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How to handle requests to support causes at work:

Create policies, understandings or at least take-the-pressure-off moves

That could include, for example, asking employees not to solicit desk-to-desk, which can disrupt colleagues, creating a communal pot of charitable cash, or limiting e-mail fund-raising correspondence.

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It could also include, as one company did, setting up fund-raising efforts in an area of the workplace where co-workers can see items being sold, take what they want and leave their donation in an envelope.

Include employees in the decision-making

Work with staff to come up with policies or understandings that work for all. Empower them to say no to one another. Limit the number of times and causes you ask co-workers to support.

Streamline

Ask both inside and outside fund-raisers to fill out request forms available on-line.

Pick your charities

When it comes to outside solicitations, select charities to support and set budgets and guidelines. This can help to minimize a constant trickle of requests. Many small donations can add up.

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Special to The Globe and Mail

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