6.14.2006

Crapft

They're wily ones, those charity people.

Being the bleeding heart that I am, I have at some point given to pretty much every kind of non-profit you can imagine. So I'm in a good position to know.

The solicitations come daily, crammed into every free inch of space in my teeny New York City mailbox which certainly wasn't designed for such torture (nor was my postman). Aside from the standard cache of magazines and bills and catalogs, some days I get up to a dozen different pleas for my generous help, often times two from the same organization--one thanking me for my recent contribution, the second asking me for another.

So you can imagine what my hallway entry table looked like this week when slathered with a month's worth of unopened mail.

The direct marketing tricks just to get you to open the damn things could put Publisher's Clearinghouse to shame. Oddly shaped envelopes, handwritten addresses, torture updates from Amnesty International, a blurb above the Planned Parenthood return address touting "a message from Blythe Danner and Gwynneth Paltrow inside." And then there's the good old OPEN IMMEDIATELY stamp. Which you do. Of course. Only to end up entirely pissed that the URGENT VERY URGENT matter had to do not with your recent tax bill, but with the campaign of a democratic mayoral candidate in South Dakota that neither me nor the rest of the Emily's List addressees will ever help get elected.

But if you actually make the time to open the envelopes, you are witness to the true ingenuity that is crappy graft. Or crapft.

The bleeding heart blackmail tactics used to be pretty basic - a couple sheets of free self-adhesive return labels preprinted with your name and either a) the American flag b) birds c) little heart-wrenching pastel drawings made by sick children. It's a brilliant plan: You feel bad throwing out two perfectly good sheets of self-adhesive return labels preprinted with your name and the American flag (or birds or little heart-wrenching pastel drawings made by sick children) and yet you feel bad using them without sending in a little donation. So pretty much what you do is put them aside, in a junk drawer or a little crevice on your desk between the computer and the pencil case. There they remain, gathering dust and curling up at the ends, until you move addresses. At this point of course, you feel perfectly justified tossing them.

Or, you could always just make a donation.

These days, apparently mere address labels are not enough to pry open the checkbooks of cash-strapped liberals. I receive free greeting cards from Gay Men's Health Crisis and City Meals-on-Wheels. "Signed" photos of Bill Clinton from the DNC. Membership cards, however useless, from NARAL and the ACLU (although I admit I like being able to call myself an actual card-carrying ACLU member). I received a world map from Unicef, various wallet-size 2006 calendars, some kind of plant guide from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a prayer flag garland (whatever that is) from the Campaign for Tibet, and a magazine from the Nature Conservancy.

In return for the Nature Conservancy magazine, I not only make a contribution every year at Christmas for my stepfather, I make extra sure that it goes directly into the recycling pile and not the garbage. Seems the right thing to do.

But the ultimate in coercive direct marketing ploys came from the American Diabetes Association, whose most recent crapft was a nickel.

A nickel.

Five cents, glued just inside the plastic address window because, honestly, who in their right mind throws out money?

Not me.

I tore open the envelope, rolled the dulled coin between my thumb and forefinger, then realized I was now in a bit of a quandary. I could pocket it, sure, but is that right? I mean, I'm taking a nickel from people who could be using that money to help folks with diabetes. Shouldn't I send them something in return? A nickel, at least? (Or, more likely, 25 bucks.)

Then I realized, here it is. The actual cash-money value of guilt: Five cents. The amount of money that buys not even a gumball these days. The amount of money you can be short at a deli, and the clerk will say, "eh, don't worry." The amount of money that would fall out of my wallet and roll under a supermarket register and I wouldn't think anything of it. For five cents, I was sitting at my desk writing a check to help cure diabetes.

Wily, I tell ya.


60 Comments:

Anonymous wendy boucher said...

I can be bought for much less than five cents when it comes to charity. I'm such a sucker. I've received that nickel, by the way.

Luckily Hubby opens most of the mail. I do like giving but it is a lot more satisfying when you actually choose the charity yourself. Then I blog about it because I'm a braggart as well as a sucker.

THanks for stopping by today.

