Fund raisers and passive resistance

Political fundraisers have it in their heads (on the basis of evidence no doubt) that sending long letters with stamped return envelopes improves donations. It doesn’t work with me. I resent long fundraising letters, especially with stamped return envelopes, and have established a rule to throw out unread any such letter longer than three pages (most are 7 to 12 pages!!!), including the stamped envelope, though that hurts a bit (as the bastards know full well).

More recently many fundraisers have taken to the telephone. I guess the “don’t call list” doesn’t apply to fundraising. At the end of their spiel, when they ask if I would be willing to contribute X or Y, I invoke another of my self-protective rules and inform them that I never commit to donations on the phone no matter what the cause and I make no exceptions, but I will be happy to review their letter when I receive it (if it is less than three pages). To a man (and occasionally a woman) they then inform me that for the computer they are required to indicate some amount, no matter how small, before a letter can be sent. There must be a marketing study and book that advises this or they have all studied at the same school, because the routine is exactly the same whatever the cause. My innate politeness has led me to waste much of their and my time before the conversation reaches this impasse and I hang up in anger sometimes shouting at them.

I am now pondering whether to simply hang up as soon as their purpose becomes clear or to interrupt with, “I never make or consider donations on the phone” and then hang up before they can explain their required minimum pledge no matter how small.  I welcome your advice or alternative suggestions.

About wcoats

Dr. Warren L. Coats specializes in advising central banks on monetary policy, and in the development of their capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. He is retired from the International Monetary Fund, where, as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department, he led missions to over twenty countries. Before then, he served as Visiting Economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to the World Bank, and was Assistant Prof of Economics at the Univ. of Virginia from 1970-75. Most recently he was Senior Monetary Policy Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq; an IMF consultant to the central banks of Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe; and a Deloitte/USAID advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review and until the end of 2013 was a member of the IMF program team for Afghanistan. His most recent book is entitled "One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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1 Response to Fund raisers and passive resistance

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