Minding nonprofits’ mailings

Mail - cogdogblog via Foter.comDear Handful of Respected Nonprofits:

Last fall, I contacted each of you and politely asked that you take my 90-year-old mother off your mailing lists. She was quite generous to you in 2015, and I can understand why you or your fundraising software algorithms would thank her profusely and ask for more. However, with her eyesight, memory issues, and conscientious soul, Mom was starting to treat your repeated mailings as bills that needed to be paid. As you can imagine, being nonprofit organizations that help others, that created problems.

As her power of attorney, I explained this to each of you, and you all agreed to remove her name from your mailing lists and stop all requests for donations. I also made use of the Direct Marketing Association’s mail preference and caregivers’ registries — just to make sure it was clear that these solicitations were to stop. Those of you who followed through have my sincere thanks.

Mom passed away just after Christmas, and I had her mail forwarded to me. That’s when I discovered that a few of you were still sending mail asking her for donations. “We tried contacting you,” one said; “don’t you want to continue supporting this important work?” “We miss you! We need your help now more than ever!” another declared.

I realize it takes time for these “stop your mailings” requests to take effect, but I contacted you in October and you’re still sending mail in February.

Don’t get me wrong; I respect the work each of you does. You help people find hope and re-start their lives. You bring quality broadcasting to your community. You try to help this country, through its leadership, be all it can be. You were lucky to have the support of my mother, a Depression survivor who saw her share of challenges and wanted to give back.

However, you did not abide by what should have been a simple request to help protect my mother’s well-being. What does that say about the way you operate?

I’m not naming any of you because doing so would only distract. If you, the individual person reading this, are part of a nonprofit organization that solicits funds, I hope you’ll take a hard look at how you do that. And if people ask you to take them or an elderly relative off your mailing list, please do so. Your donors will find you, and funds are easier to recover than trust.

Any Adult Child

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