Charity Solicitations

This past year, I’ve been loosely keeping track of the number of solicitations received from the charities we contribute to. At least that’s been my excuse for the mountain of mail on the corner of my desk all year. Here are the tallies ordered by the number of solicitations.

Organization Solicitations in 2006
Triangle Land Conservancy 1
American Cancer Society 1
Inter-Faith Council for Social Service 2
American Red Cross 4
People for the American Way 5
Salvation Army 7
Public Citizen 10
Southern Poverty Law Center 11

Local charities (TLC and IFC) seem to show more respect for their patrons, but most of the organizations are farming out their fund raising in ways that makes them look bad, in my opinion. Fake handwritten notes are one example, but I guess they must work. (The solicitations don’t correlate with the amount contributed, by the way, which is pretty uniform.)
I didn’t count informational mailings, which would greatly add to the SPLC total and would put groups like Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting in the list. We also got a handful of solicitations from organizations we haven’t contributed to in years, still happy to give us “Member since 1988” status.
We still contributed to all of the above this year, but I added to each contribution a note requesting only one solicitation per year. We’ll see.

The nicest solicitations are from the organizations we’ve never contributed to: the alumni associations and endowment funds of every school we attended for a semester or more. They often send high-quality magazines full of nice stories and photographs. Those would be, in roughly descending order of frequency: NCSSM, Duke, Clemson, UNC, and Bucknell.