6/13/06, 11:47 PM  
Blogger Chag said...

I give those return labels to my daughter to play with. She's sticker crazy.

6/14/06, 12:00 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

I am so stubborn and touchy about being led to do anything that those envelopes never even make it in my door. It's the same way I am about (this is not personal, because I heart you to the umptieth power) advertising... if I catch the slightest whiff of emotional coercion or trickery, ie, subliminal shtuff, I will then vow to buy the generic brand for the rest of my natural life. And my unnatural one, too.

6/14/06, 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Nila said...

You tell it like it is and that is why I heart you. You describe the quandary so well. To give or not to give, that is the question.

6/14/06, 1:10 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

You really get a girl thinking, giving is hard when you feel that it is thrust down your throat, and yet oodles of moula is spent coming up with new, imaginative ways (ploys) to get us to open our purses. It is one of the great paradoxes of the universe, if you ask me.

I just wish that there was a guarantee that your "gift" was really going to make it to the zoo to save the elephant, or to the homeless vet on Thanksgiving. Show me how and stop spending money trying to trick me!

I usually feel guilted into it too. And if that weren't enough, I am convinced that if I don't I will be hit by a Mac truck the next time I'm on the road! Go figure!

6/14/06, 2:40 AM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

We just got some sort of certificate with a shiny gold sticker memorializing our contribution to Habitat for Humanity. My husband digs awards and frame-able tokens of "accomplishment". He asked me if we should keep it. I shrugged. And now it lives on his dresser where I think about how we haven't given yet this year EVERY time I see it. But to throw it out? I'd be such a twit then, wouldn't I?

You put it down in words so well.

6/14/06, 7:02 AM  
Blogger something blue said...

I'm not allowed to respond to knocks at our front door because I'm the person who can't say no to all the solicitors.

It is insane to think of all the worthwhile charities that need support. Then there are the ones that make you wonder if they really exsist.

But if they have a million dollars to give in a lottery, I'll buy a ticket. I don't even mind that I can't use that on my tax return.

6/14/06, 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

Will you meet me at Stage Deli today? I could use a few bucks. Lord knows I have a sob story or two to share. That being said, uh, I always use the address labels and never send a dime. Or a nickel. I have a few organizations I give to once a year, as much as I can, with my whole heart. The others? Get tossed. But you're right, they're veeeeeeeeeeeeery tricky.

6/14/06, 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

My husband doesn't let me open the mail. It's bad enough that everytime those darn "Save the Children" commercials come on I'm on speed dial.

6/14/06, 7:58 AM  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

101 - I actually work in non-profit - often in fundraising... SO - we have a folder where we put ALL solicitations during the course of a year and we make our contributions all at the same time in December. If we get calls, people at the door - whatever - we tell them to send us something in writing and to update their records to reflect that we give annually in December. When December rolls around we decide how much total $ we'll be contributing for the year, review the solicitations and write a butt load (an actual measure) of checks. This has proven to work really well for us... but we are SUPER ANAL so take it with a grain of salt.
p.s. Thanks for the book rec - Kevin will love it.

6/14/06, 8:19 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

What I'm left wondering is how many of those pretty-albeit-not-so-shiny nickles they've sent out. Can't help but think that maybe if they kept those in their coffers they wouldn't have to send out so many mailings to request contributions to refil said coffers! Not to mention the ecological resources that would be saved!!! But, yeah, I'm a sucker, too. And if I were the one to open the nickle bearing envelope, I'm sure it would be only moments before the checkbook would be opening as well.

6/14/06, 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Chase said...

I'm with Susan on this one. Seems like if they'd STOP sending all those 'gifts' that everyone throws away, they'd have tons of extra money to give to...um...themselves.

6/14/06, 9:15 AM  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

If The Diabetes Foundation can afford to send money out to randoms in the mail, then I see it as a clear sign that they don't need my money.

6/14/06, 10:14 AM  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

If The Diabetes Foundation can afford to send money out to randoms in the mail, then I see it as a clear sign that they don't need my money.

6/14/06, 10:14 AM  
Blogger Fidget said...

