I once looked at a writing job with a large Christian charity.
‘It’s mostly fundraising,’ they explained, ‘and we’ve got a good system.’
Their good system was:
- A fresh appeal every few weeks or months
- Cheap-looking paper
- Each mailshot made up of a few typed sheets, black and white photos, with “handwritten” additions and underlinings in red ink.
- Sent out to a carefully refined mailing list. Single women in their 40s-70s were the favoured audience.
- Guaranteed results.
I decided not to work for this charity.
Where does carefully monitoring the success of fundraising campaigns end? Where does cynical exploitation begin? I couldn’t figure that out, but I wouldn’t have felt right doing that job.
There has to be a better way, and that better way has to be us givers taking the initiative, giving regularly and generously to a set of good causes, and not letting ourselves be manipulated.