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'Tis the Season to be Pestered by Charities

In his book Calypso, David Sedaris writes:

I donate a thousand dollars to the Hillary for President campaign and within what seems like minutes I get an email from them saying, in effect, “that’s great, but can we have more?” Her organization is by no means unique in this regard. Everyone I donate to acts the same sway, and I wind up unsubscribing from their emails and resenting them.

David, I feel your pain.

When my Dad died many years ago, he left me his IRA account. Every year I must take a mandatory distribution. To honor my dad, who gave money to a myriad of worthy causes, I donate it all to various charities and community groups during the Christmas holiday season.

Many simply send a note of thanks and I never hear from them again. I like those groups.

Others send me continuous pleas for more money. What is infuriating is they are not heartfelt requests but simply computer generated form letters. Charity may begin at home but charitable requests now begin with bulk mail.

David Sedaris and I are not alone is finding follow-up requests for donations annoying. In a survey conducted by Software Advice, people were asked: how many times should nonprofits ask for another donation? 41% said nonprofits shouldn’t ask for more at all. A slightly higher number of respondents thought asking one or two more times would be okay.

A missionary group that my dad funded all his adult life has not read this survey. I do not support them but they still send requests for donations to my dear departed father at my address. My father has been dead for 10 years and he definitely has no use for the return address labels they provide.

My requests to be dropped from their mailing list have gone unheeded. I have decided their persistent, holiday request for money is actually just a celestial reminder from my dad to give his money away to worthy causes—whether or not they continue to hound me.

When my Dad died, his checkbook included donationsSalvation Army, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Covenant House, Alzheimer’s Research, Alexandria Men’s Home, American Heart Foundation, Hospitalized Veterans, American Diabetes Foundation, Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Food for the Poor, St. Labre Indian School, Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, Maryknoll Brothers and the Ft. Belvoir charity drive.

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