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Stop Cancer Donation Quotas, Safeway

Posted Wed October 8, 2008 12:00 pm, by teresa m. written to Safeway, Inc.

Write a Letter to this Company

It is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Safeway is participating in fundraising again this year.

While only slightly annoyed at being asked to donate everytime I go there (almost everyday because I work close by), I can appreciate what Safeway is trying to do. However, walking through the front end today, next to the managers office, in plain sight of everyone, I noticed a written "memo" to employees.

It said something along the lines of all employees need to be getting $40.00 in donations a day and anything less was unacceptable. It was also accompanied by a list of employees and their accrued donations.

How can you put a quota on how much is raised by any one person? How can an employee have any control over who and how much someone is donating? Should I be checking my receipt even closer to make sure I didn't get charged for a donation because some clerk isn't making their quota?

I find this policy ridiculous and unfair to your customers and employees.

Stop requiring employees to bring in a certain amount of donations.


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by John D. Posted Fri September 10, 2010 @ 2:29 PM

I'm an employee at Safeway. Not only do we have to bring in a certain
amount, but we get in trouble for not asking. I wish a lawyer would
look into this because I do believe it is illegal for an employee to
get a corrective action for not asking for donations in the grocery
business. Safeway is a grocery retail business. Only 2 things apply
here. Sales and profits for the company and safety for employees and
customers. Donations have nothing to do with either of those 2
things. Corrective actions can be given to those 2 things but not for
not asking for donations. One thing is for certain. If I ever get
written up or loss of hours or even threatened loss of my job, I will
file a lawsuit against the company. I actually did find a law that
states what I'm saying is true. This is how I got my info. I hate
asking for donations. It's not right. I'm not a representative for
MDA, breast cancer awareness, prostate cancer awareness, easter seals.
If these charities want donations, they need to send their own
representatives to Safeway, and ask at the front entrance for
donations. I think it's great for what these charities are doing, but
to harass Safeway employees for not asking is wrong. Imagine a police
officer pulling people over to ask for breast cancer awareness
donations. It's sounds stupid doesn't it. It's doesn't fit the any
description of law enforcement. Now imagine the officer getting fired
for not asking for donations. Get it straight Safeway.


Re: Stop Cancer Donation Quotas, Safeway by Elaine W. Fri October 10, 2008 @ 1:14 PM

I disagree by Marty5223 Fri October 10, 2008 @ 5:29 PM

As a consumer by Donno Fri October 10, 2008 @ 7:22 PM

There is a difference between "asking" and "pushing" by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Sat October 11, 2008 @ 8:23 AM

I agree by Marty5223 Sat October 11, 2008 @ 9:41 AM

That's how stores make money! by Maegan Z. Fri October 10, 2008 @ 5:53 PM

Spending more with a store card by olie Fri October 10, 2008 @ 6:36 PM

NO I would say they would not get punished by Marty5223 Fri October 10, 2008 @ 7:05 PM

It does come up in the review. by Maegan Z. Sun October 12, 2008 @ 11:02 AM

Yeah Retail is fun is it not? Not really by Marty5223 Sun October 12, 2008 @ 5:01 PM
by whitewash Posted Wed February 4, 2009 @ 2:19 AM

How can you dare say ..."I don't think asking employees for a certain
amount per day is really a bad thing."...

Cashiers and ALL employees are not hired to canvas for donations!!!
And they certainly should not be pressured and threatened by low-life
This is the ultimate in business lows!!!

If a company wants to have a fundraiser, have hotdog sale and leave
the high pressure crap behind!!!
They have no right to incorporate that into the staffs duties.


by MA Cunningham Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 7:46 PM

but look at it this way - at least the cause is something good. It's
not like they're raising money for the KKK or Aryan nation.

I've seen some "solicitors" (not necessarily employees) at other
stores who aggressively pursue customers in their quest for donations.
If that's the case, then you are absolutely right that it needs to
stop. But I don't see anything wrong with them setting a goal for the
staff to reach and showing with pride those employees who are making a

Personally, I'd rather be pestered for Breast Cancer Research money
than hit up for political or religious donations.

Look at it this way. Target is far worse about pushing those stupid
Red Cards/Target Visas and that doesn't help anybody!


