Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My angry letter to Amnesty International

Here is the letter I wrote to Amnesty on Wednesday, Nov 26th 2008:

Dear Amnesty International,

Stop sending me packets of your material. I strongly regret my donation to your charity organization.

A few months ago, I was shopping at my favorite co op in Minneapolis, called the Wedge. Outside were a number of volunteers asking for donations to Amnesty. I was curious enough to enter a conversation with a young, nervous, guy who was very nice and friendly and urgent about getting donations to help support a number of important causes. I really had no money to spare, but during our extended conversation about Amnesty, of which, I knew only a minimal amount about, I ended up giving him a one time cash donation of 10 dollars.

Since then I had received more materials in the mail than the 10 dollars I donated could afford; when factoring printing cost, postage, ect. I found it very disgusting that my donation was simply used to further solicit myself. I feel that my kind donation was squandered away, in less than three months. I think it is very bad practice to take small one time cash donations and further solicit them with mass mailings. It is shameless and a horrible waste of money.

I feel that the volunteer would be saddened to find out the $10 he got from me, was spent solely on trying to coerce me out of more money through very impersonal and lavish mass mailings. I also think it is a shame that my $10 did not go the causes this volunteer had convinced me my donation was going towards. It goes to show that even good deeds do not go unpunished, and I think this conduct of mass mailings, especially to those unable or unwilling to support for larger sums of money, is very bad practice for Amnesty International.

I understand that your organization is constantly in need of donations, however, maybe you would not need so much money if you cut back on this ridiculously obese mailing frenzies to those that obviously can barely scrape together enough for a one time donation. A simple solution to this problem would be to ask each individual if they could conceive of giving money in the future, ask when that might be, and let the individual that they will be receiving a reminder in the mail at that time asking for future donations. This way you will be saving money on wasted mailers, and saving the money-less charitable person a pile of unwanted junk mail. I doubt that my suggestions will be given any consideration.

While I believe you, Amnesty, stand for good things, the methods are simply not to my liking and you will not be receiving any more donations from me. Please take me off your mailing list.

William Hessian


alicia said...

Good points, and your letter well written. I wouldn't want my money used like that either.

Aleks Hindin said...

I had the same problem with AI. Even worse, with a British anti-slavery organization that proceeded to mail me packets . . . from the UK.

jx said...

i imagine they'll send you a response showing a pie chart of where their money goes. i think to be a 501c3 nonprofit, ad and solicitation dollars have to be below a certain amount, but that's a US thing. since they're int'l, not sure how that works. you could google for more info (i'm being too lazy). too bad for them that they're giving off this impression.