Friday, April 29, 2011

E-Newsletter Overload

I receive many diverse e-newsletters everyday. Some come everyday. Others come once a week. And still others come only when their organizations have something to say.

For me, it's not merely the volume of which I've become acutely aware. It's also the tone and content.

There's one category that's easy to identify and segregate, and that's the fundraiser appeals letter. Recent ones have gotten quite clever in asking the reader to make a difference for a mere $3 donation via PayPal, a quick and easy method of making a donation. Others ask for a monthly contribution, usually $10 or less, soliciting you to become a regular supporter or sponsor of a cause such as protecting the rights of "X" or finding the cure for "Y." Almost all the appeals harp on the economic realities faced by organizations and donors alike and tug at the reader's social conscience to be an upright do-gooder.

Another category of e-newsletters are the ones that purport to deliver up-to-date information about an organization and its cause or causes. Often there is good information that you might not get elsewhere, and it is, in fact, up-to-date, maybe even breaking or cutting-edge news. Too often, however, the information is neither up-to-date, cutting-edge nor accurate, which is the worst type of misinformation of all.

I find it egregious when really good, important organizations and causes become fodder for professional development directors who hype information/misinformation for the purpose of raising funds. I don't like to be hoodwinked, and I don't have time to sift through the volumes of e-newsletters to discern which are providing useful information and which are not. I don't need to be tricked into making a donation. Repetitive information under the guise of new headlines or rewritten content is right up there with misinformation as being content for which I just don't have tolerance anymore.

I have a heart. I have a brain. I really care about important issues. I like to give to support causes I believe are important and organizations that I believe are making a difference. I wish organizations with important agendas would remember all of that and treat me like they know that about me, in other words, treat me with respect.

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