Joel Belz in the May 12, 2007 issue of World Magazine has some practical advice on what to do in response to all of the direct-mail fundraising appeals we all receive from worthy nonprofits:
- Cut out the small gifts. You’ll just encourage them and the reality is that over the long term it will cost the organization more to send the appeals for your money than what they actually receive from you. “You can count on that organization sending you several dozen more appeals – maybe even every single month – costing the organization a minimum of 50 cents each. Do the multiplication.”
- Reduce your list of giving ‘targets’ to no more than half a dozen organizations – including your local church. “Start by designating 10 percent of your income to your local church…go on then to pick two, three, or even five other organizations you also want to give to – and right away designate 1 percent of your income for each one.”
- Set aside another 1 percent of your income for relatives and friends who appeal to you for support of short-term missions trips.
But what about all those other nonprofits who make appeals to you but you didn’t choose to support? “…start sending a simple form letter. Tell them lovingly that you’ve picked a handful of organizations to support significantly; that you like what they’re doing but you can’t support everybody; and that for your mutual good they should remove you from all mailing lists. You’ll be saving them some money and yourself some future frustration.”
World Magazine: Junk the junk mail