Charities sending unsolicited trinkets following donations

Is it just me, or does anyone else get annoyed about charities wasting money I've donated on sending me things I don't want?

I donated recently to a hospice in memory of an aunt who'd ended her days there.   They have a Christmas campaign to raise funds each year.

Each year they have sent out a plastic credit card sized card with the dedication I'd made printed on it (also visible on the website).  This year it came with a pin badge.  I didn't want either and they've gone in the bin, being made of stuff that would be rather difficult to compost.

Now I know that one or two fewer bits of plastic aren't going to solve the climate emergency but I have in the past asked them to at least give donators the option of whether or not to receive this stuff.  When I made my donation online there was no mention of receiving anything (some years they gave you the choice of bits of plastic stuff) and I thought 'great, maybe they've stopped sending stuff out'.  Alas today the plastic card and pin badge arrived and I've now asked them to take me off their mailing lists.

If they at least gave the choice it wouldn't be so bad but I hate the thought they've spent some of my money on sending me things I don't want without giving me the option to opt out.  

So go on, tell me I am the biggest Christmas Grinch out there... ;-)


  • I used to donate items to my local Cancer Research shop and used their gift aid system thinking it would help in some small way.
    This resulted in letters arriving by post telling me that certain items had raised £5.60 or whatever amount it was. These letters would appear from time to time.
    All I could think of is someone had to process the letters, the charity had the cost of paper, envelope and postage which used to annoy me so I donated elsewhere without giving them my details.

    Guess I'm an old misery too.  
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,982 Forumite
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    Some charities give you the option to not correspond after the donation.  Normally if there's an option "do you need a receipt" and you say no this helps.

    But I get completely what you mean.  MiL made a small donation a few years back to a charity that provides Christmas dinners to homeless - might have been £10 donated.  Along with the pens and return address labels she's been getting begging letters from them ever since which must have cost them more than she actually gave - we still haven't figured out how to get her off the mailing list - you know how persistent some organisations can be!!!
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,328 Forumite
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    Most charities don't have a box on the paper forms to unsibscribe from their mailings.  You normally have to phone or email.  There should be contact details on the letter.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • oxroxx
    oxroxx Posts: 22 Forumite
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    Don't think it costs the charities anything. They can claim the money back via the taxman (legitimate expenses).

    It does seem strange to send plastic garbage that nobody asked for though 
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,610 Forumite
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    I don’t think your being a grinch. The ocean is full of plastic that people don’t want.
    I would make your feelings known to the charities concerned,
    reminds me of the rubbish cheap biros they used to send. 
  • I called one charity to tell them that if they kept sending me rubbish I'd stop donating. They took me off their mailing list. It annoys me intensely when you make a donation to find that they use the funds to keep marketing to you when you are already giving. 

    I also hate the charities that send out pre-filled 'suggested donation' pages, which increase year on year beyond reason. Crisis did this when I signed up to give the price of one person's dinner etc. Next year it was two people. Then three, then four, which at that point was over £100. Nope. Emotional blackmail isn't a good look. And the cheap biros were also terrible. :) 
    Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps....
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  • oxroxx said:
    Don't think it costs the charities anything. They can claim the money back via the taxman (legitimate expenses).

    It does seem strange to send plastic garbage that nobody asked for though 
    They can claim back the tax on the money; not the money. So there is a cost.
    2021 GC £1365.71/ £2400
  • pulliptears
    pulliptears Posts: 14,575 Forumite
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    We had a guy authenticate something for us a few months back, he always refuses payment and asks for a donation for Guide Dogs for the blind.
    Sent a donation and since then receive a letter a month asking for more.

    It did annoy me that funds were seemingly being spent on begging for more funds.
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,637 Forumite
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    Over 30 years ago, the ex and I were at a country show and gave a local animal charity exhibitor a small donation. For some years after we would receive a regular newsletter and small pamphlet about their current "residents". Just the total postage must have well exceeded our donation!
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
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