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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1488  
Subject: Re: Do You Guys Do Any of These Things? Date: 6/16/2004 10:04 PM
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They don't care who you are because they just want your money. If you're not super rich they don't care what your “name” is because it does not matter. All that matters is that some faceless person, with some unimportant name, from no-one-cares-where, gives $x,xxx. “Who” that person is is irrelevant.

This is not true anymore. Absolutely not true. Every well run organization maintains a database of all contributors and uses that database to the maximum extent that it can possibly be used to raise more money. Many charities share their databases with other charities to enable cross-solicitation.

Many years ago I learned something from one of my father's second cousins (or twice removed, whatever). He was moderately wealthy and donated quite a lot, eventually almost everything was donated as they had no children. But he wanted to be anonymous whenever possible, and in the early years would donate cash, but as he began to give larger amounts, cash wouldn't work anymore, so he got himself a checkbook with no name and no address on it. My wife and I also have a checkbook like that (though very few of the items in the register reach 4 digits, I can only recall one recently :-).

I still get mailings from various organizations that received "regular" checks from me quite a few years ago. It is very annoying to me that they are wasting some of the money they collect on printing and postage, if they really feel that they need to solicit, just send me an email. I suppose they calculate that the "return" on the average solicitation is pretty good. In any case, I will not support an organization that spends over 10% of their contributions on overhead, and I usually prefer expenses to me much less than 10%. I usually find a bigger "bang for the buck" when contributing to local organizations rather than national organizations, and smaller ones rather than larger ones.

Now if it is known that you are rich then the institution does want to know who you are so that they can talk you into giving a giant donation or to continually give and build a “relationship” with you. For some reason the super rich like being courted by the non-profits. They like being members of the boards. They like buildings named after them. They like the prestige that it gives them in their social circles. They like the philanthropy lifestyle. They like attending parties that the non-profits hold.

This is true for the vast majority of truly very wealthy (the kind that can write a check for $1M+ without any problem, and then do it again a few months later) people out there. And there is nothing wrong with it, it is just a different style of giving.
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