4th September 2007

Please stop sending me return address labels!

Address LabelsIf you read my last post, you’ll know that I do, on occasion, donate money to a few causes I care about. But that means my name gets sold onto some “sucker list” (and I know that sounds harsh, but that’s what it used to be called according to a friend of mine who worked for a fund-raising organization a few years back). Which means that I get a constant influx of snail mail from a wide variety of organizations, many of them representing very worthy causes, all asking for help.

I don’t mind them asking, as over the years I’ve learned how to separate the emotional pull of their plea from the reality of what I can feasibly give (and still be able to pay my bills). Some of them do win me over and get added to my slowly growing list of causes I support.

But what bothers me are the ones that send me some gift, most often return address labels, occasionally greeting cards, pocket calendars, or some other equally useless (in this digital age) item. All I can think when I see them is, what a tremendous waste! I do all of my banking and bill paying online, and use auto-draft for most of my monthly expenses, and mail out maybe only 1 check every other month, and thanks to my insurance agent I already have enough return address labels to last me the rest of my life. If I never move again that is. And pocket calendars? That’s what I have my computer and PDA/cell phone for.

If I could, or would, actually use what they send me, then perhaps I’d feel guilty enough using them to send off a few dollars for them (which is what they are hoping we’ll do of course). But for me they’re useless and all it does is make me angry that the company doing the fund-raising is wasting the organization’s dollars on this “last-century” tactic – dollars that could be put to better use!

For me, a nice simple, heartfelt letter and maybe a few photos is a much more successful tactic than the “we’re sending you a free gift with the hope that you’ll send us money for it” tactic. I’m curious to know what everyone else thinks about these types of solicitations.

I haven’t yet had a chance to poll my usual posse on this one, but I will, and I’ll post the results soon. Unless of course everyone else disagrees with me, in which case I’ll post a mea culpa…..in the meantime, let me know what you think – vote and comment!

Do you like and/or use the gifts that fund-raisers send you?

  • Yes – I use them, but don’t send any money for them (45%, 5 Votes)
  • No – I throw them away and don’t send anything to anyone (36%, 4 Votes)
  • Yes – I use them and send the charity some money for them (9%, 1 Votes)
  • No – I don’t use them, but sometimes send some money anyway (9%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 11


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1 comment:

  1. Deb, September 19, 2007, 3:57 pm

    Please send me some, since I got married I have no address labels with my new name and I am reduced down to having to actually write out my name and entire address! Talk about my aching hands, oh and that’s because I still pay a lot of my bills by check and mail someone a card or two once in a while!