Getting My Irish Up

This is a copy of the e-mail I sent this afternoon to one of the myriad organizations whose list I’m on to solicit for funds.

As you can see, it really “got my Irish up” when it arrived. Good thing today is “Grouch Day,” ha!


Dear Sirs:

Once again, I have received in the mail a package from you requesting a donation. This time, it was marked “Second Notice.” What’s that all about, I ask???

“Second Notice” sounds to me as if you’re a bill collector, and I’m a deadbeat. I am not.

“Second Notice” implies that you’ve tried before and failed. That tells me you’re doing the same thing — sending out multiple notices in hopes of guilting people to give — and that’s a waste of everybody’s time and somebody’s resources.

“Second Notice” has a coercion feeling to it, as if I’m expected to donate. I am not.

I’m self-employed. Thus, I don’t have a wealth of surplus money lying around for me to dole out willy-nilly. I work hard for my money and am frankly tired of all you organizations trying desperately to cut me out of the picture and grab some for yourselves.

Yes, I donate to charity, plenty of charities. But I’ll do that on my schedule, not yours, thank you very much.

I’ve had it up to here with your organization and regardless of how much I donate, yours won’t be on my list. You might as well STOP sending me stuff and save your efforts for somebody else.


(my name)


Will it help? Will it stop the onslaught of “dunning” notices I receive?

I doubt it. But if I can make a dent in the stack, or remove a few from the list, I’ll be happy.

Most of us receive far too much junk mail, whether it’s in our home postal box or via e-mail. We complain about it, throw it into the trash, and move on to something else.

Today I decided I’d had enough. I don’t begrudge an organization for trying to solicit funds. Many times, that’s how they keep afloat. But forcing people to give isn’t charity.

It’s coercion. And that’s against the law.

What do you think?

29 thoughts on “Getting My Irish Up

  1. Completely agree and I don’t think they ever update their mailing lists. Joe use to have fun giving small amounts to obscure organizations and they never tire of asking for more.
    I often skip the charities and organizations giving directly to people who are in need. It is a little trickier, but frankly I would rather make a homeless persons day with $5.00 or send some cash and a card to a friend of friends because her husband has been unemployed for months. I could care less if they pay a cell phone bill or buy the baby shoes.
    You are absolutely right—it is about giving not guilting. Good job stepping up, writing the letter and being clear that charity is about giving,not guilting. Most certainly, you are the best judge of where to spend your hard earned resources.

    • Ah, Kim, thank you! I was at the boiling point when I saw “Second Notice” on the envelope — telling the entire post office that I was a deadbeat. What nerve! Wonder if the next mailing will be marked “Final Notice”??

  2. Well said Debbie!
    Just as bad as charities are the nut cases who try this antic — A while back, I received a package containing panty hose. I had not ordered them nor were they anywhere near my size or color. I asked around and no one I knew needed or wanted them. I trashed them.
    A month or so later I received a second package with the same content. Trash.
    The third month I received a bill for both pairs. Trash
    The fourth month I received a bill with a threat to turn me over to a collection agency.
    When I called to let them know I would not be paying for the items they suggested they wouldn’t bill me further if I sent them back. Hahaha!
    I always wonder how many people fall for that type of nonsense.

    • Agreed, Yvonne. I know charities have to do fund-raising, but this is a ridiculous expense. With mailing lists, I suppose their task is made easier, but they seem to have become more grabby and greedy in the process. Good for you, dealing with the panty hose “gift” the way you did. And for them to think you’d send them back — probably at your expense, too — well, that just shows they’re “one sandwich short of a picnic”!!!

    • Thanks, Suzi. I really try to be generous (especially during Lent!), but this one ticked me off plenty. It’s one thing to get these mailings every month or so. It’s another entirely for them to DEMAND you contribute — and to even suggest amounts that would “help.”

  3. I’ll give the telephone solicitors a piece of my mind from time to time, but I’m not a letter writer in that kind of circumstances. On the other hand …. I don’t get many solicitations in the mail, and I’ve never received any “gift”. Well, except for Christmas seals. That could have been twenty years ago. I’m not sure they do that any more!

