Sampling the fund-raising mail


Yesterday I got three fundraising solicitations in the paper mail.

What mailing list did the ACLU buy that makes them think I'm a secularist liberal? Maybe the Consumer Reports subscriber roster? I mean, it's not as if I gave to public TV. They're sending me these things routinely now, a phony "survey" with tendentious questions, so I "vote" no wherever they want a "yes", write "Abortion is murder!" on it, and send it back in the Business Reply Envelope. Thanks for playing.

The TFP sent another big picture of their teary-eyed Fatima statue. Our Lady's probably especially sad that this cult-like little outfit (see this 1983 testimony) is using her image to milk money out of devout souls' wallets. I looked up their Federal filings through the charity-reporting site GuideStar, and here they are (PDFs:) 2004, 2003, 2002.

From the 2004 report, it seems they took in $4.6M in donations, and spent $1.76M on "fundraising" and on "direct mail campaigns" to their current supporters: that's 38%, a rather high figure. The statements include a few other interesting details: e.g., that they have a quarter-mil in precious metals. Not a bad investment, eh?

A third solicitation was from the Oblate (OMI) Fathers, prospecting for new donors. They sent out a little money, asking the reader to return it with a check, or at least return it. Now that's the nervy part: they beg the five cents back from you. Why, you'd have to be a heartless buzzard to say no to that. Well, Fathers, take your manipulative little gimmick somewhere else, and thanks for the nickel.


I was just mentioning the nickel trick to one of my colleagues at work. I hate that and have never, ever sent a check when I'm sent a nickel. It's probably the dumbest and least effective fund raising ploy of all time, short of "Donate now, or I'll club this baby seal"

After I gave money to a reputable health-related organization, they sent me a solicitation the next month with the words, "YOUR DONATION IS NOW OVERDUE" in bright blood-red. Hmmmm. Maybe my check didn't go through?? Nope. It said in the very beginning of the letter, "Thank you for your donation. However, we would appreciate another." I understand the need for regular mailings, but MONTHLY? Geesh.

well that what I call Chutzpa!

I have the picture of Our Lady of Fatima that "America Needs Fatima" (I believe the TFP's arm here in the US) sent me a number of years ago. I also have their book, "Our Lady at Fatima: Prophecies of Tragedy or Hope?". Don't remember if I did or didn't make a donation to them. The testimonial is disturbing. I wonder if any kind of formal inquiry by any diocese where they are has been made.

The Brazilian bishops forbade the faithful to join them in 1985.

They have done a lot of good work against blasphemous plays and art. Everyone else does absolutely nothing! I have seen them receive a lot of support from conservative bishops and priests. Hey, everyone has to do fundraising. How else do expect them to live? Give me a break!

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On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on July 28, 2005 12:54 AM.

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