Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mail & ranting - again

Since my first posting on the unsolicited cards, labels, stickers etc. of 9/24 I have received a further eight mailings with more cards, seals and labels. It is highly unlikely that anyone from any charity is reading this but...


I already give to a large number of charities (see my original posting). I would really prefer it if you would just send a nice short letter detailing what you have done with my money and what you need help in doing for the next fiscal year. The mailings according your experts are to designed to motiviate people into giving, well for me it won't work. In fact with me it probably will do the opposite, if you have so much money to waste on these things trying to get me to give to you I view it as taking away from your mission of helping others. I have worked 19 years as a volunteer (including board of director member) for a not-for-profit and I know how tight funds are for a not-for-profit. During my time as a BOD member we never did a shotgun approach to raising funds for our programs.

If you want to mount a more effective fund raising program:
  1. Send a targeted solicitation to your existing contributors. Offer them the opportunity to order cards, seals, labels as a bonus of sending in a donation.
  2. Cut back on the shotgun generic mailing with labels, seals and cards. This is a huge expense for your group and probably does not garner a huge response rate.
  3. Clean up your mailing lists. I normally get two or more solicitations from some charities. The only difference is a slight one in my name.
  4. Clean up your mailing lists, again. I received a solicitation for my mother. Only one problem, she has been dead since August, 2000.
  5. Ask the company you are buying your mailing list from on how current that list is, see point 4.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Spam - Yahoo tools

I found a most interesting option in Yahoo mail. It is 'Block Addresses' and it appears to have been there for a while. It has been activated and one whole domain has been blocked at this time. It will be interesting to see what it does to the volume of spam which is coming in.

The one domain that is there right now is SOHU. It appears to be a Chinese site and their emails are quite annoying as they use the ugliest fonts and sizes.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

MS Update - October 11, 2005

Microsoft is planning to release a number of patches (9 in total) this Tuesday. Please use the Microsoft Update feature on your systems. I don't know if the updates are applicable to Win 95/98 systems, but, try to update too. Some of the fixes are deemed critical by Microsoft. While you are at it you may want to update your virus scanning software (you do have a scanner don't you?), spyware scanner(s) and firewall software.

For those of you who are running Linux, don't gloat, there are a number of patches you should be applying. has an advisory watch section that details the various distributions and the fixes. You can check out for the information.