A Plea for Help with Coins

Another topic on charities/charitable organizations.  You say, not again!  I do admire charities and support a number of them.  But some practices are irritating.

Have you had this experience?   You get a letter in the mail from a charity asking for a donation.  The mailing from the charity does not include address labels but includes coins (nickels, dimes or pennies) taped to the letter.  The charity asks you to return the coins with a recommended donation.

Today I received such a request from World Villages of Children (a project of Asian Relief , Inc.).  This is not the first time I’ve received a request for money from this organization.  Last year I did return the 15 cents with a donation.

The letter from World Villages of Children states in pertinent part,

I desperately need your help so I can continue helping Dion and the rest of  my children.  It costs  only $12.15 a week to feed, care for and educate one child at one of our Children’s Villages.

And that brings me back to the three nickels!  Please send the 15 cents back to me, along with your check for $12.00.  Or more if you can.

I know I ‘m not the only prospective donor who has received a letter with coins.   How many people give?  How many instead pocket the three nickels?

Let’s say you give to certain charities but you don’t necessarily want to give money to this particular charity.  What do you do? Do you feel bad if you don’t give?

Let me make clear that World Villages for Children is not the only charity employing such a tactic.  And because several charities include “change” with the letter pleading for a donation, this tells me the tactic is effective.

On the one hand, I don’t want to be heartless and pocket the three nickels.  On the other hand, I”m “maxed out” with charities I am supporting.

My solution?  Yes, I’m going to return the 15 cents and the self-addressed envelope with postage affixed to the charity.   I will include a letter to the charity asking it to remove my name from its list.   I’ll spend some money out-of-pocket to return the letter.  But I feel this approach is the right way.

Your thoughts?


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