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Old 07-14-2013, 01:50 PM   #21
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When you get a phone call from a particularly sympathetic sounding charity like "paralyzed veterans", ask what percentage those in need actually get. The solicitors are required to tell you, and it is shockingly low.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:54 PM   #22
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In my area we get these groups collecting for this our that charity or cause at many busy intersections. These people weave in and out of the cars as they stop at the traffic lights. I am shocked that this is allowed. A guess someone will have to get killed by the traffic before they put a stop to it.

Last year at one of these intersections of a very busy highway and cross road, the local fire dept was soliciting donations for some worthy cause. I witnessed a chain reaction crash of 3 cars directly in front of me as a driver had to slam on the brakes as one of the firemen stepped into the moving flow of traffic. I was fortunately the 4th car and was able to keep from crashing into the car in front of me that slammed on the brakes, too late, to keep from crashing into the car in front of him, and so on.

Unbelievable this is allowed.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:16 PM   #23
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What bugs me about charities is that after I give, I get flooded with frequent mailings looking for more $. Sometimes I wonder if they spend almost all the money I initially gave them on solicitations trying to get me to give more (I don't) rather than on the work I wanted them to use my donation for in the first place.
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When you get a phone call from a particularly sympathetic sounding charity like "paralyzed veterans", ask what percentage those in need actually get. The solicitors are required to tell you, and it is shockingly low.
You can check on what percent of donations they use for fundraising, administration and programs here Charity Navigator - America's Largest Charity Evaluator | Home


My own personal rule about charitable donation requests (either calls or mailings) is simple -- If I want to give you money, I will find you and give it to you; you are wasting your time and mine by finding me and asking me for it. At the beginning of every year, the young wife and I make a budget for charitable donations. We decide who will get money that year, when and how much. We rarely deviate from our plan.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:23 PM   #24
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If I want to give you money, I will find you and give it to you; you are wasting your time and mine by finding me and asking me for it.
This was how I just made a donation for the families of the 19 firefighters who lost their life fighting forest fires in Yarnell, AZ.

I searched the Web to find a Web page set up by the Firefighter Association. 100% will go to the intended recipients. Completely painless and effective for me to donate via Paypal to an account they set up specifically for that purpose.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:30 PM   #25
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My contribution dollars are directed to my church. Lately I'm getting the "would you like to donate cough drops to the homeless shelter", etc. etc. No telling how many bags of dog food I've supposedly purchased for the animal shelter via Petco and this sort of thing. I will not respond to a telephone solicitation, nor will I respond to a request via mail. However, I will respond when the local Animal shelter needs help paying for heartworm treatment or dog food.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:11 PM   #26
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I have never had a problem smiling and pleasantly saying "no" to donation requests. perhaps my parents trained me well by telling me "no" to all the things I wanted.

As was stated I will go and find organizations and evaluate their efficiency before I donate. These also always are ones you bother you the least.

I have given to multiple political parties in support of specific people I personally know. I stop the followup "general" requests by arguing the "opposing" view against the party that calls me... that seems to get me on their "do not call this idiot again" list.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:17 PM   #27
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Real irritating.

Fortunately, we live in an apartment building so we don't get people knocking on our door, but we get a fair number of calls to our home number. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a "do not call" registry here and they won't stop calling no matter how many times you ask so if the kids aren't around, I just swear at them and then hang up.

The politicians are easy to deal with - I told one of them who failed to take me off his mailing list after several requests that I was making a donation to his leading opponent* and voting accordingly and put it up on my Facebook page. He stopped spamming me after that.

E-mail lists are impossible to get off. These days I seldom try and just flag them all as spam (including charities I give to) and gmail does the rest.

* I wouldn't waste my money on a politician
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:29 PM   #28
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When my girlfriend's father died from cancer I decided to make a donation to the American Cancer Society. On that particular day the ACS website was down, so I googled and found the National Foundation for Cancer Research and donated. Big mistake. For the next ten years, I received a mailing every week begging for more money. Most mailings came with a couple of hundred return address labels. I now have about 500 lifetime's worth of return address labels. I think they finally stopped when my $100 donation stopped funding the mailings. I'm sure not a cent of it went to cancer research.

If I happen to be in an ornery mood and answer a political call, I tell them to put me on their do-not-call list or I will put their candidate on my do-not-vote list. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:25 PM   #29
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In my area we get these groups collecting for this our that charity or cause at many busy intersections. These people weave in and out of the cars as they stop at the traffic lights. I am shocked that this is allowed. A guess someone will have to get killed by the traffic before they put a stop to it.

Last year at one of these intersections of a very busy highway and cross road, the local fire dept was soliciting donations for some worthy cause. I witnessed a chain reaction crash of 3 cars directly in front of me as a driver had to slam on the brakes as one of the firemen stepped into the moving flow of traffic. I was fortunately the 4th car and was able to keep from crashing into the car in front of me that slammed on the brakes, too late, to keep from crashing into the car in front of him, and so on.

Unbelievable this is allowed.
+1 we have something similar around here in that some local fire departments set up a coin drop in the middle of a state highway which slows down traffic. I'm so annoyed at these things I just drive by.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:24 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Tom52 View Post
In my area we get these groups collecting for this our that charity or cause at many busy intersections. These people weave in and out of the cars as they stop at the traffic lights. I am shocked that this is allowed. A guess someone will have to get killed by the traffic before they put a stop to it.

Last year at one of these intersections of a very busy highway and cross road, the local fire dept was soliciting donations for some worthy cause. I witnessed a chain reaction crash of 3 cars directly in front of me as a driver had to slam on the brakes as one of the firemen stepped into the moving flow of traffic. I was fortunately the 4th car and was able to keep from crashing into the car in front of me that slammed on the brakes, too late, to keep from crashing into the car in front of him, and so on.

