Sunday, September 28, 2008

Donations, Warning This is a RANT!

I just got off the phone with the American Diabetes Association. Reason for the call was that I had not sent them a new donation which would mean that I would continue to receive their magazine. They have been calling four and five times a day for the last two weeks. Get in line folks, there are several before you.

We don't make large donations to any one cause but I have made various donations for various reasons to several. What thanks did I receive? Let's see, I have more unordered address stickers than anyone could use in a life time. Add to that greeting cards, note pads, and calenders. Why? Because they SOLD our name and address to other fundraising organizations who, thinking they had a sucker on the line, sent their solicitations to us also.

The folks who run the solicitations for the Komen Cancer foundation are one of the worst. We donated to them by sponsoring a co worker at the great white hunter's work place in a Walk for the Cure several years ago. That started multiple mailings from them and the others they sold our address to. Then we sponsored our daughter in a walk for cancer, in the name of a good friend who had lost her battle with breast cancer. So, here comes the flood of mail and phone calls from that direction. The Arizona Lung Association sent me some cards I liked, so I sent a donation to them. Our daughter has asthma and so does Julia, so it felt like the right thing. Oh my, do those folks think we use address labels in HUGE amounts! I finally wrote both the Komen folks and the AZ Lung Association and said, "STOP, I am not sending more money every time you send me something, so please use the money that would be spent to solicit us every six weeks for needed research." It worked but only after I did it several times.

Add the National Wildlife folks who think because I bought wild life magazines for the grands that I have unlimited resources to save every species of endangered animal out there. Then there are the organizations who want to protect the environment and so on and on. All good causes, I know, but we are just average people trying to now and then do the right thing.

My feeling is that the thanks we get for giving is harassment, both through the mail and by phone. Sad thing is, it will make me hesitate before I make a donation next time and chances are, I will decide it is not worth it to have my money used to send more address labels to more folks rather than use it for the research that I thought I was supporting.

OK, got that off my chest and crawled off my soap box. I had a choice, I could rant about the political system in our great country or charity organizations. There is not enough space on Blogger for me to take on the political thing, so I will sit on that one for a while.


Tropical Screamer said...

We're finally getting fewer calls. It took about a year of "Please take me off your call list" before most of them went away.

We still donate, but we do so in ways that do not generate "mailing" lists.

Sigh. Now I'll get off the soapbox next to you. ;)

All the best.

Amelia said...

Oh I get your message...we get a few phone calls but not many. Sometimes when we get them I ask the caller what percentage of my dollar actually goes to the needed cause...they stumble and stammer and then I tell them when you get that percentage amount to call me back...course they never do. Then others I will tell all donations are to our church... I know this gives people a job who make the phone calls - but still yet...

Have a great week.


Teresa said...

Amen and Amen!

Carol VR said...

Sad part though, is they DON'T stop calling even AFTER they've gound no way to be of service to you.

Example: A fellow co=worker has a son who is blind and after numerous calls for paper subscriptions she asked the caller whether the paper comes in braile. "NO?!?, then I'm sorry I can't subscribe."

They STILL call her.

I have to admit,I feel there are far more cures found than has been leaked to the general public. That said you never see the royalty dieing from innate disease.

Vicki said...

I agree! And I'd like to add magazine subscriptions. Maybe our magazines would be cheaper if they did not send requests to renew so often. I think renewing 2 months early should be early enough. Take my latest example. I renewed my magazine. I got a "thank you, and would you like to add a year" response. I ignored it. And now a month later I get "renew before your subscription expires". Give me a break! The info on the renewal card says my subscription expires with the April/May issue!! That should be 7 months from now. I returned the card in the envelope telling them I would renew when there were 2 months left. And to stop wasting money on renewal notices.

I'm also returning all offers for credit cards, in their postage paid envelopes, with a refusal, and a request to be taken off their mailing lists. Just think if we all mailed those offers back. Sometimes I get 3 offers in a week from the same group!!

Sorry - I guess rants are contagious!! LOL

Belvie said...

Drowning in address labels here too! I would be broke if I sent money for every set I receive.

I am not bothered too much by calls. We have been on the "No call" list since moving to MO and it works. The only ones who bother us are the ones soliciting for police trooper and drug programs. While I feel that is a worthy cause, I have read several articles on how these calls are from a 3rd party org. who take most of the funds as a fee for themselves. So I say NO to any and all phone calls.

Katie said...

Must work or they wouldn't keep doing it but not with me either. I wonder how many people they turn off with their technique. Not enough, I guess.

Granny Lyn said...

I am soooo glad you said it all so well, I get so upset with it all that I only give to Easter Seals. years ago, AmVets threatened to wreck my credit rating when I (as a single mom raising 7 children) could no longer give them money. What????

Good rant, Norma, I'm with you all the way!!!

Purple Pam said...

I will get behind that band wagon! Today I received two letters requesting donations, one from the Cancer Society and one from the Breast Cancer Society (with labels, a calendar, and stickers galore). I made a donation one year to the Lung Cancer Society since my mother died of lung cancer. I have been receiving mega requests since then. I even get them from the Sheriff and the Police Departments and disabled veterans. I won't get started on the magazine thing! What a waste of paper. Don't these folks realize they are cutting trees down for this paper?

Patty said...

I'm on the Do Not Call list so I don't cet calls for donations anymore but I do get mail with address labels and other things and it's insane. As a result, I only donate to small dog rescue groups these days.

Patty said...

Another thing, and I say this as a type 1 diabetic, you don't think the American Diabetes Association gets tons of money from corporate donations? As if they need my 20 bucks. (Thanks for letting me rant a little too.)