I'm with Sarah, imagine HOW MANY NICKLES THEY SENT OUT!! I would have felt guilty enough to throw it out, yes i would have thrown out money.. i'm a wackadoo though..

6/14/06, 10:28 AM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

man, that IS wily. If you spend it, what kind of obligation are you under? what to do? what to do?

I, on the other hand, HAVE thrown out money. several pennies covered in gum. oh, I *tried* washing them, considered soaking it in spirits. Dumping them off in some store's penny tray. but in the end I chucked them.

it nearly killed me.

6/14/06, 10:46 AM  
Blogger kfk said...

Unicef tried that nickel strategy on me a while ago. If you want to read what I posted about it, go here:

http://kristismess.blogspot.com/2006/02/nickel-for-unicef.html

6/14/06, 10:50 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

Blogger bites!! (the software, not you, Mom101) It just ate my excellent comment.

Where was I?

Ahh yes. And your address is??? I'm collecting addresses for my yet-to-be-named but VERY worthy bleeding heart cause. So we'll put you down for say, $150? Recurring annual donation? on credit card for your convenience??

My hub has been a recovering bleeding heart for years, and we STILL get the labels, cards, doodads... Persistent little buggers indeed.

Do they know how to work their audience or what??

6/14/06, 10:58 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Sloan-Kettering sends the prettiest address labels... they are gold and silver and very festive for the holidays.

But, I throw out the ones with flags.

6/14/06, 11:35 AM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

I am dying with laughter because I think I get the SAME SOLICITATIONS in my daily mail!!! I almost did a post about the avalanche of charities pitching me. The other day I got an envelope emblazoned with a black and white photo of a beaten horse. (It was an animal welfare charity.) Wily bastards indeed! And I confess to retrieving the nickel ... and throwing the materials it came with away. This probably means I have a heart made of cold lead.

PS: the latest Nature Conservancy magazine issue was one of their best, imho.

6/14/06, 11:39 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

You are a nice person Mom-101! I gave to charity a couple times and now I am also inundated with solicitations. I feel so bad not being able to give to all of them, but I just can't. So I have a drawer full of address labels from charities that I've never donated to...and actually a couple nickels too (shhhh, don't tell anyone.)

6/14/06, 11:40 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

A Nickel? Are they not even bothering to *try* anymore?

"What should we do for this marketing campaign? Address labels? Pictures of children with severe diabetes?"

"I don't know, we've done those. We need to keep our expenses around a nickel per letter"

"Aw, hell, I'm at a loss for ideas. Just send them all a nickel."

See, I'd be mailing that nickel back to them, telling them that they need it more than I do. But I'm cold-hearted like that. (Seriously, I do give to charities, but I hate large wastes of money.)

6/14/06, 12:21 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

I used to happily donate. Same with Kyle. But the guerrilla tactics that are employed these days are making me indignant, not guilty. And certainly not generous.

Have any of you gotten what appear to be personal letters? From your neighbors? People you haven't spoken to, but who apparently live on your street? And instead of a letter, the envelope contains a solicitation of charitable donations?

Tacky. Insulting. Annoying. COWARDLY. If you want my money, then at least have the balls to come to my door and introduce yourself.

6/14/06, 1:02 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Ha, no Mother G. No one ringing my doorbell. I live in a big city apartment where people don't open doors to anonymous "neighbors," unless they're 7 years old and come bearing Thin Mints.

6/14/06, 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

I lick those labels and use them right on up! No guilt. I have a limited amount of charitable dollars and I give them to the causes I feel most passionate about. If they want to send me free labels, more power to 'em.

Thanks for stopping by yesterday. I hope that the mattress suggestion works. And no, I do not have an e-mail address link...haven't figured out how to do that yet! Stop by today and you will find my 10 Best Parenting Books list. I wish I had had this list when my youngest was small. Enjoy!
(a bit of shameless self promotion!)

6/14/06, 1:23 PM  
Blogger Binky said...

