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What does '$5 suggested donation' really mean?

Poll Results: What does '$5 suggested donation' really mean?

 
  • 8% (4)
    The fee is $5
  • 31% (15)
    Pay whatever you can (even nothing)
  • 22% (11)
    $5 is the fee but you can donate more if you'd like
  • 35% (17)
    $5 is the ideal but if you can't afford it you can donate less (but not nothing)
  • 2% (1)
    Other
48 Total Votes  
post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Seems like I see this a lot, for kids' concerts, parking at festivals, open gym, etc. Sometimes it's $5, sometimes $10 or $20... what does the 'suggested donation' part really mean though?

I guess I see it as a set fee & assume we can't afford to go (even $2 is a lot for us these days...) but I wonder how others view it. Can you donate whatever you can afford? Can you go for free if you can't afford anything (and how would you say this to the money collector?) Is $5 the minimum???
post #2 of 11

When the non-profit organization I volunteer with puts that on a sign, we mean that $5 is the minimum.
 

post #3 of 11

I run a dance jam where we say that there's a suggested donation of $5-$10. What we mean by that is:

--We hope each person will pay between $5-$10 for the jam. We leave it up to each person to decide what amount in that range is affordable for them.

--No one's paying attention to how much each person puts into the basket. It's the honor system.

--If a $5 donation is keeping you away, please just come and dance with us...throw in a few bucks if you can, if you can't, we'd still like to dance with you, so please just come. We don't want money to be the only thing keeping you away.

--If you can, please give more so that we can keep paying studio and rent and keep our jam running.

 

We don't expect people to read our minds, however. We regularly explain to everyone who comes to the jam how things work and what we expect. Our jam kitty goes directly to paying studio rent, and sometimes we are short. In that case, we ask people to throw in a bit more if they can. But we are also very committed to making our jam accessible, even to people who can't pay anything. So far, it always works out.

post #4 of 11
I would donate the five dollars per person if I wasn't having a tight month bill wise. I might donate less if I needed to... but never nothing.. that feels wrong to me.
post #5 of 11

It means that we need $5 from you but aren't going to deny you admission if you don't have it or are to cheap to pay it.

post #6 of 11

This thread had me searching for dictionary definitions of suggested, voluntary, non-profit, donation etc. 

 

And my conclusion is it seems that this kind of set up relies on the honor system and is intended that one pay the suggested price.  Places that set up a box and sign are saving costs on staffing a position for ticket sales etc, which help keep the price lower but still want/need/rely on admission charges. As some one previously said, non-profit may also have certain stipulations that do not allow for ticket sales so this is a way to collect money.

 

Previous to today, I always thought it was pay if you want ... a voluntary charitable donation; but it is not mandatory.  I do think some places, like art galleries, museums - places funded by the government, etc do mean this, as they do not want to deny visitors.

 

p.s. if I were in your shoes (or if there comes a time for me) I certainly would peruse these places, donate a buck or what you can afford ... and enjoy


Edited by SunRise - 8/14/12 at 10:10am
post #7 of 11

I think it means, "We'd love the money but come regardless."  

post #8 of 11

It depends on where you see it. If it's a non-profit thing, then it means that "we legally can't sent a set price to charge you." That's how it was for the non-profit I was involved in. We would do car washes and have a "$5 suggested donation" since we couldn't require they pay. But it usually worked in our favor because they would donate more than suggested. Maybe contacting the event beforehand and asking would help?

post #9 of 11

In the non-profits I have worked for, it usually meant "We could really use $5 per person to cover the cost of this event, but we understand some people can not afford to pay that. We would still love for you to come, so please pay what you can."

 

There are usually a few generous people who pay more, which helps to cover the costs for those who can not afford to pay $5.

post #10 of 11

I think it really depends on the organization.  I think for some places it actually is voluntary and they don't mind if you can't pay, but for others it is basically a minimum, and they would be happy to take more.
 

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemombian View Post

It depends on where you see it. If it's a non-profit thing, then it means that "we legally can't sent a set price to charge you." That's how it was for the non-profit I was involved in. We would do car washes and have a "$5 suggested donation" since we couldn't require they pay. But it usually worked in our favor because they would donate more than suggested. Maybe contacting the event beforehand and asking would help?

That's my take on it. I don't generally do things if I can't afford the recommended donation. I have gone to a couple of museum type places without donating, though. Especially when the website says it's free admission and then I'm surprised at the door by a "recommended donation." I wouldn't have come if there was a fee and I'm not about to take my child home because I can't afford a donation.

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