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Collecting money for family of coworker who passed away
April 14, 2010 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Coworker is collecting money for family of another coworker who passed away. (It's customary here.) Coworker wants to know whether to make a list of those who donated. I advised to do so, just in case. WWMFD?
posted by SillyShepherd to Human Relations (20 answers total)
 
me? no list. (Except as aide memoire for the collector, I think it would be tacky).
posted by anadem at 7:05 AM on April 14, 2010


Yeah...no list.
posted by Miko at 7:09 AM on April 14, 2010


We had a similar issue at my place of employment and there was one employee who, quite loudly I might add, refused to donate and told anyone who would listen that she wasn't going to donate. In our situation, we simply placed the collected funds in a card and everyone who donated signed the card.

While I agree the providing a list of donors is tacky, so was this coworkers behavior. :)
posted by BrianJ at 7:17 AM on April 14, 2010


A list? Really? That seems incredibly tacky.
posted by dfriedman at 7:23 AM on April 14, 2010


Not at all tacky. How else will the family of the bereaved know who to send thank you notes to? I suppose they'll send a note to the workgroup at large, which means those who didn't contribute will get thanked. Oh well. This is one of the vagaries of working in an office.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 7:36 AM on April 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I advised to do so, just in case.

Respectfully, just in case... what? Finish this sentence: "It's a good thing we have that list, because if we didn't then we might have ____________________."
posted by 23skidoo at 7:36 AM on April 14, 2010


"It's a good thing we have that list, because if we didn't then we might have no idea who to send thank-you notes to, given that we're collecting from a large group and almost certain to forget someone. Obviously, we won't let people know that we're discreetly putting down their names, and the list will never be made public."
posted by Dasein at 7:43 AM on April 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Respectfully, just in case... what?

Perhaps just in case the family does not wish to accept any money. While that's unlikely to happen, it's a possibility, and it would make redistributing the money back to the givers much easier.

Personally, though, I would not make a list. It could cause unnecessary drama in the workplace. "Why didn't Joe donate any money?"
posted by alligatorman at 7:43 AM on April 14, 2010


"It's a good thing we have that list, because if we didn't then we might have no idea who to send thank-you notes to, given that we're collecting from a large group and almost certain to forget someone. Obviously, we won't let people know that we're discreetly putting down their names, and the list will never be made public."

Fair enough, but in all the times I've donated money in an office environment because someone died or got in an accident or their house burned down or whatever, I've never once heard of the person requesting such a list so that they could send out individual cards. The thank you note is always one card addressed to everyone, which seems easier than having to make like 50 thank-you cards, many of them to people you've never met.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:53 AM on April 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


No list has been the standard everywhere I've ever worked, the card with the money is signed by everyone or by one person for "All of us." It's usually followed up with a thank you card directed to the group as a whole.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:55 AM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I would suggest you make a list. When my daughter died, many many many MANY people made donations in her name to various organizations. A few weeks later, I wanted to send thank you notes but realized I had not kept a list, and that I'd received notice so many ways - email, virtual card, mail, paper cards, phone calls - that I had no real way of compiling one. I settled for a thank you blog post, but I still wish I could have sent personal thank yous. It never would have occurred to me to look at the list and be angry about who hadn't donated.
posted by bunnycup at 7:57 AM on April 14, 2010


How else will the family of the bereaved know who to send thank you notes to?

It's your call, but I'd say that the family don't need to know who sent money and who didn't. And it'll save them some extra hassle if they only need to send one thank-you card. Then there's the potential for embarrassment that might occur if someone they know particularly well is somehow absent from the list. Compiling a list also puts pressure on people to donate, even if they can't afford to.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:01 AM on April 14, 2010


If I were collecting, I would (quietly) note who donated and only provide the list to the bereaved coworker if asked. In my office, collections for funerals are sent as "from your coworkers at XYZ" and any thank you notes are sent to the group at large. However, I would not be surprised if the recipient might wish to personally thank contributors.
posted by weebil at 8:11 AM on April 14, 2010


Thanks for all the responses. I figured it wouldn't hurt to quietly keep a list, on the small chance that the family might ask for it. We weren't sure what the protocol for this was.
posted by SillyShepherd at 8:19 AM on April 14, 2010


We have a print out of staff here when cards go round just so we can tick ourselves off. One staff member declines to contribute to any collection, so we just don't pass it his way.
posted by mippy at 8:21 AM on April 14, 2010


You need to keep a list, but I wouldn't walk around with a clipboard when asking for donations. Keep a mental note and put it in a spreadsheet afterwards. Visibly keeping tabs will create all types of awkward situations.
posted by jasondigitized at 8:49 AM on April 14, 2010


I was the bagman for a collection for a coworker who was retiring. As people gave me money, I wrote their name and the amount on the envelope. A couple of people were shaken by this -- "it makes me look cheap!", etc. But if there's no list showing who donated what, then there's no accountability for the money received.

You don't need to provide the list to anybody, including the family, but you should make a list because cash in an office environment should always be accounted for.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 9:31 AM on April 14, 2010


In past offices, the "collection" was a large 11 x 14 ziploc bag (I worked in publishing) with the company directory + a manila envelope inside that circulated the office. Once each person was finished they would cross their names off the directory. It saved any one person from doing the hounding and following up, but also served as a way to easily see who had donated.
posted by alice ayres at 11:45 AM on April 14, 2010


List is standard in my 2,900 person workplace. After collecting the collector walks around with the card.
posted by fixedgear at 3:28 PM on April 14, 2010


I appreciated such lists when my dad died, so I could write thank-you notes. At the least, please provide the bereaved with a contact name in case they want to write something - I got one card that said "from his pals at [Gigantic Law Firm]" where he had dealings with offices in three cities.
posted by catlet at 4:21 AM on April 15, 2010


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