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Are you inundated with charitable donation requests? Sick of the animal-themed mailing labels and offers of free coffee mugs? At Charity Navigator, we often receive questions from donors in the same situation. Donating once to a charity without a donor privacy policy in place can result in an onslaught of mail appeals from numerous unrelated businesses and other nonprofit organizations. If you’d like to limit the amount of mail you get, we have some helpful tips to prevent unwanted donation requests:

  1. Only donate to charities that have a written donor privacy policy in place. This means the charity will not sell, share, or distribute your information to third parties. Look for a link on the charity’s homepage or donations page and read the policy carefully – some require you to specifically request your information not be shared. If the organization is rated by Charity Navigator, you’ll find this information right on our ratings page.
  2. Register with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). By enlisting with the DMAChoice program, which allows you to indicate your direct mail preferences, the DMA will include you on a list that both non-profit and for-profit organizations can consult before sending solicitations. This program is voluntary for businesses and charities, however, so it isn’t guaranteed to eliminate all of the appeals in your mailbox.
  3. Get in touch with the charity directly. Request that they stop sending you appeals, and while you are on the phone, be sure to get the name and number of the third parties that your name may have been sold or traded to. Contact them as well. Responsible and well-run charities are grateful for your donation, and should be willing to comply with your requests.
  4. Concentrate your giving. Sending small donations to a variety of organizations is a sure way to get your name on a shared mailing list. Instead, focus your donations on a few worthy organizations and reduce your chances of getting inundated with other requests.
  • Give anonymously. By using Network For Good’s on-line giving system (which is available through the Charity Navigator website), you can request your donation be sent to the organization anonymously. This will ensure you avoid any future contact from the organization you’re supporting as well as preventing your information from being shared with third parties.

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