Charitable contributions

May 18, 2004
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This being the gift-giving season, let me share a recent experience. So...my wife saw a bunch of Oprah shows about Darfur and other make-you-want-to-ball-your-eyes-out stuff, and she decided to pick a couple charities and throw some money their way. Fast-forward about 3 weeks and we're getting several pieces of junk mail EVERY SINGLE day from various charities begging for money. "Emergency situation!" "People in crisis!" "Genital cutting!" "Sign this petition to Condolezza Rice, oh yeah and send us money while you're at it!" "Here are your prayer flags!" Man, we've got free address labels coming out the ears!

I've been able to identify the party responsible because of a mistake in the format of my wife's name that all the junk mail is addressed to. I sent them a mild nastygram but really there is no recourse. Their privacy policy states something like "from time to time we may share your personal information with other charitable partners for mutual benefit." So now the fight that I have to fight is to get us off of all the contact lists.

Do yourself a favor - if you're feeling charitable, don't even bother reading the privacy policy. Be direct and specify along with your donation that you don't want your information shared, or send them an e-mail specifically asking to be removed from their lists.

/end rant.
 

sixone

Lifer
May 3, 2004
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Or better yet, mail them a money order without providing your personal information.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
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Or donate to Child's Play, Amazon and the hospitals won't sell your name ;)

I haven't had this happen yet, but I only give to 2 reputable charities that have been around for a long time (Northwest Harvest and the Seattle Times fund).
 

Brackis

Banned
Nov 14, 2004
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ALSO CHECK THE FINANCIAL REPORTS OF THE CHARITY TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT USING A LARGE % OF THE MONEY FOR "OPERATING COSTS" AKA LINING THEIR POCKETS.
A good charity will operate at under 10% of all revenue and be giving out around 80-85% in direct aid, with the other 5-10% going toward advertising etc...