How do I give donations in others' names without them getting junk mail?
December 8, 2005 10:21 PM   Subscribe

If I want to make donations in peoples' names without them being subjected to an onslaught of requests for more $ from the organizations I choose, where do I turn?

Most of the people in my life being adults and not needing anything, I've decided to make donations in the names of family and friends this year rather than giving them gifts. In the past when I've done this (or had people do this for me, as well), it's resulted in being placed on mailing lists.

Besides the tree-killing that goes into our tons of junk mail, I don't really relish the idea of giving someone a gift that is simply going to result in them being for all purposes harrassed for more money.

Anyone out there have luck with finding charitable organizations that only add actual donors to their "mail every day" database, and not all the innocent bystanders, such as those unlucky enough to be on my Christmas gift list this year? I and my mail-hating family will thank you.
posted by bloggerwench to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Many nonprofits SHOULD have a box or an indicator on their donation form which allows you to opt in or out of their communications. If they do not, consider adding a customized, very simple one-page letter to that effect. If you've given them money, you've especially earned the right to call the organization after submitting your donation to (a) ensure that they've received it, and (b) to stress the fact that you don't want to be added to ANY lists. If it's a larger organization, the people who process the actual donations may not be the same folks who control the lists, so it's probably worth following up with a real person.
posted by mykescipark at 3:23 AM on December 9, 2005

You could always make the donation in their name and give your own address, or no address at all. Trust me, they won't refuse the donation.

If you really NEED the response to prove the donation, you're at the mercy of the organization, call them first and see if you are comfortable with the system..

last a local donation, hand deliver the cash, pick up the receipt... no address involved....

and... it is a nice thing you are doing..!
posted by HuronBob at 5:30 AM on December 9, 2005

You could always make the donation in their name and give your own address

This was my idea as well. Very thoughtful of you to want to do this.
posted by languagehat at 7:10 AM on December 9, 2005

You might try the United Way. It's a clearinghouse for many different charities (including my favorite), and you can specify an awful lot about your donation, including the ability to do so without any future donation or contact expectations. I've gone with a payroll donation for the past couple of years, but my wife and I have also made one-time donations when we have a little windfall here and there throughout the year.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:14 AM on December 9, 2005

Hmmm. I gave in my sister's name to my local humane society a couple of years ago...I get all the junk mail, she gets none. Pretty sweet (for her)...
posted by lhauser at 9:39 AM on December 9, 2005

« Older How do I tell iTunes to search my Library for...   |   Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.