Letter: Charitable solicitation overload creates irritation for giver


To the editor:

I was pleased to see in a recent article by Clarence Fanto that he too noted the surge in requests for charitable donations on and before the relatively new invention of a so-called "Giving Tuesday."

My wife and I give to a fairly wide variety of charitable institutions of our choice, as measured by our reasonably long-term observation of their ongoing effectiveness. We also have traditionally done most all of our giving between Christmas and New Year's so we can know how many times we have been solicited by mail by each group during the year and, accordingly, subtract a dollar for each solicitation after the first or second one. We intend to continue with this method as we are able.

However, though mailed solicitations are still many hundreds per year, now we have just been through the displeasure of computer-driven solicitations en masse on "Giving Tuesday."

I tried to count them and I believe we got 89 emails on Giving Tuesday. Perhaps 10 or so were from friends or chosen contacts. The rest were heartrending calls for assistance for nearly every imaginable cause. As I had a day's worth of ordinary activities to perform, I chose not to read any of the solicitations for donations lest I do nothing else for the whole day.

I wonder if my choice was unique to me or if there were others out there who felt overwhelmed and just gave up on responding, no matter how wrenching to one's conscience the appeal?

Is there a better way for charities to make their pitches? I hope so.

Don Lathrop,

Canaan, N.Y.



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