I'm the philanthropic one in my marriage, but that's not saying much. Most of the solicitations we get come from animal charities since my grandma-in-law (God rest her squirrel loving soul) liked to donate money in our names. We also recently got the heart wrenching pastel return address stickers, which I use with impunity. I did think a lot about childhood cancer when the letter came, though, and decided that I would try to donate at the local level instead. It's hard to decide where to direct our already limited resources, and I can't help but think that narrowing things down locally is the most effective way to go--both for my sanity (I can't save the world) and to get the most bang for my buck. That is, if I can charge it to the credit card before my husband finds out. He doesn't have the empathy God gave a mule.

6/14/06, 3:05 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

That's the work I used to do! I used to write and help design those mailings! But I did it for colleges and unversities...a little different, but not much.

6/14/06, 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Like Chag said, I give the return address labels to Mimi to play with. She loves them.

The mass-mailing charity thing doesn't work on me, I don't get any guilt from them sending me free stuff. Which is surprising as tenderhearted as I am. But I guess I'm mostly cynical, which is why I don't trust a charity thing unless it's one I'm familiar with. I donate money through the federal government's charitable contribution thing annually, which works for me.

So mass mailing charity people: don't waste your time with me. It's gonna go in the trash. Sorry to sound heartless, but there it is.

6/14/06, 6:38 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Mom-101, that's one of the things I miss about New York. Anonymity. And people who leave you the f*** alone. The only neighbors we ever met were a single older lady who needed help with her computer and a couple from Singapore living there only temporarily.

6/14/06, 7:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I HATE when they do that... (with the 5 cents. It induces guilt in me too. Ack.)

6/14/06, 7:16 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I get so many of them too. And giving money to one only means the next week, you will get more.

The nickel is a good ploy, works on me every time.

6/14/06, 7:18 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

It makes me wonder what the actual rate of return is for the nickel ploy...as opposed to other pleas for money.

6/14/06, 7:20 PM  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Where the hell is MY world map from Unicef? (Grumble)

6/14/06, 9:00 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Wily, I tell ya indeed!

I find it very hard to say no. I'm currently indulging several non-profits that are bleeding my business dry. When is enough enough?

6/14/06, 10:14 PM  
Anonymous dear wife said...

See what I hate the most is all the junk mail from environmental groups. It just seems like part of the problem. I have no problem throwing out all the non-profit junk mail. My problem is saying no to those people who call. Maybe it is because I know they are volunteers and I just hate to tell them no. Of course I said yes twice and now they alwas call me. I have only ha d no problem once. I swear someone needed to teach this person some better persuasion methods. He was trying to get me to give mone towards homeland security and when I said I did not wish to give to this, he told me he hoped I got shot by a terroist. Oh eah that will win me over.

6/14/06, 11:38 PM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

So hard. I'm a total bleeding heart. I must give money to everything even though my own child has one measly pair of stride rite shoes, there's obviously someone else out there with no Stride Rite shoes. How do I make that okay in my mind. Well, donating money of course. so my kid won't go to a fancy preschool cause all our money goes to worthy causes. Oh well, she can learn a lot at home, right? right? right?

6/15/06, 12:46 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Dear Wife: OH MY GOD!!!

Something tells me that that was not an actual government official soliciting for a government program, if you know what I mean.

6/15/06, 8:02 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Okay, Blogger ate my comment AGAIN. But I've given it a few hours and now I'm calm.

What I was trying to say in my eaten comment was I have little problem using the return stickers and free notepads as long as there are puppies and kittens on them. I give enough to animal related charities, I'm using the damn stickers!

Most of the free stuff sent to my house is misspelled anyway. Maybe if they learned how to spell my name I'd send them some money.

6/15/06, 8:34 AM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I have to admit, I love the return address labels.

I try not to feel guilty about not giving to every single organization that sends me mail. I have a general rule of thumb that I give to charities I'm personally involved with, whether a friend is running in a charity marathon or I'm giving to a scholarship at my high school. My favorite thing really is just providing Christmas for a family in town. Nothing beats secretly giving gifts and gift wrap to the mother so that everything can be from her and Santa when her kids wake up on Christmas morning...

