Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Motherlode of Labels

Dear Readers,

Apparently the non-profits did not get my memo about sending me address labels, because I keep getting them.  And it feels like they're pouring in--I believe I have some for a nature-related cause, then I got some from St. Jude's , and I think some others might have come in as well.  I'm definitely going to have to start sending out more letters and cards just to get through them all.

However, the most dumbfounding batch has been from St. Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, which is a school for Lakota children.  They sent me:

  • Address labels (at the top, it says "Wopila tanka - that's many thanks in Lakota")
  • An already-filled-out certificate of appreciation for generously donating
  • Gift tags
  • Stationary seals (at the top it says, "The enclosed stationery seals are a gift to you, and I'm sorry I am unable to fulfill additional requests," as if people are knocking down their doors to get extra pages of stickers)
  • Two notepads (TWO)
  • And....a Dreamcatcher (with a Legend of the Dreamcatcher card)
That's right--a Dreamcatcher!  Sadly, the card also notes that the Dreamcatcher is, "Not intended for use by small children," which prompted the Boy to comment, "So small children can't have dreams?"

Apparently not.

Although I'm blown away by this mailing, it seems to be nothing new for St. Joseph's -- Jonathan Kamens over at Something Better to Do discussed their mailings last year, and boy, did he get some great comments!  The BBB isn't really a fan of them either and reports that in the year ending 6/30/2008, they spent a little over $15 million on fund raising expenses.  Of course, they got almost $42 million in contributions, so apparently this massive package works on some levels.  Just not my level.  Not this year.

Anyone else hear from St. Joseph's?  Any other fun charity requests?

Your pal, 


  1. Interesting that they paid $15MM in fund raising expenses and raised $42MM. When I worked on the Giving Committee for one of my old companies we had a 80/20 rule. Only 20% of the donation could go to administrative/fund raising costs of the organization we were donating money too. It seems that 35.7% of their dollars go towards fund raising them. Very inefficient - we never would have given them money solely based on that rule.

  2. Your St. Joseph's haul tops my Humane Society of the United States haul, which I thought was ridiculous: more address labels (they sent some earlier this year), gift tags (those, I'll use), and a notepad. There may have been a "thank you for donating" certificate in there, but I was so horrified by the other excess that I didn't notice it on my way to the recycling bin. I love the Humane Society, but what a waste of donations, sending out all this useless crap.

    It also spoke to a blog post you did awhile back mentioning how receiving all this stuff is supposed to guilt us into donating (at least, I think it was you that blogged on this topic)...the little bit of wording I noticed on the donation sheet was basically flat-out saying, "We sent you this junk you didn't want, now you owe us a donation." I do not appreciate that.