Charity Mailing Lists: How Built/Maintained?

Does anybody have firsthand inside experience in the charity industry?
Specifically, I am wondering if there are one or more central databases where donors and prospective donors are tracked.
From the outside it looks to me like the name/address of somebody in our family is in one of these databases and every time they respond to a solicitation, the point value assigned to them is incremented.
Then it looks like various charities that subscribe to that database service put together mailings based on that point value.
The good-hearted person in question doesn't have a suspicious bone in their body and routinely sends $20-$25 to charities I've never heard of and the contents of our mailbox keeps growing and growing with solicitations form more and more "Charities".
Quotes because every so often I get all spun up and I spot check some of them against www.ChariteyNavigator.com. Hint: if it's anything to do with active military, veterans, or cops that's not a good sign. -)
Yesterday, the mailman was barely able to fit it all into the box - and this is a pretty good-sized box.
Also the apparent commitment of charities to individual mailings seems to have gone up. Now we are getting dollar bills, checks for $2.00, and coins in some mailings - predicated, I guess, on pushing some people's "Obligation" buttons. Maybe this hypothetical database service is sophisticated enough keep score by the types of solicitations and which buttons they push?
So: does my hypothesis about the central database hold water?
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 9/20/2015 7:05 AM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

While I can't attest to ever seeing such a mechanism, your observations hold true here, as well.
It only stands to reason: someone who *has* made a donation is probably more likely to make ANOTHER donation than someone who you'd have to contact "cold".
We've been moving towards sending cashier's checks (keep receipt for tax purposes) in lieu of personal checks. This lets us give as we please, maintain the tax deduction, keep off the ever growing lists of beggars, *and*, oddly enough, saves those organizations from their eager attempts to solicit a *second* donation! (some seem to spend your entire *first* donation on POSTAGE/mailings to solicit further donations!)
By far, we prefer to give our time to charities that we consider worthy. You also learn a lot about the inner workings of these groups by doing so; things that you'd never know (nor approve of!) if you just "wrote a check".
[Many charities are just thinly disguised efforts to "employ some select few on the good will of many"]
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Per Don Y:

That was me years ago when I started giving to Amnesty International.... then the mailings from other fund raisers skyrocketed and then they set the telephone solicitors on me.
I tried a few other reputable charities - telling them beforehand that I did not want to be on their mailing list or any other list.
For awhile, it would hold, then the telephone solicitors would start in.
Now nobody gets a nickel and each got a letter telling them why they would not be hearing from us again. Pissing in the ocean, I know...
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 9/20/2015 4:59 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

The organizations that I volunteer with (or *have* volunteered with) typically don't even have my full name, address or phone number. I try to keep it a one-sided transaction. If this doesn't suit their "requirements", then I can <shrug> and take my labor elsewhere!
[One organization wanted me to become a member, pay *dues*, etc. JUST to volunteer. WTF?? I have to PAY for the right to GIVE you my time??]

I have a friend who is a "big giver" (5 and 6 digit checks) -- I'll withhold judgement on her giving choices (that's *her* perogative!).
One day, at her house, talking... phone rang. She stopped and went to check the CID. Then, looked back up at me with a look of disgust on her face. "<name of charity>... they're looking for more money." Her solution was obviously just to ignore their repeated contacts.
One has to wonder if these organizations ever think about what their *donors* (underwriters!) must think when they are constantly calling with their hands out?
[Ans: they probably DON'T think!]
I was putting in some time at a charity with which I was affiliated some years ago. A "strange woman" (visitor of some sort) cornered me in a hall and started peppering me with questions. Long story short, she wanted me to ALSO volunteer with the organization *she* ran! I smiled politely (despite the anger welling up inside me -- who the hell are you to think you can *impose* on me that way?) and told her, "I'm sorry, THIS is where I donate my hours..."
I think these sorts of people get so used to *asking* (for stuff) that they are never embarassed by their actions! You or I would probably be terribly reluctant to "ask" for something -- OF A STRANGER! But, apparently, after forming that HABIT, it gets easier to ask without any consideration for how tacky your actions appear!
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On 09/20/2015 9:05 AM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

...

The national ones (and certainly the unscrupulous that are nothing but fronts of which there are probably more than actually legitimate) certainly keep databases and may well buy/sell their information with others (the less legitimate, the more likely for both).
There are, of course, other outfits whose entire business model is selling mailing lists.
To begin to manage the influx, see
<http://give.org/for-donors/about-specific-giving-guidance/charity-mailing-list-removal/
--


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On 9/20/2015 10:05 AM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

I don't know how centralized it is, but I see the occasional misspelling of my name repeated by others down the road. There is some sharing going on.
I don't respond to mailings or phone calls so that keeps it to a minimum. The one charity I do give to on a regular basis does not share info from what I can tell.
Your friend is probably doing some good work, but is probably tossing money at sleazy operations as well.
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On 09/20/2015 10:15 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote: ...

I concur with the advice/action...select one or a few or as many as wish that, after due diligence, you're satisfied are good stewards of their receipts and which are supportive of areas of specific interest and concern to you. You may safely ignore all the rest without fail or guilt...
If one or more of the selected happen to be local; all the better, the "more better" likely increasing inversely with the size of the locality.
--


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On Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 7:05:05 AM UTC-7, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

Quit giving to ANY charity years ago. But still give blood every 2 months to the Red Cross (just donated yesterday, still have the bruise) I know some are decent but they all sell your names to other so called "worthy charities" And if you see them advertising on TV? FORGETABOUTIT PAL "Police Activities League" is a total rip off. The dude calling you gets 50% of your "donation" right off the top The latest TV ad is for this Wounded Warrior Program that wants a monthly donations of ONLY 19 bucks a month. They spend 1/3 of their money trying to get more money
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Donate to more than one your details are sold/passed on. In short, you are on a Suckers List.
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i donated a few bucks to the carnegie science center. its a nice place with a wonderful train display year round.
right after that donation i got soliciations from every organization.
i called and the carnegie confirmed they share their lists. i ordered them to permanetely delete me from their rolls and everyone they shared my info with.
i suggested they should request the privelage of sharing.....
i was really pissed they will never get a dime from me. this must be 20 years ago when i had a little discreationary money.
now we struggle to survive
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I see the correct spelling but same weird capitalization (HOfmann) on a number of charity (and non-charity) mailings, so either someone is copying/retyping/reselling my name, or there are an amazing number of coincidences.
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