Unbelievable this is allowed.
+1
This happens all too frequently around here. I am so disappointed that the city and police department allow this dangerous activity. Couple this with an airhead in the car behind texting on their cell phone and someone is going to get killed. I have never and will never donate to any of these folks regardless of whether they are firemen for "Jerry's Kids" or a local cheerleader wanting money for new pom poms.

Cheers!
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:54 AM   #31
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+1 we have something similar around here in that some local fire departments set up a coin drop in the middle of a state highway which slows down traffic. I'm so annoyed at these things I just drive by.
Yes, I saw one of these same situations on Hwy 321 heading into Gatlinburg TN. After about a 10 hour drive from Illinois I came up on a mile long traffic backup. I figured there must be road construction or a traffic accident ahead. After about 15 minutes of stop and go traffic right on the highway I could see where the local fire dept. had the traffic stopped from both directions with firemen soliciting donations. They even had a stop signs right in the middle of the highway. I did not donate. I figured if my house catches on fire these guys wouldn't be showing up anyway.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:12 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
What bugs me about charities is that after I give, I get flooded with frequent mailings looking for more $. Sometimes I wonder if they spend almost all the money I initially gave them on solicitations trying to get me to give more (I don't) rather than on the work I wanted them to use my donation for in the first place.
+1 on this. I gave to one charity and now I get at least one mailing per week with address labels from several charities. I have started throwing them out. Any suggestions for what to do with hundreds of address labels?
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:38 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
What bugs me about charities is that after I give, I get flooded with frequent mailings looking for more $. Sometimes I wonder if they spend almost all the money I initially gave them on solicitations trying to get me to give more (I don't) rather than on the work I wanted them to use my donation for in the first place.
I recently read a very interesting piece on fund raising (which I can't find). The gist was, large NFPs get their critical funding from few, large institutional donations. The donors put conditions, and one condition usually is they must demonstrate they have community reach. They show this by raising many small donations from a large cross section, and they can spend close to the entire amount raised to do so. Once you become a subscriber, even with one donation, they need to keep you on their list, hence the endless mailings.

There is not way to get off the list, and the only way to avoid this, regretfully, is never give to a NFP cause that has a large outbound fund raising operation.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:02 AM   #34
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The gist was, large NFPs get their critical funding from few, large institutional donations. The donors put conditions, and one condition usually is they must demonstrate they have community reach.
Wow!
I never heard that before, but it makes a good deal of sense. If that's true (and common), it explains a lot. If anyone happens to find the original source of this information, I would love to learn more about it.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:40 AM   #35
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Wow!
I never heard that before, but it makes a good deal of sense. If that's true (and common), it explains a lot. If anyone happens to find the original source of this information, I would love to learn more about it.
Well, I can't find the source so it should be taken with a grain of salt. It is, in a way, like newspaper and magazine subscriptions, sometimes giving away the product because the main source of revenue is advertising, and they must show a big subscriber base. It no doubt explains some of the endless mailings strategy followed by some NFPs.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:35 AM   #36
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+1 on this. I gave to one charity and now I get at least one mailing per week with address labels from several charities. I have started throwing them out. Any suggestions for what to do with hundreds of address labels?
At the risk of sounding paranoid I shred them first.

Cheers!
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:45 AM   #37
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When my Mom was alive, she'd send a few dollars every once in a while to some American Indian charity. After she died, their (and others') donation request mailings started to be sent to me, probably because I forwarded her mail to myself in case there were any estate-related things that needed taking care of.

Talk about pests. They would send these oversized mailings that clogged up my PO Box, and include some kind of useless trinket that I didn't need nor want, or hundreds of address labels. Who sends that much mail nowadays anyway, with so much being done online? I send one letter a month now, and that's only because my landlord doesn't have an online payment option.

I throw anything donation-related right in the "shred" box. I don't even open it. I also don't open the door to anybody who looks like a solicitor. I don't have a land line to be pestered by telemarketers, and thank God they don't call my cell number.

As far as those people who stand in front of businesses, unfortunately here in California, they're everywhere. There was a lawsuit brought years ago that was decided in their favor, even though the sidewalk, storefront, or wherever they're soliciting might be private property.

I get out my cell phone and pretend to be talking on it as I walk in and out, and I also don't make eye contact. They seem to be adverse to pestering you when you appear to be talking on the phone.

I hate anything like this, that gets in the way of conducting business "normally". Same thing for all those stupid questions they ask you when you check out...

- Do you have a rewards card? No.
- Would you like one? No.
- Would you like to sign up for our email list? No.
- Would you like to apply for our branded credit card? No.

You know what I want to do? PAY FOR MY STUFF AND LEAVE!
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:59 AM   #38
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To avoid the mailing lists, send a contrib anonymously, such as via money order, or one of those starter checks that have neither your name or address printed on them.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:22 PM   #39
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I don't give over the telephone any longer. No exceptions. I have a few organization that I give to each year. I only give in November and December to avoid donating twice in a calendar year. I consider the charity with the lowest operating expenses.

As far as the check out lines goes, I usually give a dollar. It is never more than $10/year total so it has not yet become a problem.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #40
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Five years ago, our community was hit by a massive flood. I remember the organizations that helped. Salvation Army, Red Cross, Taiwan Tzu Chi foundation, and Catholic Charities. Salvation Army gets the most bang from the bux that they are given and many times, are first to arrive to disasters.
I also give to the United Way. They offer some oversight.

I pay taxes. Polit critters provide no oversight. I figure that I tithe a few times over with that list.
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