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Nonprofitspam makes it difficult to give!

March 14, 2011

My neighbor is an aging woman living on a fixed income. A few years ago she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (early stages) and not too long after had difficulty deciphering between solicitation and actual bills. Because she gives to one cancer research group on a regular basis, she gets constant solicitation by phone and by snail mail and had since started giving donations to other organizations because she thought she was obligated to pay them.

We called a few of the numbers listed with these solicitations and explained the situation. We asked that they discontinue any and all solicitation so that she wouldn’t be confused about them, pay them and then have less money for the necessities. In all cases, the person on the other end was very helpful and understanding. After a few months, almost all of the solicitations had stopped. We even got her on the “do not call list”.

The year turned and she contacted the one cancer research organization that she mainly supports to make her yearly donation. Of course, we figured this was no big deal. Surely donating to one organization would be alright!

Not a week went by and she suddenly began receiving mail and phone solicitations again. Not just from that cancer organization but from many different campaigns. It quickly became apparent that there is no easy way to simply give a one time donation to one organization and not be bombarded with further solicitation.

Next year, when she asks to do her annual donation, we are going to have to do the donation in my name, so that I can more easily remove myself from the impending onslaught of solicitation or simply have her not donate at all.

This type of sharing of information between nonprofit organizations is, in fact, nonprofitspam. The experience has caused me to second guess who I personally give to. Yearly pledge calls from the organization that you’ve already given to is one thing but, when that donation triggers a flood gate of solicitation from sometimes unrelated nonprofit organizations, it makes for a horrible giving experience.

Nobody likes spam, this is not new but nonprofitspam is the worst disservice to both the donor and the solicitor.

So, I’ve joined a team of folks on the web, dedicated to calling attention to the need to get rid of this type of spam. Hopefully, we can make the giving experience a pleasure once more!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 12:02 am

    Which cancer research organization?

    Naming names helps others to avoid the same fate.

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