A note to the fundraisers who are currently burning up the internet

I just want all the fundraisers for candidates, the Democratic Party, and all the other causes and concerns to know the following: What you are doing now is causing me to remove myself from each and every one of your mailing lists. In other words, sending me dozens of emails asking for money before midnight tonight is, well, backfiring. Just. Stop It.

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13 Responses to A note to the fundraisers who are currently burning up the internet

  1. tuibguy says:

    I see I am not alone in this!

  2. JesseW says:

    I just unsubscribed to about 5 mailing lists over this. Left the text of (and a link to) this post in all the ones that offered a text box to explain why.

  3. Josh, Official SpokesGay says:

    As someone who has to fundraise as part of my job, I can tell you they do it because it works. Yep, it can be really annoying, but they know that for every person who unsubscribes in anger five more will simply delete the email and 1 more will donate who wouldn’t have donated otherwise. In other words, for the sake of this calculation, recipients like you don’t matter. They can afford to lose you.

  4. Art says:

    Recent election cycles I have kept track of every political ad, e-mail, mailing I get exposed to. A simple tally works. The candidate with the lowest number of tics gets my vote.

    Funny thing is that this hasn’t, so far, changed my vote. People who pester me most for campaign money and political ads have tended to be the ones with money, exactly the ones I’m disinclined to vote for.

  5. Greg Laden says:

    Josh, recipients like me blog a certain number of the items I receive on these lists. Unless I don’t stay on the list. I funnel quite a bit more to political campaings and causes than the average recipient of these emails gives in ten years.

    Not all campaigns or organizations use this tactic.

  6. Greg Laden says:

    Oh, and this is new. There may have been an increase in the past, but not like this.

    They have overreached

  7. Azkyroth says:

    As someone who has to fundraise as part of my job, I can tell you they do it because it works. Yep, it can be really annoying, but they know that for every person who unsubscribes in anger five more will simply delete the email and 1 more will donate who wouldn’t have donated otherwise. In other words, for the sake of this calculation, recipients like you don’t matter. They can afford to lose you.

    I’m now wondering how much each stuffed envelope costs, and how many it will take before each of the organizations I’ve donated in the past have literally spent all the money I’ve given them pestering me for more.

  8. Josh, Official SpokesGay says:

    Sure, Greg, but the solicitors likely don’t know that about you. When they do a mass solicitation by email, they’re not taking such fine-grained attributes into account. I’m pointing out that what you prioritize and how you behave is not immediately accessible to the fundraisers. You might want them to take note of it, and you might be right that they’d be wise to, but that doesn’t mean they do (or that it’s practical for them to do so, or that the potential benefit of doing so is worth scrutinizing thousands of names instead of just doing a mass email).

  9. Josh, Official SpokesGay says:

    I’m now wondering how much each stuffed envelope costs, and how many it will take before each of the organizations I’ve donated in the past have literally spent all the money I’ve given them pestering me for more.

    Again, your justified feelings of being “pestered” don’t necessarily have anything to do with the cost/benefit ratio of fundraising. Trust me, I didn’t know any of this until the past five years when I had to learn how to raise funds. . .I’m not being a shill, I really do understand it from experience and it’s way different than how it looked from the outside.

    The reason you’re getting repeat mailings is because you have donated in the past. You’ve already shown them you care about their mission. It’s not hard to understand why they see you as worth asking for help again, is it?

    If you don’t donate for a certain period of time, any smart organization will drop you from their rolls. But it’s not about “how much of Azkyroth’s donation have we used asking him/her to donate over and over.” It’s about the net gain from all recipients for any given campaign. If it’s a plus, then the fundraiser was a success. Doesn’t matter if you only gave $10 two years ago and they’ve used it up on mailings. You, personally, don’t affect the aggregate very much. Again, if you consistently don’t donate, you’ll likely be dropped.

    The more pieces that are mailed, the more favorable the bulk printing and postage costs are. An organization can afford to have a few people in there who won’t likely donate. Email is even cheaper, obviously.

    If someone writes that they don’t want to be solicited, I take that seriously. They’re struck from the mailing list. I don’t want to offend them or invade their mail and I don’t want to waste money. But frankly, it’s about 5 or 6 out of every one-thousand people who take the time to write and ask to be removed. Fine, easy. The rest of them seem to have no problem simply tossing the mail in the recycling bin. Frankly, I don’t care about people who sit there and fume about getting solicitations if they don’t bother to tell me to stop. How could I care? I don’t even know who they are.

    But, the charity I work for doesn’t use “cold” lists – we only mail to people who are members or who have donated before. So we get a much higher percentage of responses than organizations who buy up mailing lists indiscriminately.

  10. janeymack says:

    If only it was just today! But it has been the last several weeks–the whole month, really, constant streams of e-mail from various worthy organizations who have my name & e-dress. And I don’t–have never–donated; I never have the money to spare. But I do sign petitions, or e-mail my congress critters, or perform some other small act to indicate I am interested in the causes involved.

    The flood does get a little irritating after a while, but I just delete–sometimes without reading, since it is getting pretty easy to tell which ones are pleas for money. I don’t bother unsubscribing; that’s more than *my* time is worth. Frankly I wish I had the funds to direct to some of them; they are all representing causes or candidates I care about.

    I try not to get too worked up over it, even when the flood gets extreme. The unfortunate thing is that our politics and elections depend so much on large infusions of cash, but I’m glad people on “my side” of the issues are raking in as much as they can because it’s a certainty people on the other side are doing so.

  11. Charles Sullivan says:

    Midnight was the deadline to get up to $50 back in taxes for any political donation you make. Yeah, it is annoying.

  12. Inflection says:

    Having played the phone bank game in earlier elections, I can understand where they’re coming from, and just delete them. I probably *will* give later, making me one of those people it’s profitable to send all these mailings to. I’m a little curious about two things when it comes to fundraising, though.

    1.) Are Republicans getting the same rate as we are? I don’t know any to ask, at least none that I’d be comfortable asking about their mail contents.

    2.) Maybe Josh can answer this one. Can we please, please stop sending out envelopes with extraneous nonsense on them like “To be opened by addressee only” or “Do not tamper” or “It is a federal offense for anyone other than the addressee to open this mailing,” etc.? It’s obviously intended to make the thing look more official, even like U.S. Government mail, and it pisses me off no end.

  13. Steve Gerrard says:

    ‘Tis the season – or ’twas. Year end fund raisers are part of our culture now. Might as well get used to it.

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