Thinking Out Loud

January 27, 2009

Stuff Christian Organizations Like: Creating Junk Mail

Filed under: Christianity, Church, missions, philanthropy — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:01 pm

return-to-senderFrom televangelists to missions agencies to … you name it!   Once you get on an organization’s mailing list it can be really difficult to get your name removed.    You tried not making a donation for five years and that didn’t work.   You moved three times, but they kept finding you.   Finally you faked your own death; but the magazines, heartwarming stories, devotional booklets, calendars, free books, etc., etc., etc., just kept coming.

Furthermore, any donation you ever made to the organization’s true mission work has now been totally undermined by the cost of all the materials they’ve sent you since.   Even if you make it really clear that, “This is a one-time gift;” or make it conditional, as in, “I’ll make a single donation if you promise not to add me to a solicitation list;” it doesn’t matter.   Once they have your name…

So here, as a public service we present:

How to get your name removed from an organization’s mailing list.

Step One:   First of all, the most important thing to remember is … oh, forget it, we don’t know either.


The title of this post is a tribute to the popular blog, Stuff Christians Like, listed in our blogroll or use today’s link.


  1. It’s not just “Christian” money-sucks, er, I mean charities. It’s everything like that. Public radio. Environmental groups. Amnesty. PACs.

    Which is why I prefer Matthew 6 “don’t let your left hand know what your right is doing” (or vice versa – I ain’t looking it up) types of anonymous giving any more. I don’t ask for receipts for taxes. I just drop off the money or the donated items, say “Have a nice day” and ride off into the sunset, that masked man and his anonymous sidekick.

    Comment by Jim — January 27, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

  2. Posting this just to get on the email follow up which I forgot to check last post. :o)

    Comment by Jim — January 27, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

  3. I’m with Jim. I only give anonymously now. I have more Christmas cards, Calendars, address labels (with my name spelled incorrectly), free pens etc, than anyone would ever want. And it’s a shame, because it does prevent me from giving to certain organizations.I think it was Covenant House that was original this year (I’ve never donated to them) — they sent me wrapping paper and ribbon!

    We have even tried doing it the right way, as I understand there is a law in Canada that says if you phone the organization and request to be removed from their mailing list, they MUST comply. It’s not working!

    And about giving to Christian organizations? Never!! I worked for one, and I know the subtle (and not so subtle)methods used to get you to give and I totally disapprove. Besides I don’t want to have prayer cloths, decorative crosses, statuettes of Moses etc added to my already full ‘Garage Sale’ box.

    Comment by kaybee — January 28, 2009 @ 1:20 pm

  4. …And apparently the stakes are even higher when the potential donor is perceived as having more bucks than most of us. The solicitations by mail are combined with phone calls and attempts at personal visits.

    Our problem is that our church right now is sitting on a perpetual budget surplus, which compels us to look for parachurch organizations that are facing genuine need, or where their own constituency isn’t able to support the ministry.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — January 29, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

  5. […] and I’ve already written here about my disdain for giving money only to have it eaten up by subsequent donation solicitations by mail.   The link above is to the Canadian office, but Partners is active in the U.S. as […]

    Pingback by Partnering With Partners « Thinking Out Loud — August 6, 2011 @ 7:46 am

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