The Manawatu Cancer Society is reassuring Dannevirke residents that receiving care isn't tied to an individual's decision to donate to its Signature programme.
The door-knocking campaign has raised the ire of a Dannevirke woman who has been a member of the Cancer Society since 1991.
"The society has alway been very caring and looked after people, but now it's changing and being run as a hard-hearted business," the woman, who does not want to be identified, said.
"The people of Dannevirke always support our Cancer Support Group, but now the Cancer Society has people going around knocking on doors, including those of the elderly and vulnerable, asking them to sign up as members and pay.
"I'm terribly upset and am going to resign because of these tactics. I think this a lousy way to act and I don't want people caught up in this."
The woman said people being approached by the door-to-door canvassers are in fear because they believe they have to pay a regular subscription to be entitled to cancer care and support.
However, Jenny McNeur, acting services manager for the Manawatu Cancer Society, is reassuring residents receiving care isn't tied to an individual's decision to donate or not.
"We do have people out canvassing for donations, not subscriptions, as part of our Signature fundraising programme," she told the Dannevirke News.
"We have volunteer collectors in Woodville and other areas, but not in Dannevirke as yet."
McNeur said as the organisation is not government-funded, any additional funds over and above Relay for Life and Daffodil Day are always useful. Sandy Carter, the branded revenue manager for the Manawatu Cancer Society, said the Signature programme is a new name for regular giving, which has existed for some time.
"We have some young, energetic fundraisers door-knocking and every Monday I post on our Facebook site the names and photos and the areas our collectors will be visiting," she said.
"Regular giving is not a new concept and the Signature programme is just another way of branding these donations because people get tired of giving in the same way every year."
And Carter is adamant, there is no way these donations are linked to people receiving treatment.
"In fact, our fundraisers make that very clear to people," she said. "And if they knock on the door of cancer patients or their families, they do not accept donations in these cases because these families are going through enough."
The Signature programme has been rolled out nationwide and regular giving means setting up a regular, automatic gift to the Cancer Society for an amount of your choosing. The donation can be made by credit card or straight from your bank account to the society via a Direct Debit.
Genuine Cancer Society fundraisers wear yellow lanyards with photo ID confirming their name and displaying the Cancer Society logo. They will be wearing a yellow Cancer Society tabard (bib) and will have a navy hat also displaying the Cancer Society logo.
They use iPads in order to make the Signature programme sign-up process simple and efficient, but if you are uncertain about the validity of the person at your door, contact the Cancer Society on 06 356 4011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org