The subject of this post is a very prevalent thing in my own country, the UK: I don’t know whether it’s equally common, or less so, in other parts of the world.
A wide variety of “interest groups” – in the senses both of “topic or avocation that interests one”, and “group campaigning for something” – have a practice of sending out to those who pay a subscription to belong to an “outfit” which supports whatever-it-is, and wishes to be kept in touch with its doings – booklets of raffle tickets. The idea is, that the recipient should try to sell to people with whom they’re acquainted, said tickets: to be sold at a fixed, modest price, most commonly one British pound per ticket – with several quite valuable prizes (sometimes money, sometimes in other forms) to go to the few lucky winners. The rest of the takings go, of course, into the group’s coffers to further its work.
I belong to an assortment of groups as above, which all seem to do this thing of sending me raffle-ticket booklets to sell. This is something which I find embarrassing and unwelcome. I dislike the whole idea and prospect of pestering relatives / friends / associates for money, in exchange for raffle tickets in support of something in which they probably have minimal, or no, interest. I feel that it potentially makes me an annoying pest to such people – with connotations of putting them on the spot, whereby if they say “no”, they are liable to feel embarrassedly, like cheapskates; and if they say “yes”, they are liable to quietly resent experiencing mild blackmail at my hands. When I get this stuff from these outfits: usually I either buy a very few tickets (considerably less than the total number sent to me) in my own name; or I just throw the ticket booklets away, “end-of”.
Would be interested to hear from others – if there are any here – who encounter this business in any capacity: how they feel about the matter, and how they deal with it. I feel that I must be far from the only outfit-member who finds the whole carry-on awkward, embarrassing, and unwelcome – and so, essentially, doesn’t take part in it. Common sense would suggest that there must be many people who are happy to tout around to those with whom they’re acquainted, trying to sell raffle tickets to them; and many of the targeted people must – however willingly or less willingly – buy the things: if this whole routine didn’t raise a lot of money, the organisations concerned would not engage in it. It all just seems to me to have such a potential for awkwardness and negative feelings, both for “perpetrators” and for “victims”. To a great extent, people are averse to being hassled to disgorge money, even with the minuscule chance of turning out to be a lucky winner. People who actually want to gamble, will go out and find their preferred mode of gambling; that’s an active, not a passive, thing.
Views on the issue, from people who have been on either end, would be welcome.