“Urgent” reads the print on one envelope I received recently. “Personal and confidential,” said another. “Surprise, Mr. Blatt,” I read, on an large manila envelope, “Here’s something you can really use and enjoy for years to come.”
Was the first an appeal for funds to relieve victims of a recent disaster? Was the second an important letter from a friend, detailing some trying circumstances in his life that he wanted to share with me, but not trust to e-mail, fearing someone could hack into his account? Was the third a gift from a good friend or family member who wanted to give me something to better remember him.
The answer is “No” to all three questions. “Urgent” was written on an envelope from a charity who regularly sends out appeals to me. It seems every other missive I receive bears that word suggesting imminent action is necessary to prevent disaster. Annoyed with the amount of correspondence I receive from that organization, I have long since stopped giving to that organization. And the appeals keep coming.
The envelope marked “personal” contained a form letter seeking donations for a political campaign in a different state. The large manila envelope was from another charity which has sent me enough mail and little “gifts” to cover the cost of the $25 I once sent them. Just today, I received three small writing pads (of various sizes and designs) from three non-profits and a large fancy envelope with about 15 pages of paper from a group I have never supported. (This was not the first such such mailing I have received from this outfit.)
I receive all this at a time when I’m trying to find a relief organization which devotes the overwhelming amount of its resources to helping the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. And I’ve pretty much eliminated all those groups which sends me regular mail. Such costly fundraising solicitations surely take a greater bite out of their budget, siphoning money away from the people truly in need and those we should help.
So, please, help me out here. What organizations do you feel are doing a good job of directing their resources to those truly in need. Once I get your feedback, I’ll prepare another post, asking our readers to support these groups. Thanks!