Reader Isn't A Bad Person, Just Doesn't Want To Round Up His Grocery Purchase

Dustin isn’t a jerk, really. He just feels like one every time he shops at his local Vons, because they’re always pushing him to donate his change to charity. He wants to know whether your local Vons, Safeway, or other grocery stores do this to you, too.

He writes:

It seems like every time I am in my local Vons store in Grover Beach, CA I get to the register, and am asked by the cashier if I would like to donate XX amount of cents to (insert charity name here). They basically ask you to round up to the nearest dollar and donate that amount. Now, their charities are always large, reputable, and worthy causes, but it just seems like a really pushy tactic for getting donations. This was really getting to me a couple months ago, but it stopped for a while, and has now just started again.

I’m really not sure if they realize it or not, but putting someone on the spot to donate money when there are 4 or 5 people in line watching you kind of makes you feel cornered. I mean, when you only have a couple pennies coming back to you and you decline to donate it, as I usually do, you can’t help but feel like people are thinking you’re kind of an ass, but oh well. I’d like to think that’s not Safeway’s intent here, but it just really rubs me wrong.

Have you guys ever heard of this happening with other stores, or had any tips about it? I’m curious to find out if the other readers are getting hit up for money like they do here at my local store. I’m also going to send Safeway an email to let them know how I feel, since I’d like to hear from them how they decided to go about getting donations in this way.

None of my local stores do this—they’ll often be selling little certificates, or pet stores will ask to donate $1 to a shelter, but it isn’t as frequent or pushy as Dustin describes. Perhaps this particular store/chain have incentives for the cashier or store that raises the most money?

What are your experiences with fundraising at the checkout, as consumers and as store employees?

(Photo: wbeem)