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-   -   Is there a way I can donate to political causes without getting on mailing lists? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=891200)

Little Nemo 03-06-2020 07:38 PM

Is there a way I can donate to political causes without getting on mailing lists?
 
I signed one online petition a year ago and I've been getting several emails a day ever since begging for my attention. It's annoying as hell.

I'd like to support some candidates but I don't want to get put on mailing lists and end up getting dozens of pleas each day. Is there some way I can donate money but do so in a way that I don't get bothered afterwards?

Kent Clark 03-06-2020 07:51 PM

Go to a campaign office or rally and give cash. They (and I mean every "they" you can name) really, Really, REALLY want you on their mailing lists.

RioRico 03-06-2020 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kent Clark (Post 22175918)
Go to a campaign office or rally and give cash. They (and I mean every "they" you can name) really, Really, REALLY want you on their mailing lists.

Must we don cammo face paint to evade facial recognition so they can't track us down when we wish to stay anonymous?

MEBuckner 03-06-2020 08:11 PM

You could set up a "spamcatcher" e-mail address. Not necessarily a totally fake address--I don't know if campaign websites actually require you to verify your e-mail address the way other places do when you're creating an account--but it shouldn't be too hard to set up a free e-mail account and then use that when you're donating.

Whack-a-Mole 03-06-2020 08:16 PM

I donated to a campaign. Maybe two hours after I donated I got an email asking for money.

The next morning I got another email asking for money.

I unsubscribed and they are not getting any more money.

I realize these are automated systems but they are WAAAY too aggressive and downright annoying.

Likewise I donated to a PAC...same shit. Every...fucking...day. "OMG! Did you see this shit!!!! The sky is falling! Donate now or the world will end!!!!!!"

Maybe it works and that is the best way to get money even if they are pissing me off. I am aligned with their politics. I am not on board with being informed daily of why I need to give them more money.

Joey P 03-06-2020 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MEBuckner (Post 22175940)
You could set up a "spamcatcher" e-mail address. Not necessarily a totally fake address--I don't know if campaign websites actually require you to verify your e-mail address the way other places do when you're creating an account--but it shouldn't be too hard to set up a free e-mail account and then use that when you're donating.

In the case of having to verify your email address, you can get email address specifically for that. They're only good for something like a few hours or a day, then they disappear.

For a case like this, I'd suggest setting up a spam account, using that along with a bs phone number. As soon as the election season is over and you're done with any donations, abandon the account..or use it for other similar things, where you just need an email to sign up for something (and verify your email account) but you're otherwise not interested in anything they'll send you.

I'd say use a fake house address to, but since I assume they need to track where the money came from, you might not be able to get away with that.

snowthx 03-06-2020 09:29 PM

Can you just unsubscribe? If not, then maybe just snail-mail them a check with your donation (checks - remember those?). I suspect while there will be someone there to accept your donation and cash the check, they will no longer have the infrastructure to capture your mailing address, much less send you another envelope requesting more money, in this digital world.

thorny locust 03-06-2020 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snowthx (Post 22176025)
Can you just unsubscribe? If not, then maybe just snail-mail them a check with your donation (checks - remember those?). I suspect while there will be someone there to accept your donation and cash the check, they will no longer have the infrastructure to capture your mailing address, much less send you another envelope requesting more money, in this digital world.

Almost certainly wrong. Both political campaigns and anybody else I ever donated to still sends me snail mail. (I occasionally still get snail begging mail meant for my father, who's been dead for over thirty years, and who never lived here.)

I've tried saying 'I'm broke, I can't afford to give you more, please don't spend everything I sent you trying to get more out of me; don't send me more than one request a year'. That actually works, or very nearly so, on Nature Conservancy. It doesn't seem to work on most other groups.

Little Nemo 03-06-2020 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snowthx (Post 22176025)
Can you just unsubscribe? If not, then maybe just snail-mail them a check with your donation (checks - remember those?). I suspect while there will be someone there to accept your donation and cash the check, they will no longer have the infrastructure to capture your mailing address, much less send you another envelope requesting more money, in this digital world.

Forget a check. I'd be willing to put some cash in an envelope with no return address and mail it to Michael Franken, Jaime Harrison, John Hickenlooper, Mark Kelly, Amy McGrath, or Teresa Tomlinson. But I'm not sure that's legal and I don't know who to send it to.

Ravenman 03-06-2020 09:50 PM

First, campaigns are legally required to collect your name and address for contributions exceeding $50. (And your profession and employer for contribution in excess of something like $250.) Don’t make up names and mailing addresses. Let’s keep elections clean.

