What are the economics of cart witnessing?
Man, if I were still in and pioneering, that shit would be so easy. I'd buy the cart myself and just park my ass on the corner. Pop in my headphones and listen to podcasts all day while racking up the time.
I don't think the carts (and tables in the park) are about bringing in donations.
I suspect they're a form of incentive (making it easier to be a dutiful JW loyalist), and to potentially forestall any near-future accusations of sending sex offenders door-to-door.
The cart witnessing is still only a small percentage of time and effort spent. I think it is more about just keeping the JWs occupied, whether it effective or not is immaterial
The Cart activity seems in my area to have prompted a dropping off in DtoD activity, they are without doubt visiting less frequently than in the past.
I think this is a good thing, they are even less likely to make converts.
My understanding is that cart witnessing is a privilege, so you're "special" if you get to do it. However, I still haven't seen much of it. I can't imagine how embarrassing it would be to sit in front of Wal-Mart or the grocery store next to a cart, with everyone you know walking by. I watched one set for awhile (from the safety of my car in the parking lot). They made sure NOT to make eye contact with people walking by, so the whole set-up seemed ineffective.
The thing that makes me laugh when I see them is the distance they put between them & the cart ........... the cart just sits there by itself like it stinks to high heaven ha ha ... honestly I don't dare stop & talk to them, I just couldn't keep a straight face!
It is definitely a stupid way to bring in money for the organization. This corporation is on it way to financial oblivion. That's what happens when you get a bunch of brain dead delusional old guys to run a corporation eventually everything goes to pot.
publications published by WTS with somewhat free labor (factor in home and board and some small extras) fueled by monies paid up front by publishers.
At one point publishers paid a little less than householders, then only pioneers paid a little bit less, than all publishers paid the same amount as householders...publishers discouraged from giving publications free to householders.
But even if they did, the WTS already had their money from the publishers.
And then periodically the WTS would raise the rates...not really for the householders who rarely paid but for the publishers who gave their money up front or no publications.
Two magazines on ten-cent contribution
25-cent pocket-sized publications—the “Truth
these two magazines? yours on a 20-cent contribution
small books = 75 cents (up from 25 cents)
small books = $1 up 25 cents
accept these two magazines on a contribution of 50¢
I came back from a period of inactivity...3 years...just after the not asking from a specified amount at all for the publications, just a vague amount for the worldwide preaching....not for the publications directly.
jws still have a hard time with this. At least prior to 1990 they felt people were getting something for their money not some vague paying for the jw preaching work.
So now it was voluntary....that is no human would see what they gave...just like donating for the expenses for the KH, CO, and the WTS. If they didn't give a dime...who would know (unless a depraved congregation put the box right there in front of them at the counter).
So it is no surprise that donations to the WTS went down...no money up front from the publishers and no extra donations for the majority of jws, cause who would know. My husband, uncles, cousins, brothers were all account servants before and after this. Donations dropped, including those for food and money at the assemblies and conventions. I worked in food service and knew how much the money for the food supported the expenses. But now it was FREE in the minds of many jws, some who were just eking out a living and others who were selfish. The WTS solved the food problem by making it each family's responsibility to buy and pay for their lunches and snacks. They shortened the break between morning and afternoon sessions to make it hard to go out for meals.
But still the cost of publications was hidden, no accounting for cost because it was voluntary for the publishers....still taking more than they needed, taking more than they counted as placed until the WTS said they would start charging the congregation for the publications they did not place and report an increase in donations.
So now the WTS is transferring the cost of publications to individual congregations and publishers. Go to a website www.jw.org and print off publications or store digitally on an I-pad, absorbing the cost of paper and ink, and no transportation costs.
Using Assembly halls for assemblies and conventions, more and more, making jws travel farther and farther, shortening assemblies, perhaps next making it only 1 circuit assembly a year, and 2 day conventions (no more nags about making it on Friday necessary). Or not even going but meeting in KHs and viewing it on screens.
When the ''donate for food'' arrangement was set-up in 1991, some ''brothers'' would just go all out. I mean all out, eating wayyyyy too much. I've overheard these ''brothers'' saying things like ''I just downed 2 submarines, 2 danishes a pudding and soda''.
No brainer that the ''food arrangement'' was dropped in the mid 1990's. A$$emblies are a huge cash cow. So are these ''special talk'' broadcasts at Assembly Halls. Standing at the back I can't even count how many ''brother'' came up to the contribution boxes. You could see plain as day some form of a ''cheque'' or ''money order'' in their hands. Or a crisp $20 bill in their hands.
Less use of arenas these days for conventions. More and more condensed conventions now in Assembly Halls. A huge saving of cash. People travelling further for meetings and A$$emblies. Maybe only 2 day Conventions as Assembly Halls and 1 Circuit A$$embly a year, as some have mentioned. Cost saving measures.
Wow, too bad for SBF that the posts got so far off track from the OP. I have no idea of how economics is at work with the carts. Perhaps it a non-issue, the real reasons for the carts being as some have stated above: easy time for pioneers, something of a witness to the world without expecting conversions, status-winning for those permitted to man them. Maybe too it is some feeble attempt in the GB's mind to reach out to, or just a give a witness to, all those folks who are not at home when the publishers come around.
In the territory I live in the Witnesses have come around 6 times or more in the past 18 months. They regularly have a cart at the local Walmart too, and I have intentionally tried to strike up a conversation with those manning them, but to no avail. That's what has struck me about those things. Back when I was in, I would have jumped at the chance to grab a potential "Bible study" from someone who would stop by! But no, they don't do that. That strikes me as very strange.
Beth Sarim: "I can't believe that JW's actually count service time by just aimlessly standing there."
Don't you remember putting in plenty of time going from one return visit to another without anyone being home, indeed without any non-JW ever seeing you? Is this so different? At least this way, "you're still giving them a witness, brother", right?