Not too long ago, we helped you find ways to opt out of annoying junk mail. But did you know your favorite charities can annoy you with a deluge of mail as well? Whether by email or postal mail, many organizations send donation reminders, address labels, and even newsletters to keep you in the loop throughout the year, but quite often, that is not a loop in which you want to be kept. Is there a way to opt out of these annoying charity mailers? Yes! Read on to find out how.
Manage Junk Mail
When opting out of charitable solicitations, there are a few things you can do. One of our favorite ways is through an app called PaperKarma. This app helps stop your postal junk mail. They work by contacting the organization in question and requesting your name and address be dropped from their mailing list.
If you routinely give to charities online, be aware of a small checkbox that will opt you out of their mailing list. Be sure to check it off, otherwise you’re quickly added to their list.
More often than not, you should be a proactive donor and ask how you can remain in contact without the need for paper mail. Is there a way to change the frequency of correspondence online? Can you choose the topics you wish to hear more about? How much of your contribution is going toward the cost of junk correspondence? These are the questions to ask.
On the other hand, donation acknowledgement letters might get mistaken for junk emails, so be sure to comb your inbox for any of these important letters. Make a special folder for them on your computer or in the cloud for easy tax time preparation.
Another way to cut down on junk mail from your charities of choice is to donate to fewer organizations, yet make more significant gifts. We recommend keeping up to five organizations, which vastly reduces various mailers throughout the year. By making gifts with higher dollar amounts, not only do you avoid nickel-and-diming yourself with $10 here and $20 there, you also avoid burying yourself under swaths of unnecessary mail. Don’t spread yourself—and your sanity—too thin.
In order for your gifts to be considered tax deductible, you’ll want to verify the 501(c)(3) status of your organization(s). This designation is required for you to write off your donations on your taxes. Use the IRS’s own tool to discover whether or not your organization is tax exempt at https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/.
Another site we recommend is CharityNavigator.org. Not only can you check an organization’s tax status, you can find new charities and worthy causes you believe in. They evaluate various charities according to four different criteria: financial accountability, impact and results, community, and leadership. If you don’t have a charity in mind but you wish to give, this website is an excellent way to find one.
By choosing your charities wisely, you’ll vastly cut back on the solicitation agitation you receive throughout the year. Through managing your junk mail and maximizing your impact, you’re giving yourself the best gift of all—peace of mind.