A day doesn't go by without a donor contacting us expressing their frustration at the number of solicitations they receive from charities.
If that sounds familiar to you, then we recommend you follow these steps.
Donate to charities with a demonstrated commitment to donor privacy
Refrain from giving small donations to many charities
The quickest and most surefire way to wind up on mailing lists is to make lots of small charitable donations. If you've taken the time to find an efficient and effective charity you like, you may decide to concentrate your giving to that charity instead of spreading your money around to many charities with which you are less familiar.
Call or write the charity directly
If you receive mail from a charity you haven't previously supported and you don't want to continue to hear from them, contact the charity and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Additionally, you can ask for the name of the organization that provided your name. Be sure you have the appeal letter on hand because the charity will likely need specific information from it in order to locate the mailing list source. It could be another charity but could also be from a retail catalog or a magazine subscription list. Then contact that organization to request that it refrain from selling or trading your personal information.
If you support a charity that sends you too frequent mailings, contact the charity and let its staff know of your giving plans. Will you donate once a month, once a quarter, or once a year? Most charities will welcome your call. They prefer to have donors that they can depend on to give without having to be reminded throughout the year. This helps the charity improve its fundraising efficiency and ultimately dedicate more time and resources towards the programs you wanted to support in the first place.
Take advantage of Charity Navigator's Giving Basket which lets you decide how much personal information you want to share with the charity - from your full contact information to none of it.
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) maintains a list of individuals who do not wish to receive certain types of unsolicited mail, including charity appeals. There is a $2 processing fee to register. The service also allows you to control mail on behalf of someone else (such as an elderly parent) if you are their legal caretaker or add a name and address to a deceased list; neither of these options require a processing fee. Note that if you have made a donation to an organization in the past, registering through this site will not stop mail from that particular organization. You'll need to contact those organizations directly to update your communication preferences.