Service of Charity Missteps

February 23rd, 2023

Categories: Charity, Fundraising, Pet Peeves

One day’s worth of requests for money in my mailbox

I wrote two years ago “Service of How to Discourage Me from Opening My Checkbook for Your Charity.”

My advice for charities in 2021: Delete names from your mailing list when you’re told about a death certainly after the second request; improve your Charity Navigator rating by reducing your CEO’s (outrageous) high six figure salary and your marketing expenditure–25 percent of the budget is too much; allow donors on a website form to dedicate a contribution in celebration or in memory of a friend or relative and confirm to the donor that you notified the family or person of the gift if requested.

I have some new ones:

  • If you haven’t received a donation from someone for four years**, don’t start your fundraising letter “Thank you for your unwavering support and friendship.” The recipient of a letter last week was my husband who has been gone that long. What are computers for? **And maybe the time should be two years.
  • If a person you are asking to contribute a princely sum is active in your organization and you have a modest number of members, and one responds to your email outreach, acknowledge the correspondence. And, for goodness sakes, under no circumstances, don’t send him/her two more requests identical to the first.
  • I have enough return address labels to last through Christmas but keep them coming. Just don’t expect me to pay for them.
  • And if I sent you money to honor someone who died and you are the family’s designated charity and you haven’t received a penny from me ever since, stop mailing me letters and/or selling my name to other charities.

Do you have pet peeves regarding fundraising practices?


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

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8 Responses to “Service of Charity Missteps”

  1. Martha Takayama Said:

    One of the most annoying are the requests thanking you for your unwavering support and asking for more. The endless wasteful supplies of return mail labels are another. The wasteful multi page communications are also annoying and are simply misuse of funds and clutter for the environment! Decals and magnets to further advertise your giving and a charity itself are silly and wasteful. It would be nice if charities were a little more focused on thrift. and didn’t spend the whole year trying to solicit.

  2. Kathleen Said:

    What really annoys us is the selling of our names of our charities to other charities. So often we have received requests from charities we have neither given monies or even heard of them. Shame on charities who have sold names of people to others.

  3. lucrezia Said:

    The only death I would have to report to a charity is my own. However, I would like, but don’t know how to lodge a complaint with Facebook, for not permitting a gentler way than “unfriending” a good friend after he/she dies. Because of that, there are a growing number of ghosts among my friends!

  4. TC Said:

    JEANNE, HERE WE LIVE IN A SEA OF AGED RETIREES. ON EVERY CHARITY’S LIST FOR DONATIONS ( INCLUDING SCAMMERS ). SO WE HAVE PARED OUR LIST DOWN DRASTICALLY. OUR “DEEP SIX” FILE FILLS BY THE WEEK.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:

    TC,

    All the mail folks receive asking for additional funds must work or charities couldn’t justify the expense.

    I just thought of another peeve of mine in this regard. Dear Charity: If I just sent you a donation please don’t ask me for another one a month later.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    I use the return address labels but not the pill box, cheap pouch, notecards with badly printed images on flimsy paper among some of the incentives that arrive at my door.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Kathleen,

    I agree and think that for profit companies may also sell our names and addresses to others.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    So true about Facebook. I never thought of unfriending a deceased person. Instead I’m reminded to wish them a happy birthday. I am sure that their spirits will understand we will always be their friends, just not on Facebook.

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