Friday, November 28, 2008

Mailing Lists & Charities

Today's mail just came a bit ago, and I had more than an inch-high stack of mailings from various charities. I've gotten to where I discard most of them unopened nowadays. I gave to one military-associated charity a few weeks back, and now I seem to be on some list for other military-associated groups. Two more came in today's mail. I wish charities I donate to would NOT put or sell my name and address on some mailing list to other charities. All the environmental groups seem to be particularly bad about sharing their lists, but the worse I've encountered has to be the Native American charity organizations.

A year ago I received a mailing from a Native American school. I have always felt sorry over the treatment the Indians received from this country as it drove them from their native lands so whites could expand west. It is a shameful chapter in U.S. history to be sure. So, I gave to that charity. Shortly thereafter, I received mailings from several other Indian charities representing various tribes or associations. I gave to a several of these. Then I started receiving two or three different mailings from Indian charities every week. That was followed by telephone calls for larger donations. Soon I was getting multiple Indian mailings every day and several phone calls every week. It was bordering on being harrassed. Finally, I started telling the telemarketers to please take my name off their list. My favorite line to tell them was that "I had more Indians after me than Custer had after him at the Little Big Horn." Sometimes the woman at the other end would laugh, but sometimes she would say coldly "I doubt that!" or "Hardly". Whatever, after six months of saying that and throwing away all Indian mailings unopened, it has finally slacked off ... not quit entirely, but greatly decreased.

Why must charity organizations turn donating into such a chore? A week after making a donation, many will send you a thank you letter with an envelope enclosed and ask for another, bigger donation OR they start sending you a request for more money every few months OR they call you and ask for an emergency $500 donation to save the whatever, winding down to "Surely you can afford to donate just $15 to help out". Well, this particular goose is running out of both patience and golden eggs! And Christmas holiday season charity giving is just getting ramped up...



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