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charitable foibles

2003-03-30 17:09:38.701693+00 by Dan Lyke 11 comments

Planned Parenthood is pissing me off. Every time I send them money, I get a letter asking for more money. It sucks that under this administration they're feeling the pinch, but so is every other organization I give to. If I thought I could afford to send them more, I would.

And while I'm ranting about non-profits, I give money to The Nature Conservancy so that they can buy and hold land. I really don't need more full-color glossy stuff coming from them telling me all about it.

I think the EFF does it as right as any of the groups I give to: Occasional email updates, and they don't seem to pester me for money nearly as often as the others.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-03-30 22:58:11.562222+00 by: meuon

Oftentimes, a Non-Profit seems to focus on raising money more than the stated goal of the organization.Churches are often notorious for this as well.

#Comment made: 2003-03-30 23:48:39.591258+00 by: Dave Polaschek

Many non-profits also seem to have decided that selling their mailing list is another fine way to raise money. Enough so that I've now decided that every non-profit I deal with gets a unique email address to reach me with. When that address gets spammed, the email address and the donations get cut off.

#Comment made: 2003-03-31 01:37:55.862634+00 by: Pete

Have the first followup mail include an option to buy out of future spamming, instead of opting out.


#Comment made: 2003-03-31 04:47:06.55673+00 by: The Dynamic Driveler

Good idea Pete - maybe for the sake of the non-prof you can opt out of future mailings etc unless they haven't received a donation from you in 18 months then they can contact you again. Something along those lines - I gave to the local SPCA a few years back but for reasons disagreeing with somethings they were doing I stopped asked to be removed from their mail lists was assured I was but they still keep mailing me - they've spent more on postage and mailouts to me than they received in the first place - stupid.

#Comment made: 2003-03-31 04:52:05.362663+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

I find resource lists like the Council of Better Business Bureaus' give.org to be quite helpful in determining what the effectiveness of my monetary contributions may be. For instance, you can learn about Planned Parenthood's effectiveness by reviewing their report here. Their administrative costs come to about 10% of their revenue, and their fundraising costs another 13%. If they do not list a charity you're interested in learning about, you can tweak them and they may add it.

(Oh, and for completeness, the Nature Conservancy's total admin+fundraising comes to 11%, compared to the 23% for PPFA. EFF is not listed.)

#Comment made: 2003-03-31 06:28:38.17947+00 by: Pete

Or maybe this is the real reason you're supposed to do good deeds anonymously...

#Comment made: 2003-03-31 14:48:26.913727+00 by: meuon

Pete: As a socially responsible anarchist, I agree that it is up to us to ALSO do good deeds as opportunities present themselves, anonymously when possible. My goods deed for this weekend: dropping sleeping bags and warm gear off for some girls 'camping out' in line for tickets for a concert...(it was worth the hugs and kisses)... An extra $50 to the NSS for a cave acquisition fund..

#Comment made: 2003-03-31 17:42:43.453352+00 by: Jeffery [edit history]

I've found a way around the administrative malaise of non-profits. Donate your time. I've been spending weekends helping The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential modernize their database environment. They are also in need of PC's, so I've been researching corporations which tend to donate these. Any ideas out there?


#Comment made: 2003-03-31 18:07:56.845234+00 by: TC

Jeff: Dell,Apple,HP and IBM are pretty good about giving machines. Dell came through for the school my girls go to.

It's tough times right now but non profits are starting to have the same effect as the anti war protesters. I was recently hit up by the local cops fund and I have donated to them before and instead of the no <click> I said "I'm sorry my donation funds are committed elsewhere right now" (I had just made a "loan" to relative) this was a mistake because now I am defending my choices with my money. Maybe in a related issue or war related but blood banks seem really pushy right now. I donate pretty regularly but have had a "bug"(probably some minor virus) but wouldn't want to pass that along to someone who is already sick but the blood bank calls ever 3 to 4 days to see if I can come in. geeeeeezus friggin christ. </rant> feel better now

#Comment made: 2003-03-31 23:52:09.855546+00 by: Jeffery

Todd--did you write Dell directly? If so, who was your contact? Thanks ... Jeff

#Comment made: 2003-04-01 00:21:44.479598+00 by: TC

To be honest I didn't intiate the donation but pushed it throught the site council. If I was trying to hit them up for a small donation <20 systems I would get on their 800 number and let customer service toss me about a bit till I got through to somebody. Dell is very reputation sensitive so if your tenacious you'll have a chance but be prepared to spend some time. If your looking for a bigger deal you might need some partners. A quick google search found this sucess story. good luck.