    But it’s ok. Don’t feel badly for me. There’s no need to put me on a list so I receive mail!

    (Oh – I do have a funny story. I got a call from a local funeral home recently, wanting to know if I was ready to preplan my funeral. Uh – no. But here’s the kicker. Two days later, I got a phone call from some guy who asked, “Well, how are you feeling?” Turns out it was a wrong number – but I sure thought for a minute the funeral home had gone over the line with their persuasive techniques!)

    • LOL, Linda! You really don’t get unwanted “gifts” in the mail? Would you like me to send you mine?! I get everything from address labels and notepads to pens, T-shirts, prayer cards, small change, “membership” cards, and even “recognition” certificates “suitable for framing.” Like I’m going to hang that stuff on my fridge or wall!!
      Good story about the preplanning. Thankfully, they haven’t found me yet. But don’t say so too loud, for I’m sure they’re waiting in the wings!

  4. This is an all-too common tactic used not only by “charitable” organizations, but by other marketing organizations, too. They often target the elderly (which is not to suggest you’re elderly). Before she passed away, and before we took over her financial affairs, my mother-in-law was renewing her Reader’s Digest annual subscription every month because they kept sending her bills and she didn’t remember paying them.

    It should be illegal for them to make their solicitations look like past-due notices. Good for you for calling them on it.

    • Thanks for agreeing and relating your experience, Hipster. I agree — soliciting is one thing; “guilting” and “extorting” are quite another. Thankfully, I’m still able to keep up with who I’ve given to, and how much!

  5. Enough is enough. No more Mr Nice Guy or Ms Nice Lady. Well-said my friend and I couldn’t agree with you more. BTW, I can’t imagine you are ever really that “grouchy” 🙂

    • I’m glad my public persona isn’t that of a grouch, Kathy. But, like all true Irish-folk, I can sure get my fuse lit and come out fighting when I need to! This was obviously one of those times. I haven’t heard back from them yet; I’m waiting with clenched fists for their “Final Notice” to arrive, ha!

  6. Yep this would be (is) irritating! The boldness of soliciting donations and attaching the urgency of a “second request” notation is annoying. It does make it look like a bill- and obligation. Good for you for taking the time to write a letter!

    I get annoyed with the offers for ‘automated’ giving. To me, that defeats the purpose. For instance, I worked at a company once that introduced a new way to help with giving – we could donate to United Way through a payroll deduction to our checks. More recently, my church introduced a program to sign up for automatic withdrawal for offering. (I declined both of these.)

    • I don’t like the automated giving, either (and I imagine it would rankle even more with a church!). As a self-employed person who doesn’t receive a set income every month, automated giving programs would be disastrous to my bank account! I give when I can, as much as I can (so I won’t be impoverished), and that’s the best anybody can expect. I feel no guilt at trashing stuff from companies who aggravate me with their “notices” and too-frequent solicitations — too bad they never seem to learn! Thanks for weighing in and sympathizing!

  7. It’s simple for me….I give when I feel the Lord leading me and I know I can’t or it’s not wise to give to everyone. I pay my tithes first, then offerings as I feel lead and then there are many times that I’ll give to strangers or something that really touches me. I know that I must be wise with Gods money which is what we all have…it’s all His anyway.

    I don’t let charities intimidate me. Jesus even said that the poor will always be with you….so even He knew there will always be these kinds of needs. As humans we should help our fellow man…but be wise about it.

    • Tanya, you’re a voice of reason — and heart. Thank you! Well said. I give, too, but I’m pretty choosy about where I give. Throwing hard-earned money away is like slapping God in His Face with one of His treasures, and I sure don’t want to do that!

    • Glad I’m not the only one, Monica, but sorry they’ve been aggravating you, too. I understand how difficult it must be to raise funds when the economy is depressed, but as you said, this method only causes resentment. Thanks for weighing in.

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  9. Couldn’t agree more.
    When we get these nuisance letters, we simply cross out our address, write RETURN TO SENDER on the envelope, and stick it back in the mailbox. Our volume of unwanted mail has dropped a lot since we started this.
    Good luck!

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