The Single Worst Place You Can Ask for a Discount

discountIt never fails.

You’re manning the ticket table at a fundraiser, and up walks someone looking to make a deal. “So,” they’ll usually start, “how about a discount?”

Or, “Hey, is there a discount for seniors/students/people buying a whole bunch?”

Typically the answer when rebuffed is, “oh, I was just kidding,” but there’s always something about the way they say it that makes clear they weren’t kidding at all. They really were trying to save a buck or two … at a fundraiser.

That’s not pinching pennies. That’s not being money savvy. That’s being a jerk.

It’s not that I can’t identify with a desire to save a little cash here and there. We all have bills to pay, and it’s hard to say no to a good deal.  If you want to clip your coupons and buy big when the price is low, go for it.

But there’s a time and a place for saving money, and a fundraiser is neither. It’s a place where volunteers are giving their time (and likely their money too) to help someone or something special in your community. It’s a place where every penny raised is needed, even the ones you’re trying to hold back with your sneaky deal requests. Fundraisers pay the medical bills of people going through the scariest moments of their lives. They help put food on other family’s tables and keep the doors of community centers open so kids like yours can have a clean, safe place to go instead of playing in the streets. They help fund research to save lives and give people hope.

They’re not the place to play let’s make a deal.

And before you start hemming and hawwing about how you’re not made of money, let’s not forget that fundraisers are not mandatory. Showing up is done of your own free will and hopefully out of the goodness of your heart. If you need a cheap meal because you can’t afford one that’s more expensive, you’re more than welcome to head past the pancake breakfast and continue to the grocery store with your coupons. If your kids are in need of some cheap entertainment, you’re more than free to stay home and turn up the radio for an impromptu living room dance party. And if you’d like to see some inexpensive sports played, a cheap soccer ball will run you less than $10.

You have options. The ticket line at the fundraiser isn’t one of them.


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Image via Phil Warren/Flickr


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