6/15/06, 12:14 PM  
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

I don't give to everyone, but I used to give quite a bit to the Sierra Club until they sold my address and I was getting TONS of junk mail. TONS. So I ripped them a new one and told them if they cared about the environment ENOUGH WITH THE JUNK MAIL ALREADY. I've never given them anymore money even though they're one of my favorite organizations. Maybe I'll get over it one of these days (it's been several years now, afterall).

I don't do this to charities, but for other solicitations (like from credit card companies) I put all of their garbage (ripped into peices) into the pre-paid envelope and send it back to them. I'm such an asshole.

6/15/06, 1:44 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist, but is Blogger secretly tied to solicitation organizations?! I can't post a comment!! Hopefully the third time will turn out to be a charm, except that at least fifteen other people have managed to sum up what I wanted to say already.... hm, I guess that blows a hole in my conspiracy theory.

Anyway, I agree!

6/15/06, 1:50 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I have those labels from the March of Dimes and I always send a donation in. Then a month later they send me more labels. So now I give them to my husband to deal with. I always feel like a sucker for not donating!

6/15/06, 2:29 PM  
Blogger J said...

If I had a nickel for every time they've sent me a nickel...wait, I do! I keep them. It doesn't work on me, because it pisses me off when they spend money on something like that when they could keep it and help their cause. I hate all of the phone calls I get for charities, too...three just yesterday. Sigh. Plus the mail. I use the labels, too. And the cards. And the gift wrap. How does it help them if I throw it away? But the more you give, the more organizations find out about you.

6/15/06, 2:38 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I've learned something new. ... Again. ... not only from your post but the comments on your post.

Oh, The Joys just gave my life a whole new philanthropic streamlining.

All I need is a folder and a convenient DATE to decide how the giving gets given.
I am now a VERY happy woman.

Thank you all.

6/15/06, 2:53 PM  
Blogger Carrcakes said...

I am a return address label whore and have no shame sending out Christmas cards with labels funded by a random organization I did not support. Try not to think of it as taking the nickel but more from the perspective of contributing to the NYC economy.

6/15/06, 3:47 PM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

That nickel idea is brilliant! Kudos to the diabetics for figuring out how to really play on people's guilt. But I know what you're talking about, MOM101. Even when I get those cheap-ass personalized address return stickers, I feel compelled to donate money to charity. My guilt knows no bounds.

6/15/06, 4:23 PM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...

Not only do I keep the little address return labels with the snowmen and Christmas trees, but I use them- without donating. I never really felt bad about it until I read this post. Here's why: I was born with club feet. Shriner's gave me all of the surgeries I needed (free of charge- thank goodness because my parents were in their early 20's and poor/uninsuranced) and thanks to them, I have had a life of luxury. I played competitve softball as a pitcher for 15 years, I moved to Paris, went to college, traveled where I wanted, etc. Not once have I felt hindered in my life and it is all because they gave me a good start. Basically, all of that just to say that anytime I donate, I really try to give to them. I owe them so much more than nearly 100% of my donations per year, but that is what I can do.

6/15/06, 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

Oh Christ! I'm on the sucker mailing list and have gotten several of those nickels, too. It pisses me off because it's SO manipulative. And wily, dammit! Very, very wily.

6/15/06, 5:35 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Stephanie: well don't go feeling guilty on my account! That's an amazing story and a perfectly justifiable reason to do what you do.

6/15/06, 7:06 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

Okay, it's creepy - are you spying on me? Cause you described that pile of 'send money' envelopes lying between my computer and pencil case to a 'T.'

And this is terrible, but the last batch of return labels I received? They had cute little ladybugs and daisies on them, so I cut that part off and gave them to my girls for their sticker chart. And I didn't *gulp* send in any money.

6/15/06, 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

The nickel idea is an old research trick. That's what I paid the bucco bucks (oh hell, I had an assistantship, but still) in grad school to learn.

People are easily guilted. They send a nickel or dime and the returns on surveys, etc. go way up. Research founded.

