Remember the big hoo-ha about organisations going around with vouchers and coupons, asking for donations in exchange? Well, they’re back.
This time, however, they no longer have vouchers and coupons – they have a new technique. They’ve been targeting students for quite awhile now, and they still are. They just get the guys to target female students, and flatter them.
“Come on, a pretty face like you surely has a pretty heart. Help the children.”
“All the beautiful people have beautiful hearts. You have such nice clothing; the poor and needy don’t have clothing.”
They then flash (for three seconds), a photocopy of their IC, and a rather questionable licence. I have trouble saying no to people like that – ask my friends, they all know – so I took out $10 when one of them approached me.
“Actually,” the guy sheepishly “the minimum is $20.”
I told him I didn’t have $20, and the eejit said, “That’s okay we have portable Nets machine”.
He brought me to the ATMs. Yup, complete eejit.
While we were walking, I asked him about the organisation. Hope and Aspiration Association (HAA). I asked, and he told me it was a completely non-profit organisation, and that 100% of the donated money goes to charity. After talking for awhile more, I asked him about the pay. Apparently, he gets paid to stand around asking for donations. This means that he lied about the 100% going to charity. After giving him the money, I was made to write my name and phone number on a clipboard.
I went home and did some research. HAA is an organisation focused on entrepreneurship, and several articles on the Internet have talked about them before.
The events firm, Invixo Consultancy & Services, was appointed by an organisation called the Hope and Aspiration Association.
On its website, the association claims to “promote the emergence and growth of social enterprises”.
A clause on the site also states that the sale of vouchers is “not a fund-raising or donation drive”.
The site adds that 40 per cent of proceeds from the sale of vouchers goes to the association.
Mr R. Rajakanth, 38, executive director of Club Rainbow, said that promoters sometimes pass themselves off as “volunteers” of a charitable organisation.
He said: “Even if a portion of the proceeds legitimately goes to the organisation, the public’s perception can be compromised in such ways.”
On May 22, a Commissioner of Charities’ office spokesman told My Paper that there are legal obligations fund-raisers must fulfil.
These include the disclosure of clear and accurate information on the purpose of the fund-raising appeal, and of the proportion of total proceeds that goes towards charitable causes.
I texted the person who asked me to “donate”, and this was his response: