Charitable Blackmail

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Charitable Blackmail

Postby Serpent on October 19th, 2020, 4:22 pm 

In the past month, I received five solicitations to donate to charities.
While I approve of most of these charities, and might be willing to contribute to some of them, I'm now barred from doing so on my principle to oppose certain behaviours.
The pleas for help come in padded envelopes, accompanied by ... stuff... Christmas cards, stickers, memo pads, address labels, note-paper, a shopping or gift bag, a calendar, pens....
This is stuff I don't need or want, would never choose for myself and will never use. But every single item has my name printed on it, so that it can't be returned and given to someone who does want it and could use it.
It's basically instant garbage and, when I think of how many such packages they must send out, year after year, an unconscionable amount of waste.
They're wasting the effort, since I can't donate to them, knowing they'll just waste my money on crap nobody wants. They're wasting the labour and resources that go into producing the unwanted crap. They're wasting packing and printed material, and then postage and then postal service time and labour, fuel and air pollution, to convey the crap to all the other people who don't want it.

Presumably, the tactic works: some finely calculated percent of recipients feel guilty enough to write a cheque.
Which only makes it more reprehensible!

Don't you think?
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Re: Charitable Blackmail

Postby TheVat on October 20th, 2020, 9:59 am 

I also dislike the practice. I've started putting a note in the business reply envelope requesting them to cease all mailings, and just remind me to donate once a year, preferably by email. No calendars, memo pads, address stickers, greeting cards, medallions, etc. I make an exception for Nature Conservancy, which just sends me their magazine which I read, and which spends its money sensibly.
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Re: Charitable Blackmail

Postby Serpent on October 20th, 2020, 11:44 am 

I recently donated to the BC public television network and they promptly sent me an issue of the program guide. Pretty good magazine, but my satellite service doesn't carry KNOW, and I only have enough bandwidth to stream one show a night, late at night. I emailed them; they thanked me and switched me to the electronic program guide. No more waste - everybody happy.
I did return the Cancer Society and Heart Fund envelopes with a note like yours. The PETA calendar, I won't even open. I used to donate regularly to WWF, put the panda stickers on my locker at work, but there doesn't seem to be any point now.
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Re: Charitable Blackmail

Postby charon on October 20th, 2020, 1:10 pm 

The only petitions I get come from Life Assurance companies, thankfully unaccompanied by stuff, and which is promptly recycled.

My delightful partner, on the other hand, having bought the occasional thing from a clothing company, gets a free pair of interesting socks every now and again which she wears. Sometimes oddly, just to be different :-)
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