Students who work as “self-employed” charity fundraisers are tempted by unrealistic high wages without knowing the consequences.
Most charities are organizations that try to make the world a better place for all of us. There are several types of charities; some invest in health care research, others help those in need by sending emergency aid to lesser developed countries. But almost all of them are companies, and companies need to generate money.
According to goededoelen.nl, one of the main sources of income for charities is door-to-door fundraising. This allows the charities’ ambassadors to directly talk to potential donors, people who donate to the charity on a monthly basis.
These ambassadors are often students that go door-to-door as a parttime job. But how does that work? Coen B, ex manager at a charity fundraising company, explained it to the Groningen Observer.
How charities earn their money through fundraising companies.
Charities need to generate money, which they can do in several ways. The most successful way being door-to-door fundraising, because they reach their potential customers directly.
Charities hire fundraising companies to go door-to-door for them in order to generate money. These companies often hire students and other young people to do the work for them. The company gets paid a certain amount of money for every donor it provides for the charity. (This amount varies depending on the hired company and the charity, but it’s often €70 per donor)
There are two types of employment that fundraising companies offer to employees, salaried- and self-employment. Ruben B has worked as a salaried employer and self-employed worker. He told the Groningen Observer about his recent experiences as a self-employed fundraiser.
“You are actually one of the people who are easily replaceable within a company,” said Ruben B.
Ruben B was tempted by his employer, the same company as the one where Coen B worked, with higher wages. “Self-employed fundraisers can earn up to €100 per donor,” he said in an interview with the GO.
After he decided to work for them as a self-employed fundraiser, he soon found out about the negative aspects of his job. “I was promised three office days a week and a reimbursement for my driving expenses,” said Ruben B. “During the last two months I’ve been granted five office days and have not received any reimbursements for driving expenses whatsoever,” he added.
In total Ruben still needs to receive more than €750 for his labor. But the lack of a contract at the fundraising company means that he’s not guaranteed to receive any money. “You are easily pushed aside,” he said.
Ruben B and Coen B both confirmed that the fundraising companies they work(ed) for offers self-employment based contracts to people as young as 17, without them knowing the possible consequences.
“As a self-employed fundraiser you don’t build up a pension,” said Coen B. “Some of my younger co-workers didn’t know they had to do their own taxes because they were self-employed. The company doesn’t help them with that,” Ruben B added.
Although these types of jobs allow students and other youths to earn a lot of money, the downfalls are often not talked about enough.