I was talking to a fundraiser and he said, “We’ve got this cool system that includes pre-written estate planning e-newsletters I can send to my list whenever I want.”
So I asked, “Did the people on the list opt-in to receive the e-newsletter?”
“They are donors,” he replied.
So I asked again, “But did they opt-in to receive the e-newsletter?”
“Well, they opted-in when they donated…. I think,” he responded.
No they didn’t!
Folks, just because someone signed up to run a 5k, get email updates, or even if they donated, it doesn’t mean they also wanted to get your snazzy, jargon-laden planned giving e-newsletter every month.
Ask yourself this simple question.
Do I have prior explicit and verifiable permission (opt-in) from the recipient to send them this email/content?
If you don’t, then you’re just plain being rude.
Think of it this way: Are you ever thrilled to receive an email you didn’t explicitly request? Surely the answer is, “NO!” So why would you send your supporters (the people who pay your salary) e-newsletters on a topic they didn’t request?
It’s spam! Plain and simple!
Sure, you can dance around the word and twist yourself into a pretzel explaining that you are not a spammer. You might even say, “But I’m sending good information and they like our organization.”
If you are sending unsolicited email, that’s spam. What matters is only whether or not they explicitly gave you permission to send the information to them.
Email communications absent permission is spam, plain and simple (even if it’s legal).
So, be nice. Be respectful. Stop spamming your supporters.
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