I Will NOT be Blackmailed!

I feel good when I’m able to give to various causes.  I don’t have one or two in particular which always receive my donations but rather a variety.  If there has been a horrible disaster on the other side of the world or if a local family is in need I feel the tug to help out equally.  Although cancer has touched my family and friends I don’t only give to the fight against the disease.  I have been happy to give to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and to the MS Society of Canada and to help send kids to camp for example.

But here is where the good feelings begin to diminish for me.  There are certain organizations that become a little too aggressive in their quest for donations.  If I’ve given to you in the past I understand that my name is now in your data base and you will likely contact me again in the future.  I’m ok with that.  But I don’t want to feel obligated to donate every time you ask me.  There is only so much that I can spread around.

One particular kids camp organization became so aggressive that I finally had to get very abrupt with them and told them to take me off their list and never bother me again.  I felt bad for the kids but I also knew they were aggressive enough to get the money they needed elsewhere.

The thing that has me riled up again about aggressive campaigning is this new trend in emotional blackmail that I have experienced lately.  New to me anyway. There are three organizations that I have donated to in the past (MS Society of Canada, The Heart and Stroke Foundation and Nature Conservancy Canada) that are constantly sending me personalized address labels and Christmas stickers.  They offer these “gifts” at no charge while innocently inserting their donation envelope.  How sweet!  Wrong!  They have sent me so many labels each that even if I lived to be 200 and wrote somebody a letter everyday I still wouldn’t make a dent in the pile.  It seems extremely wasteful to me.  How much does it cost these organizations to print out all these labels and mail them to so many?  Couldn’t you have better used that money…oh I don’t know…for your cause!  I get the psychology behind it.  If we send these out to people they will feel obligated to donate.  Who even writes letters anymore?  Oh I know, elderly people on a fixed income.  I can imagine thousands of elderly people getting out their cheque book every time they receive these packages.  I just think it is a dishonest way of asking for a donation.  It’s emotional blackmail in my opinion and I think it should stop!

To the organizations out there that are looking for money please don’t rob us of the good feelings that normally come with donating; don’t try and trick us into giving and whatever you do, don’t sink to using emotional blackmail.  Signed: Drowning in Your Stupid Labels


  • Janet

    I agree! I have labels, Christmas cards, etc. and think…what a waste. We, at work, were just talking the other day about donations, and telemarketers, and how they are persistant. I guess they have to be to get money, for us 3 discussing this, it turned us all off of giving. We actually discussed how we avoided them, and our ‘routine’ excuses of giving to specific charities. In my opionin….what a crappy job!

  • Tracy Westerholm

    The way you stop this is when you receive any mail with a postage paid envelope included for you to send the donation, you slip those little stickers back into the envelope and they get recycled back to them!
    Anytime I get mail that I know is something like this, I just put it right back into the mail box. I let the mail people deal with it so I don’t have to. I give as much as I possibly can when I can, and that is the reason I feel no guilt what-so-ever when I do this! 🙂

  • Bonnie Johnson

    Ah! Clever idea. It’s still all so wasteful. Those labels will end up in the garbage because they can’t be used for anyone else with my name and address all over them, but I guess if it stops future mailings then it is a wise move. Thank you smart lady.

    • Tracy Westerholm

      You could attach a note and say I will forever return these labels so stop sending them! You could say you no longer live at this address? Using their self addressed postage paid envelope which they have to pay for if you use it might also help. It’s an expense they have to pay if it’s used. xo

  • Cap Creations

    I personally think these labels are great! They can be used for so much more than letters. Get creative, how about using them to label your home dvd collection? This way when you lend one out the borrower knows exactly who it belongs too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “now who did this movie belong too?”

    Label other things too, just a thought.

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