You gave me the most evil idea by RedheadwGlasses Fri October 10, 2008 @ 9:15 AM

I can see... by Jeffrey/Branding/Alex Fri October 10, 2008 @ 11:21 AM

That's funny! by RedheadwGlasses Fri October 10, 2008 @ 12:57 PM

Only you by MA Cunningham Sat October 11, 2008 @ 8:13 PM

I'd go see that... by Enjoying the fall Mon October 20, 2008 @ 2:26 PM

by BirmanCat Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 4:44 PM

I've been on both sides of this issue, as an employee forced to ask
for contributions and a consumer being asked for a donation.

I am perfectly capable of deciding which charities I will support.
Plus, when I give, I expect (and get!) a receipt from the charitable
organization that I use in figuring my taxes each year. Is Safeway
giving out those receipts? Or, perhaps Safeway is just donating the
money in its own name?

Either way, as an employee I hated bothering my customers when they
clearly came into shop rather than make a charitable donation. One
year, a number of us got together and approached the store manager. We
told him that each of us had our own preferred charity and asked him
to make sure that our charities got the same beneficial treatment as
the store-sponsored one.

He scurried off and called his boss and that was the last of the
annual customer harassment programs -- companywide.


Ooh, good idea! by olie Thu October 9, 2008 @ 6:46 PM

by magpie Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 2:19 PM

I was a server at Chili's for five years and we were forced, once a
year, to "sell" cutout chili peppers in support of SIDS research.
Those who didn't "sell" enough peppers were punished - via public
humiliation during daily staff meetings, refusing to cut servers until
"sales" were made, and so on. It was horrible. Not to mention being
forced to delicately mention Sudden Infant DEATH Syndrome to your
table of guests who are all having a good time!

I am against corporate bullying. That's what the Safeway memo sounds
like to me!

by PlanetFeedback's Mr. Helpful Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 12:02 PM

If anyone's interested in knowing how these kinds of things can and do
get out of hand at the store level, there are two basic reasons (these
may not apply in all cases however if you see a store like the one
Teresa writes about where employees are unduly pressured, you can be
sure one or both of these reasons is in play):

1. Pride. Most companies that do this sort of fund raising do so to
demonstrate to the community they're involved. The most obvious way
to "measure" the depth of that involvement is by adding up all the
donations the companies are able to get on behalf of the cause. The
more donations...the better the company supposedly looks.

2. Competitiveness/leadership. A LOT of companies view these kinds
of donation programs as a test of management's leadership skills. For
instance, if you're a regional manager and your region always comes in
dead last in donations, that can be a sign that you don't properly
"lead" your team. And that cascades down to district managers and
store managers. A lot of assistant managers try to use these kinds of
donation programs to demonstrate they're a "better leader" than their
store manager so you're apt to find notes scattered around the store
from assistants exhorting the team to do better. These kinds of
things ARE brought up during reviews and ARE used to make decisions
about who stays and who goes at a management level.

There is a fine line between setting a goal and enforcing a quota.
Setting a goal usually involves rallying the troops around a common
initiative whereas enforcing a quota attempts to reach a goal by undue
and inappropriate coercion. Such tactics never demonstrate good
leadership..instead, they demonstrate their ability to bully those on
a lower rung.


"There is a fine line between setting a goal and enforcing a quota." by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Thu October 9, 2008 @ 12:17 PM

leadership by SuzieCat Thu October 9, 2008 @ 1:59 PM

Sounds like we worked for similar companies by Marty5223 Fri October 10, 2008 @ 5:34 PM

by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 11:28 AM

I think the real problem is not that the management has goals for the
employees to make and a list of acquired donations but that it is in
full view of customers. It should really be placed in an employee

As for the idea of quotas, yes, it's for a good cause, and yes, $40 is
not that hard of a goal to reach. However, I really take issue with a
management team dictating that anything less is unacceptable. A
donation is essentially a gift, and a gift should never be mandatory
nor should it be subject to mandatory quotas.


by ~Fiâi-la-âlea~ Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 10:57 AM

My son works at Safeway and they have to do this when working on the
registers. One thing that happens is the repeat customers get tired of
being asked continually, especially if they already made a donation.
Sometimes they are just coming in for a loaf of bread and don't want
to be asked once more.


Donations by cyclemike Fri October 24, 2008 @ 10:07 AM

by SumnerMan Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 8:57 AM

It's a shame but this store is like many many others including some
I've worked for in the Walgreens chain. Pressure is put from higher
ups to the store level (i.e. the regional managers onto the district
manager onto the store managers on to the clerks). It then gets to
the point where quotas are instituted even though the higher ups will
say they never meant for that to happen. But their pressure causes
the quotas because each district managers seems to be in competetion
with other district managers. It gets to the point of being
ridiculous. And at the "end of the day", it's the customer that
starts to feel the pressure.


