Well Meaning Paper Avalanche - Get Me Out
May 11, 2017 3:52 PM   Subscribe

Is there a good way to stop all the (paper) mail I started to get after donating to various groups after the elections?

Post election I was gleefully making donations to these organizations (ACLU, PP, SPLC for example) but I'm NOT happy to get be getting so much paper mail from them. Its one thing to spam my email inbox but paper mail?! I'm getting buried from all the organizations I donated to! When I donated I didn't see any option to opt out of paper mail so I'm pretty annoyed. And insert grumble about killing trees for nothing.

So help! How do I stop the paper avalanche?? Or am I just SOL?
posted by driedmango to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I've had a lot less paper junk mail since I signed up at DMA Choice. You didn't mention catalogs, but I reduced the amount I received by going to Catalog Choice.
posted by Rob Rockets at 4:26 PM on May 11

Check your emails too - see if you can "unsubscribe from all paper communication" via email from each organization. Works for me if I can handle emails but don't want my snail mail box flooded. Or just bite the bullet, write down a list of all the ones you don't want mail from and contact individually and ask to be taken off any hard mailings "for environmental reasons."
posted by HeyAllie at 4:30 PM on May 11

Former fundraiser here. You just need to contact their membership department and ask them to stop all solicitations. You'll probably also want to ask them not to exchange your information, so you don't get mail from organizations you haven't given to.
posted by Automocar at 4:55 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

Note to non-profits: This kind of thing is the _only_ reason I don't give money to most of the organizations I would otherwise support. I don't think I'm alone.

As for how to avoid this in the future, OP: I have gone in person to the local NPR station to give them cash. They took it, but were confused that I didn't want any "free" stuff. (Who, with any disposable income, really needs another mug or bag or CD?)
posted by amtho at 5:22 PM on May 11 [9 favorites]

I called the PP HQ (it's the 212 number I think) to cancel my PP mail and they were lovely about it and canceled it right there on the spot, both regional and national. Confirmed me in the database and everything. I asked them to keep sending me emails and now I get email and no paper mail, which is perfect.
posted by mochapickle at 6:50 PM on May 11

I write on their survey paperwork/donation form to ask to be removed from their mailing lists. Use their pre-paid envelope to mail the form back. Might have to do this twice for their system to get the message. It's quick (no time on the phone or internet, which they actually want you to do to build the relationship further) and feels good to ding them a little bit financially each time for bothering me with their stupid mail. My approach has been effective at stopping the incoming mail.

Don't know if you attend any sort of church, but once in a while my UU congregation dedicates a Sunday's collection to benefit this or that organization, including the ACLU. Dropping cash in the basket one of those weeks has been a convenient way to support causes I care about while staying off their lists.
posted by eelgrassman at 6:59 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

I sent the SPLC a plea/tirade through the online contact form on their website (my boyfriend and I made separate donations and were getting TWO copies of everything!) and it seems to have stemmed the flow of paper.
posted by yeahlikethat at 8:05 PM on May 11

I quit the ACLU some years ago for this very reason, not only was I getting mail from them but they were selling my address information on a mailing list to other progressive organizations (and maybe whoever would buy the information). When I complained they said they did it to make more money, but it lost them a member. I don't know what they do now, it's really quite frustrating. The "using their own envelope to mail a request for removal" idea sounds good to me, it's really a violation of a persons' privacy for them to be selling people's info like this.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 10:14 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I also managed to find OptOut which hopefully means I won't keep getting those annoying credit card offers!
posted by driedmango at 6:51 AM on May 12

Person employed at a non-profit chiming in:

If you're a donor--even if you've just given $1 once in your life, you're listed internally as a donor--all you need to do to stop receiving anything is ask. You likely have been assigned to a specific person in the org's development department. You can write to the org, say, "I'm a donor and would very much like to stop receiving mailings/emails/other specific things, can we make that happen?" And it will happen, without any fuss.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:22 AM on May 12

Dear late afternoon dreaming hotel: once my information has been sold or shared, it's no longer within the power of the original non-profit to stop mailings from the other entities who have it. The original non-profit also has no control over successor regimes at the non-profit, who may be less scrupulous, even if only for the few months while new leaders are settling in and learning the ropes.
posted by amtho at 1:44 PM on May 12

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