Sailboat, you’re probably right, in which case I’ll only donate cash to charities in the future. Heck, maybe I’ll just give it to the bums on the street, which is what they tell us NOT to do. At least the bums don’t telemarket me.
And the idea is to stay that way. Would it be preferable to slack off, run out of money, and let McCain, and Coleman, and Dole, and Stevens, and Young, and Bachmann win?
I’d net it way out to something much shorter. Really, just say you are discontinuing your donation due to unprofessional behavior from the company that is soliciting funds on their behalf: failure to respect your wishes to be contacted only by email, unprofessional email, and inconsiderate phone staff.
I used to have a supervisory job in fundraising. Keeping track of all those details and hiring and training the kind of people who are willing to telemarket to do so is no simple task. But it’s what a fundraising company is being paid to do, while also bringing in the bucks. MSF has apparently picked a loser to provide that service to them. The fundraising company deserves to lose the account and whoever at MSF oversees the choice of vendors needs a wake-up call.
If you really want to include detail, the kind of detail that might actually get something to change would be copies of the communications or names, dates, and times of people you talked with that contributed to the problem.
Cite? Is it really not worth giving anything to charities if my giving isn’t in the triple digits?
My experience with this is 15 years old, but giving about $25 per year pretty much let the charity break even for keeping in touch with you. Which they will do, because the big money is in late-life gifts/ bequests, and overall it pays charities to stay in touch with their donors. I don’t have a cite handy, but it’s definitely something that gets researched with hard numbers. Charities can also in some cases leverage the fact that they have many donors to help them get grants, so in that sense even small gifts help. But $25 just about covers a quarterly magazine, annual phone call, a couple of mailings, and payment processing.
Yeah - my dealings with MSF have been all class, and all they get from me is $15 a month automatically deducted.
Make these the first two lines of your letter. Those are the lines that will get their attention, and hopefully make them responsive to the complaints you list. Other than that, just go with it.
As a fan of angry letter writing myself, I think (with the accepted suggestions) you’ve got a good letter there.
I disagree with CookingWithGas; I write perhaps one letter every few months to myriad companies and organizations, and have gotten at least a reply on all but one occasion. Even if they decide this time that BWP is a lowlife with bills too crinkly for their money rolls, that type of behaviour is bound to attract a few more letters, and eventually someone will come to their senses.
I say you’re enlightening a department as to why their audience is dwindling.
Thanks for all the feedback!
I’ve taken it all on board and have slimmed down the letter, as well as making the ‘please remove’ lines the new introduction to the letter. It goes out in tomorrow’s mail.
I wish I’d thought to note names and dates for the annoying events/solicitations - the silly part is, I’ve worked in customer service: I know that names & dates are a ‘must’ if you want anything significant to occur, because without proof it’s just ‘he said; she said’. I have no excuse for neglecting to record the details!
Again, thanks everyone. I feel it’s important to tell a company, in writing, when you’re either exceptionally pleased or exceptionally pissed off - but in the second case, I don’t want them to categorise it under ‘angry loony’, so getting the wording right is very important.
Not at all. I serve on the board of directors of a small environmental group, and we’ll take anything you care to give and be grateful for it.
A good letter overall Bites.
We give regularly to Kids With Cancer and have been happy to do so. Unfortunately we suspect they’ve passed our information on to a couple of other charities, one of which is called “Kids Cancer” or something similar. The Kids With Cancer callers are great, it’s normally the same person who calls us and we feel like we’re talking to a real person. By comparison, the other charity have callers who are obviously reading from a script and just leave us feeling cold. Charities may not be aware of the effect their callers have on potential donors, but from our perspective it makes a big difference how they present themselves and can definitely make the difference between getting a donation and not.
I think you’re doing the charity a service by letting them know that you’re unhappy and why.
By the way, Charity Navigator says this organization spends 86.6% of their resources on program expenses, 12% on fundraising, and 1.2% on administrative expenses, which is actually pretty good.
They add the following:
Several comments on the CN site mention their too-frequent mailings.
[hijack]So I guess this is when I put in my plug for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. A son of one of my friends has cystic fibrosis. The little guy is 13 now, but he’s 40, if you know what I mean. He just went into the hospital for what they call a tune-up–he gets to spend 2 or 3 weeks getting things looked at and adjusted. I’ve watched how the disease has ravaged him and affected his family. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation does good work.[/hijack]
I’m with you on everything else. I wouldn’t be donating to a charity who made me feel like $20 a month is inadequate. It’s a healthy chunk of my cash flow after all my necessities are paid, so while it may not seem like a lot to many people, it’s a lot to me.
It reads fine to me. Douglas Rushkoff, a media and business analyst, has written a few essays on why it’s more effective to communicate issues you have with companies and organizations than to simply cut them off without explanation. So I think it’s a good idea for you to send your letter. If you can find out anything about their staff hierarchy, it might be worth the extra effort to send the letter to a couple different people in the organization rather than just to the general address.
Why on earth did you give them your phone number though? Did you donate by credit card? I deal with all my charities strictly through the mail or online. All of their mailings have “suggested minimum donations” that I ignore.
One thing you might add to your letter though - I know there’s a few websites out there that rate charities on efficiency and waste, etc. You might look up their rating and suggest to them that you and others won’t donate to any charity that has a bad rating. And you might contact those websites to let them know of your situation, they might have more pull than a single person.
Hey, that’s a neat site! I wish there was an equivalent one for Australia.