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Thread: Junk mail - HELP!

  1. #1
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Junk mail - HELP!

    So, last december I decided that instead of giving anyone gifts I'd donate money to an assortment of charitable organizations, mostly in honor of trump (or pence if the organization was LGBT related). It was as much work as buying gifts for individual people, but more satisfying and my company will match 2 to 1 any donations I make, up to $5,000 so I felt like I got a lot of bang for my christmas buck.

    Now, however, I not only get a steady stream of junk mail from the 15 organizations that I donated to, I get an even bigger stream of mail from at least a dozen other organizations who have bought my name from the first 15. Every month or so I have to wade through an 8 to 10 inch tall stack of junk mail, shred everything with my name and address on it and compost all the rest. And for some reason the worst of the batch are the environmental organizations. Great big envelopes full of pages and pages of begging and even magazines that I won't ever make time to read.

    Before this I had signed SO and myself up for the no junk mail list and our mail mainly consisted of a couple of bank/credit card statements, medical bills for SO, and a few catalogs from places that SO buys from. My question, has anyone successfully solved this problem? I don't and will never read any of it and honestly it's making me rethink whether I want to do the same thing this coming Christmas.

  2. #2
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    I found the contact information included with the Doctors Without Borders mailing to opt out. I had actually look through the whole thing to find it, but the mail stopped. Planned parenthood still sends me stuff, but not too much. Most places have a chance to opt out when you donate.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Simply email the organizations and tell them to take you off their mailing lists.

  4. #4
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    If you donate anonymously (postal money order, etc), you don't get on their mailing lists to begin with. Easier to nip it in the bud, then to stop people from begging (please, just give a little bit more).
    When they sell your name, who knows how many fake charities will buy it. (by that I mean those organizations where sales people get commission by getting people to give more and in the end, the true charity may get up to 10% of the donations)
    You can try to do the no junk mail thing again. But you have "established business relations" with them. As mentioned, go through them looking for opt out, if no opt out our best bet might be to mail their prepaid envelope back.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    JP1: My employer has a similar program, but we can check off whether to allow the recipient charity to know our identities or not. I also find that ultra local charities don't have the budget for all that direct mail and I get a quarterly newsletter from them at most.
    MY mom makes small donations to lot of charities, and she has a real situation on her hands with shopping bags full of charity-related mail received every week.

  6. #6
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    I had the same problem with Doctors Without Borders and an environmental charity, I think it was nature conservatory. I called them several times to get off their mailing lists. I do not donate to them now (it is a shame because I think they do great work).

    I give bood blood every eight weeks and have for years.

    every time I go to the grocery store I stock up on sale staples and give them to my local food bank. I give money to my library friends group that goes towards local education programs to the local school and I volunteer my time. I feel bad but I am not sure what else to do.
    It took several years of calls and non responses to get off the lists
    Perhaps you can work work with your employer to make the donations anonymous like rosa does

  7. #7
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I choose one major charitable organization that does local, national and international aid for all; one art form with its projects at different venues; and my church organization. That is my financial contribution and each is significant.

    I then donate time, material and physical support to others. That was how I got away from the junk mail and having my address sold over and over again. It took time but I am comfortable with my choices and it is amazingly wonderful how little junk mail I get now, just local flyers promoting local special events.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  8. #8
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    When I know it's going to be a one-time donation (gift, supporting a friend's "Walk for <cause>", etc.), when I make the donation there's usually a place where I can indicate that I do not want any newsletters or continuing communications. Most times that works. Smart organizations don't want to tick off donors. But I'm far more likely to handle it all electronically, giving them my junk-mail email address and then either unsubscribing immediately or letting the emails collect, reviewing them, and then trashing them.

    I also stop giving to organizations which apparently have money to burn in fundraising. Doctors Without Borders is a prime example of that for me, too.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  9. #9
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    I took the first step today by contacting our local PBS radio station that seems to send me a solicitation every month. Told them that I was tired of paying for fundraising and would give my donation at the same time I made my other donations. Will see.

    Thankfully, neither of the local groups we support sends me reams of paper. I much prefer getting updates on Facebook or email and am much more likely to read them and actually do something. Mail = rarely.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I got inspired by the thread. I've been a Nature Conservancy member for years and do think they are a good place for me to donate, but only when I renew my annual membership. They send a lot of junk mail through the year, but I've not noticed that they share my email with other similar orgs. This is the meat of their response.

    As requested, we have updated yourpreferences to remove you from our mailing list for no more that one appeal, nomore than one renewal, and will stop sending event invitations. Please notethat you may receive some mailings while this change is being processed. It cantake up to 6-8 weeks before all mail already in progress has been completed.

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