain amount of money, which is always an amount higher than the wage they are paying for that day.

    It absolutely works as they wouldn’t be using the resources to fundraise if they weren’t making a net amount off of it.

    It is also insanely annoying and during the summer, I’ll still walk in the skyways instead down Nicollet because there would be these fundraisers every other block.

  4. Urbanite says:

    better than the bible-thumpers along Nicollet Mall!

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