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Job Carr Cabin...fundraising out of control

by fredo
on 3/22/2009 @ 8:36am
About 10 years ago our family gave the Job Carr Cabin about $100 to help get the project off the ground. I told them it was a one time gift and didn't want a membership or any other affiliation. Since then I've received appeal after a appeal for more money. At least once a year I've called and asked to be taken off the mailing list. And I'm always assured that it's been done. Just now I've gotten another request. We love the park and the cabin, but quite frankly I'm amazed at the cavalier attitude given to the donors.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/22/2009 @ 10:17am
Maybe they are planning to build the Job Carr Condos, a cabin that reaches up to the sky.

by NineInchNachos on 3/22/2009 @ 8:42pm
Don't sound like you really-REALLY love it.

by Mofo from the Hood on 3/22/2009 @ 9:06pm
Yeah, I heard something about a brand new Job Carr Cabin that was built over on North 30th Street in Old Town.

The only JC Cabin I've ever been in was a worn out, windowless and doorless one-room dark brown log shell that sat inside Point Defiance near the picnic grounds on the way to the 5 mile drive. The place looked like an abandoned passenger shelter for a stagecoach stop. It was free to enter and interesting to visit for about 2 minutes.

by Erik on 3/23/2009 @ 1:19am
The John Carr cabin is pretty cool. I even bought a brick there.

by Erik Hanberg on 3/23/2009 @ 9:51am

Having been a fundraiser and development officer for a lot of my professional life, I can most definitely say that if you have asked the Job Carr Cabin to take you off their mailing list, they should absolutely do so.

That said, I'm curious about your strong reaction. I get a ton of mail from non-profits asking me to support them and if I'm not interested in doing so, I toss the request in the recycling bin.

I've run across this occasionally professionally and never totally understood it, so maybe you can help. What's so bad about getting the letters that you'd rather take the extra time to call or e-mail rather than just throw it away?

by Erik on 3/23/2009 @ 10:36am
I get a ton of mail from non-profits asking me to support them and if I'm not interested in doing so, I toss the request in the recycling bin.

I have been in the same situation as Fredo. What concerns me is that the extra mailings slowly and surely dilute the initial donation made to the non-profit everytime I get a new letter from them. If I get enough of them over the years, it would completely negate my donation.

by Mofo from the Hood on 3/23/2009 @ 11:03am
It's the nature of a non-profit that they never achieve an end goal, in terms of money.

by fredo on 3/23/2009 @ 11:17am
Erik Hanberg-

Well, I don't think my reaction was "strong". The people who answer the phone at Job Carr Cabin assure donors that they'll be taken care of. What they should be telling people is that the Job Carr Cabin donor list is like the Hotel California- "You can check in any time you want...but you can never leave."

Your response to similar requests is to throw them in the recycling. I think you would be doing these groups a favor by informing them that you aren't interested. Then they could more properly focus their fundraising appeals.


Precisely- the donation I made has been eroded by all the unnecessary mailings.

Final moral to the story, If you don't want to be on an eternal list of donors always give in cash. If you pay by check rest assured they will copy down your personal information.

by Maria on 3/23/2009 @ 5:27pm
I think non-profits should be careful not to cross the line into annoying. I was a season subscriber to a theater group in Seattle, and they literally emailed me twice a week, and sent mailings 4-6 times a month. It was WAY too much.

The next year I didn't renew, and it was less about the quality of their productions (great) versus the bad taste/feeling I got everytime I saw their name and remembered the avalanche of comunications.

Erik, the issue, I suppose, is that life is busy and complex already, and having to deal with that much fundraising/event info was burdensome.

Repeated mailings didn't make me more likely to give. A couple of good, high-quality appeals work better than the shotgun approach.