But, there is zero requirement to give your phone number or email address. You are perfectly free to tell them to cram it if they ask for them, and that should help a lot.

ETA: if a campaign gets a non-compliant donation, like cash in excess of $50 or a check without the required information, they are required to donate it to charity or put it to a similar non-political use.

erysichthon 03-06-2020 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 22175906)
I signed one online petition a year ago and I've been getting several emails a day ever since begging for my attention.

You're worried about emails? When I donated to the Obama campaign, I got emails, postal mail, and phone calls. They were relentless! I don't recall giving them my email address or phone number, but they must have used a Jedi mind trick on me.

On the plus side, the Democratic Party sent me some nice return address labels years ago. Since I hardly ever mail anything, I still haven't used them up! :D

harmonicamoon 03-06-2020 10:48 PM

Send me the money. I will donate it, less ten percent. I ain't ascared of email and calls.

Senegoid 03-07-2020 12:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erysichthon (Post 22176102)
You're worried about emails? When I donated to the Obama campaign, I got emails, postal mail, and phone calls. They were relentless! I don't recall giving them my email address or phone number, but they must have used a Jedi mind trick on me.

Once you give out any contact information, it will get spread around farther and faster than .... than .... well, than any novel virus. And with your info out there on a hundred mailing lists or more, you'll never be able to unsubscribe.

One will be well-advised to learn the story of Ms. Releasha Jones, reported a while back on this very message board!

Quote:

Originally Posted by OneCentStamp (Post 17301013)
Within six months, Releasha Jones was getting 15-20 calls a week. Within nine months, she was getting mail addressed to her. Catalogs. Flyers. Calendars. Mouse pads. Free samples of OTC pharmaceuticals. I left that company in June of 2010, and over a year later, she was still getting mail. :p


Ludovic 03-07-2020 05:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snowthx (Post 22176025)
Can you just unsubscribe? If not, then maybe just snail-mail them a check with your donation (checks - remember those?). I suspect while there will be someone there to accept your donation and cash the check, they will no longer have the infrastructure to capture your mailing address, much less send you another envelope requesting more money, in this digital world.

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 22176040)
Almost certainly wrong. Both political campaigns and anybody else I ever donated to still sends me snail mail.

However, there's a chance they haven't connected the street address and name to your email and phone number, so you might - emphasize might - not get emails and calls while you'll still get snail mail. And there is a person in the loop when you send a check so if they have the infrastructure to flag a person as "do not put on a sucker list" then they won't have an excuse not to do so.

If I give this season, it will be snail mail with a page-long letter begging them in large bolded fonts not to contact me again or distribute my information.

dalej42 03-07-2020 03:40 PM

Honestly, no. You can unsubscribe but no campaign worth it’s salt is going to take anonymous donations. The ‘gotcha’ stories write themselves.

2Bits 03-07-2020 05:32 PM

Is there a way I can donate to political causes without getting on mailing lists?
 
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

RioRico 03-07-2020 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Bits (Post 22177033)
Is there a way I can donate to political causes without getting on mailing lists?

* Envelopes of small, unmarked currency slid into office mail slots.
* Gallon honey jars stuffed with coins. Provide hand sanitizer.
* Anonymous cashiers' cheques. Leave no fingerprints.
* A safe fell off a truck in front of campaign HQ.
* Say your surname is Koch or Walton.
* For fun, donate cryptocurrency.
* Gift the candidate's mom.
* Give counterfeits.
* Leave a will.

ZipperJJ 03-07-2020 08:12 PM

I donated to Pete and Liz using ActBlue. I got a lot of email from Pete until I merely unsubscribed. Didn’t get any more.

Got a moderate amount of email from Liz (not nearly as much as Pete). Haven’t had to unsub from her.

I haven’t gotten any snail mail from Pete or Liz. I did get a ton of mail from Bloomberg.

I suspect the Pete and Liz campaigns knew I was going to vote for them and didn’t need to spend the money to solicit my vote. The Bloomberg campaign blanketed all democratic voters. Or all voters, they could afford it. Nothing short of not voting could keep my home address out of the hands of campaign offices. Anyone can get all that info for free from the county.

I don’t see what’s so hard about unsubscribing from mailing lists you don’t want to be on. Yes there’s risk of getting more spam when you interact with actual nameless, faceless spam operations. But real legit organizations have a vested interest in keeping their lists clean.

Just unsubscribe for Pete’s sake.


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