And, so when I did my survey study thesis - I sent a dollar. NO LIE. I wasn't going to fuck around with that.

6/15/06, 8:58 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Am I going to hell because I never respond to the crapft? (I never *use* the crapft, and I support non-crapft-dispensing causes. I'm not bad, right? RIGHT?)

6/15/06, 9:01 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Don't forget the "Police Benevolent Fund" people who aren't actually affiliated with any police. I don't even open half my mail because I know it will be just be a big guilt trip.

6/15/06, 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Joel said...

We are suckers for pet charities...show us a puppy with sad eyes and we're taking out a second mortgage to donate to the fund. I think those "Police Benevolent Fund" people are the worst...deceitful and virtually impossible to offend.

6/16/06, 9:51 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Oh the PBA is the WORST! I always have to tell Nate to just say no thanks - that they're not actually cops and they won't actually come to your home and harrass you if you don't donate. As much as they enjoy giving that impression...

6/16/06, 10:31 AM  
Blogger zeldafitz said...

I feel super crafty when I ORGANIZE my free return label stickers according to SEASON and guiltlessly affix them to all my appropriately seasonal mail.

We got a real live dollar in the mail recently. I gave it to my son--he was nonplussed.

6/16/06, 11:54 AM  
Anonymous neva said...

joel mentioned the fact that we're practically in debt thanks to the pet charities we give to (he *failed* to mention the part about being an even bigger softie than i am)...the only donations i actually make with glee are to the "girl scouts"! those freaking cookies get me every time. sigh

zeldafitz: i'm happy to say i do the same damn thing! f*ck 'em if they want to send me labels and/or dollar bills i didn't ask for. : D

6/16/06, 1:20 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

Sometimes a girl just can't say no. I recently agreed to "mail 20 envelopes" (a donation of time and postage, essentially) for the leukemia foundation. How can you say no to leukemia? There's so much need out there...

6/17/06, 6:25 AM  
Blogger Denver Dad said...

As ashamed as I am to admit it, especially after such a fine post on the subject, I'm one of those people who send this dreck out. Yes, my job is doing financial development for a non-profit organization.

Have I ever resorted to mailing out nickels? Or, return address stamps? Or, any other guilt-inducing piece? No. I haven't and I'll tell you why... if you're on my mailing list, it's because you have an interest in my organization's work. And, rather than sucker you into giving money, I'd rather state my case for support as honestly and simply as possible, then let you decide if you want to keep donating to our mission. No tricks.

The problem is that development is difficult work and takes a lot of time. If a development director is doing his/her job correctly, they're not really just concerned about raising money, they are building relationships between donors and their organization. Unfortunately, the average "life-span" of a DD is only 18 months. Then, they burn out and leave. So, in the long run, direct mail solications are easier for an organization because they're impersonal.

Want to see if an organization has their act together? Check the solicitation materials for the name and direct number of their DD. Can you find it? Call the development person. Leave a message. If they don't talk to you or return your call, don't write them a check. I hate to be so judgemental of my peers, but this kind of behavior makes things pretty difficult for the people who are truly passionate about improving things, as opposed to just trying to con their way towards their budgetary goals. If an organization is interested in you and wants to learn about your connection with their work, and not just looking for a donation from you, then they're worth supporting.

So... let's here it... since I've "outed" myself, I'll listen to your complaints. :)

6/17/06, 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got one of these from a leukemia group with the nickel. They actually had the audacity to say in the mailing that "a single nickel won't go far" ... "but even nickels can quickly add up". Good grief! Then don't send out the damn nickels. I can't imagine the postage behind this and the mailing also included the color address labels as well. I have to imagine each mailing costs them 50 cents to a dollar to package and send out.

There are websites where you can find out what percentage of your donation actually goes to the cause vs. administrative costs (charitynavigator.org is a good one but there are others). IMHO, a good charity usually puts well over 90% of what it gets to the cause (but those are actually rare). I'd bet these ones that do this kind of marketing have very high administrative costs in comparison. My suggestion would be to do some research before you donate.

3/22/08, 7:28 AM  

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