Personally I don’t find it that difficult to avoid the ubiquitous downtown canvassers. I just ignore the proffered hand, cute smiling plea or trick question and keep walking, and if necessary I side step the perpetrator [obstructing the sidewalk is a crime, right?!].
10. Pretend to use your cell phone or motion to your ear as if you were wearing a hands-free set.
9. Make conversation with a friend regarding something very important. “So, if the heart transplant isn’t available, how long does the vet think your parrot will live?”
8. Wear headphones as you walk between classes—the giant headphones which cover your entire ear and stick out two inches. If you’re wearing these, there’s no mistaking you’re into your iPod.
Read the rest of her suggestions in Crouching Canvassers, Hidden Motive. The article also looks into how the canvassing business works for the organizations involved, and even describes a few street solicitors straight out of Only Fools and Horses, which I was unaware worked the streets of Portland.