Charity Mail — When Does It Become Emotional Blackmail

Charities that kill off donations.

When does a plea become emotional blackmail?


Every year I get piles of envelopes and packets with letters appealing for donations to various charities. The cost of the so-called ‘gifts’, leaflets, brochures, letters, postage must be considerable.

I already subscribe to several charities on a regular basis, plus a selection at Christmas only. To the latter I write, either that this is a one off, or that I will consider them the following Christmas. But to all the occasional charities I warn that if I am pestered with begging letters during the year they will get nothing else. One or two have taken note and they continue to get my support. The rest carry on, so that eventually the gift I made becomes reduced in value. Likely not worth the paper the cheque was written on.

When disasters happen I do respond, but not to all the begging letters put through the letterbox. There are ways to give anonymously.

Meanwhile the letters and packets keep coming, and not just from those I’ve given to before. Why me? Do charities pass on donators to other charities? Do they get my name from a certain church list? From OU graduate lists? Can’t be just the electoral list — the others in the house get hardly any.

In Britain, millions are given to charities every year. Some declare how much goes to raising the money, but what of the others? I suppose if they only get a tenth or a fifth of that donated, that is money they might not otherwise have had. I no longer look at the contents of these envelopes. I see enough starving babies and incredible suffering on the television, without reminders each time the postman comes.

I started disposing of unwanted ones when they arrived. Now I drop them into a box. Nearer Christmas I’ll make sure pesterers will receive nothing. Emotional blackmail is despicable.

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One Response to “Charity Mail — When Does It Become Emotional Blackmail”

  1. Geoff Dellow Says:

    Well said.

    I ignore the lot and decide for myself and when I do give , I make it a big contribution – big for me anyway.

    I give people dressed up with jackets on our streets a hard time because I’ve discovered they aren’t even members of the organisation sometimes and are paid to collect.

    I cancelled my membership of Shelter for several years because of their tactics and now I joined again.

    The whole scene is unpleasant.

    On the otherhand the Pakistan Relief in town led by a tired Avril Crutchley get as much support as I know how.

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