Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Perfect Example

You might remember a Two Minute Hate a while back about the "Free Gifts" that charities send to try to guilt you into donating more money.  I just got a perfect example from the American Diabetes Association.  I donated money to ADA a few months ago when a friend was fundraising for them.  This letter is so full of all the things that annoy me that it didn't even annoy me that much, it was more funny.

Labels!  Yes, you know the little self-adhesive return address labels...now there are twice as many inside!  Twice as many as what it doesn't really say.  But hey, double the amount of labels, I feel so lucky.  I mean after all, I tend to send about 2 letters a year (and that is a busy year). I'm probably set for life, oh what a special day.

Auto Voitures & Motorized Bicycles
Yes, the corn state...that's what you
came up with?
The labels all happen to be car, motorcycle, or license plate themed.  I suppose that is OK but I am not really a car and motorcycle type guy.  It is just one of those things that I highly doubt people think of when they think of me.  It is just not representative of who I am.  I can't see myself using these labels.

Even better, the license plate just says "Iowa The Corn State" around my name and address.  It is the most boring label that I have every seen.

I do however make an exception for the DeLorean label because it is Back to the Futurific, McFly!

But the fun didn't stop with the labels...Just check out what was printed on the outside of the envelope.  That's right mailman - Handle with care, there is an extremely important certificate inside.  You wouldn't want to damage an esteemed document like this one that is being sent to me.  Yes, a grand certificate that I can proudly display in my home or office.  Obviously, when I saw this I envisioned hanging this certificate right by my college diploma, it had to be that amazing.

I actually couldn't find the certificate when I first opened the envelope - sadness.  All I had was a letter and the sheets of labels.  No certificate.  It took me a couple days of the mess sitting on my desk to realize that, oh, the certificate is just a bigger sticker at the bottom of the label sheets...classy!  Of course I will hang... er stick this to my wall, what could show my support more?

Fancy Self Adhesive Certificate of Appreciation

As if that wasn't enough to entice me...they also included a nickel!  Free nickels for all!

Sweet!  A whole nickel for me!

Wait...what?  Why did you send it to me if you just want it back.  Now you are just wasting your money and my time.  Wasn't the $20 I donated a couple months ago a good enough sign of support?  Is my returning the nickel really going to accomplish anything?

Then this is what the letter says...

Well yeah, you keep sending nickels out to in the mail...maybe you should use those nickels for research.  Just a thought.  Let's do some calculations - approximately 300 millions Americans at a nickel apiece = $150 million a year.  According to the National Institute of Health's estimations for 2011 that would place you at about 28th highest disease research funding.  Not too bad especially considering that most items rated higher are broad categories like Aging, Vaccines, Nutritions...you are however beat by Heart Disease, Cancer, and Aids...and honestly that is probably correct.  Trust me, I feel for anyone that has diabetes...that sucks.  But the issue is that it is a very treatable disease, often through diet and lifestyle and if not that then insulin.  Diabetes is not a death sentence.  Plus, since only about 10% of the population has diabetes (which is too high I agree), your numbers are more than a little misleading.  Sure it is a nickel for every American, but when only talking about people with the disease that is $5 of research...not a huge amount but a lot more than you are claiming.

I just thought the whole thing was weird that I had just donated a couple months ago and already they are hitting me up again.  It was too soon and I thought their enticements to get me to donate were stupid.  ADA...save your money (and the money I donated) next time for the actual research.

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