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Charities Not Getting It


At the suggestion of Tea and Kittens (which is currently running a "Kitten Aid 2014" campaign) I tried to give a donation to Médecins Sans Frontières this morning as they seem to be doing good work, as ever, in Africa at the moment. But when I went to their donations page I was confronted with this:

Our Guarantee to you.

We respect and value every one of our supporters. We won't allow any other organisations to have access to your name and address. Neither will we send you constant appeals. We do want to share the reality of our work with you. When you give us your details, you agree to receiving information about our work. and your support. If you would prefer not hear about us please email Anne Farragher at , call 020 7404 6600 or write to: Anne Farragher, Médecins Sans Frontières, 67-74 Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8QX. Please include your surname and postcode in any correspondence.

Or, to put it another way, unless you jump through extra hoops after you have completed your donation to us we will spam you. Doesn't sound like they "respect and value" me at all to be honest if that's their attitude. Whatever happened to a simple opt out check box on the form?

I did think about giving them a one time email address but they also demanded a postal address and I don't want to load the postal system with wrongly addressed post, especially not now.

This isn't the first time I've had this and I'm afraid my reaction is always the same: they lose. So, no donation to MSF then.

Oh well, moving on, Tea and Kittens also suggested Crisis and Christmas is approaching so let's try them instead. And here's their donations page:

The Crisis Promise

  • We will keep you updated on how your donations are helping and on our future work. We are happy to tailor our contact to meet your needs, please contact our Supporter Services team on 08000 38 48 38 or email if you would like us to make any changes.

Here we go again! I could feel a blog posting coming on.

So that left the Disasters Emergency Committee on the Kitten Aid 2014 list. Now, I'm not a great fan of them for various reasons, not least that the Red Cross are one of their members (see Making me Red Cross) but for completeness here's their donations page and what a difference:

We ask for your email address so that we can send you a receipt for your donation, which helps if you later have an enquiry about it. We won't use it for any other purpose unless you've given us express permission.



We would like to tell you more about our work and the lives you're helping to transform with your donation.

Yes, I would like to be kept up to date with the DEC by email.
(We will not share your data, and you can unsubscribe at any time.)

Finally, someone who gets it! They even leave the box unchecked by default!!

Anyway, after all of that I finally went with Care International, who are of a member of DEC but have no underlying religious agenda (unlike most of them). Their donations page simply has:

Email May we contact you by email?
SMS May we contact you by SMS?

That's cool. Uncheck the first and you're done. They win.

Tags: web design Written 30/11/14

Previous comments about this article:

On 30/11/14 at 1:39pm Dave Holland wrote:

That's not very good of MSF; but in their defence, their updates are an informative newsletter every few months - no scrounging. Whereas Crisis are dreadful postal spammers who send me a begging letter every few weeks and have ignored my requests to get off their mailing list.

On 03/12/14 at 11:21am Paul wrote:

Interestingly MSF came back to me on Twitter within hours, even though it was on Sunday, to say (I'm assuming FR=Fund Raising):

"@Wibblings @careintuk @crisis_uk thanks for the feedback. I'll let FR know. But be assured we don't spam. At all. Or pester. Or guilt trip."

Now that's the sort of response that impresses me. As for Care International and Crisis UK: not a word. Go figure.

On 30/06/15 at 11:00am Paul wrote:

Sadly it turned out that Care International were as bad as the rest. They are now spamming me by post. I have sent several back marked "not here, return to sender" which may stop it eventually but I thought I'd checked all the right boxes and we are MPS registered.

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