As the year draws to a close, I, like many Americans, am making last-minute charitable contributions. Given my past donations, I seem to find myself on the lists of countless non-profits, many surely worthy cases. And while most make appeals, highlighting the problem they seek to address, the hard-sell of some often annoys me. As I was tidying my apartment earlier this week, I recycled (we can recycle paper in California) four 2007 calendars that arrived unsolicited.
I have drawers full of note pads and address labels — not to mention greeting cards. Yesterday, after mailing a donation to one veterans’ group, I returned home to receive yet another solicitation, the envelope informing me that my “personalized notepad and address labels [were] enclosed.” I didn’t order such labels — and was delighted to give without such a gift.
Some groups send me solicitations so frequently that I stopped giving. Others send out “Urgent” appeals on a regular basis. When I first started donating to Project Angel Food, an LA organization which delivers nutritious meals to people affected with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses, they would send me regular weekly mailings. I had donated to help provide food to sick people, not to receive more mail. Apparently, I was not the only contributor who did not welcome this volume of correspondence. The group has long since reduced the amount of mail they send out. And I have increased my contributions to that worthy organization — and encourage you to do the same.
Earlier in the week, Hugh Hewitt was promoting the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund which provides assistance to Marines injured in combat and training. This is another good group to support. Hugh also recommends Fisher House and Soldiers’ Angels, both of which I have supported in the past.
If your finances allow, please support one of these four groups — or other charities of your choice. If you do, you may well see an increase in the volume of your charitable solicitations. And what that may be burdensome, it may well provide further suggestions for future donations.