Punishments? by Tiffany P. Thu October 9, 2008 @ 9:16 AM

No... by SumnerMan Thu October 9, 2008 @ 9:23 AM

"punishment" by SuzieCat Thu October 9, 2008 @ 2:02 PM

punishment and no by Tiffany P. Fri October 10, 2008 @ 8:00 AM

Donations, Quotas, Punishment by Richard V. Sat October 31, 2009 @ 2:30 PM

by Nate. Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 8:25 AM

I would like to offer a bit of insight on this-
When I worked at Wendy's, we had a program which ran from around
thanksgiving through christmas where we asked everybody to "Round up
$0.50 to change a child's life". The money went to help children with
cancer. But wait... All this money! TAX BREAK FOR AL! (The franchisee
who owns 50 stores). All of this could be written off as a charitable
donation by the company, so we tracked it. It was a competition to see
how many "Roundups" we could get. However, the problem was getting
people to ask every customer to donate- people were either too lazy,
or didn't care.

I think that the manager is trying to motivate the employees which
will in the end benefit the company and breast cancer. If the clerks
work an 8-hour shift, then that is $5 per hour... You did not specify
the donation amount, so it could be 5 people or even 2.5 people if the
requested donation is $2. It actually would be pretty simple to
accomplish, and would add up to quite a bit.

I commend this manager for setting goals for his staff that would be
pretty easy to accomplish, and support a great cause.


I commend this manager for setting goals for his staff that would be pretty easy to accomplish, and support a great cause. by Bill R. Thu October 9, 2008 @ 10:05 AM

Great response, Nate! by Final Score: Boys-3, Girls-1 Thu October 9, 2008 @ 10:52 AM

Reminders by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Thu October 9, 2008 @ 2:16 PM

Just out of curiousity by PlanetFeedback's Mr. Helpful Thu October 9, 2008 @ 11:48 AM

I am not sure of the legalities by Nate. Thu October 9, 2008 @ 3:41 PM

Tax Benefit by BirmanCat Thu October 9, 2008 @ 4:53 PM

You hit it! by Nate. Thu October 9, 2008 @ 9:28 PM

That it's illegal probably wouldn't stop them by RedheadwGlasses Thu October 9, 2008 @ 7:32 PM

by dulynoted (aka duttycalls) Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 8:04 AM

While the manager may have his/her own agenda for wanting to support
this charity it should not be forced upon the employees to encourage
the customer to donate.
A sign requesting donations is all that is needed at the register.
Better yet they can put a change jar near each register asking the
customer if they would donate their change to this charity.
There are many ways to go about this but demanding that the employee
meet a quota is wrong.

I was wondering, if this is a union store would the union have a say
so in their members being put on a quota system for donations?


I couldn't agree more by DeeM Thu October 9, 2008 @ 11:12 AM

by Teresa B. Posted Thu October 9, 2008 @ 3:02 AM

I agree...This is not how this is suppose to work. Breast Cancer
Awareness is my pet project and I will donate and buy stuff that goes
specifically to the Susan G Kormen Foundation, but I would hate to
know that employees are being scored on how much in donations they
take in. I hope you get a response to this. I belive that its a
worthwhile charity but I also think it should be up the indivudal
person to make the dexision to donate or not.



by RedheadwGlasses Posted Wed October 8, 2008 @ 11:10 PM

I agree. This is awful. To pressure employees to pressure customers
is unconscionable. Or some other appropriate and equally misspelled

I generally do not donate at cashier registers. I make donations as I
see fit, to charities that are more personal to me (ALS, lung cancer,
gay stuff, animal stuff). I do NOT appreciate being pressured, and I
feel bad for cashiers who feel like they must push shoppers to donate!


by Bill R. Posted Wed October 8, 2008 @ 10:21 PM

teresa M.,

As long as recruiting and tracking employees' prowess
as donation solicitors does not become a condition of employment I can
be asked a zillion times and still not have a problem as it is for a
very good cause.

Years ago I was involved with increasing blood donations from hotel
assocates and managers. This is another very worthy cause. We put on
our thinking caps and came up with incentives that prompted associates
and managers to donate to the tune of 37.2% participation rate. Not
bad when one considers thas less than 5% of the poplulation at large
donates regulary.

Stop back and let us know how Safeway responds to your inquiry. Until
then I would bet that the store has a program in place to reward those
associates that are involved in generating donatons above a certain
level. Maybe even a Prime Rib Dinner for all plus their spouse? No
wait that was what we did.



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