Turned Off by Come-Ons From Charity

Re: “Charities Are Having to Give More in Order to Receive” [Dec. 26]:

Some years ago, I began enclosing in the envelope with my donation a note asking that I be contacted only once a year, explaining that financial circumstances allowed only selected giving, which I would prefer to go for the charitable purpose for which it was requested, rather than for printing and mailing costs.

After a time, I added a statement that I would cease all contributions if my wishes continued to be ignored. They were, and I have. Others to whom I’ve spoken feel the same way and are being much more selective.

I neither need nor want the thousands of address labels, many incorrect, that are eventually thrown out and wasted. It was easy also to track how new appeals found their way to my mailbox shortly after a check had been sent because of misspellings and other mistakes picked up from the charity that had sold my name. How many Alzheimer’s foundations, local and national heart or lung or children’s homes, diseases, etc., can one limited-income person support (even if, in fact, that’s where the money actually goes)?


But when so much of it actually is used to pay for more fund-raising, salaries and advertising agency expertise, I draw the line.

Guilt and a real desire to help and share what I could kept me going long after I had threatened to stop. But in this past year I have finally found a solution to my problem.

And that is simply to use the manufacturer’s coupons, advertised specials and other deals offered by the supermarkets to collect and deliver foodstuffs, personal items (toothpaste, deodorant, razors, etc.) to several food banks in the area.

Most are staffed by volunteers, and it’s good to know that what little I can afford is going where it’s truly needed.


Until the commercialization and proliferation of organizational fund-raising stops, I opt out and would appreciate receiving no more pleas that spend others’ charitable dollars on a wasted effort to wrest more from me.


North Palm Springs