There are people out there that hate – and we mean hate – spam. As the blogging team writing as “No NonProfit Spam,” says “Your mission is noble, and your intentions are honorable. But if you subscribed us to your organization’s bulk email list without our permission, then you are sending us spam. That is discourteous, unethical, illegal, and ineffective – so please stop.” Deborah Elizabeth Finn’s Spam Manifesto is well worth a read if your organization is pumping out bulk email:
My standards for bulk email sent by nonprofit organizations are fairly simple:
* Confirmed opt-in policy: good
* Unconfirmed opt-in policy: acceptable
* Opt-out policy: evil
In other words, if I did not actively request that you send me regular e-bulletins or e-newsletters or urgent action alerts, then it’s spam.
However, it’s not spam if:
* You’re sending me a one-time-only message that is relevant to something that I posted publicly.
* You’re emailing me to invite me to join your subscription list.
* I went to your web site and subscribed to your e-bulletin.
* We had a conversation about your organization, and I said, “Do you have an e-bulletin? I’d like to subscribe.”
* I’m a dues-paying member of your organization, and voluntarily gave you my contact information.
* You’re my client.
I would encourage every nonprofit that sends out an e-bulletin to think about it as (at least in part) a relationship-building tool. Your goal should not just be to inform us, to ask us for money, or to prod us to action. It should also be to help us feel connected and emotionally invested in your organization. Perhaps you should be asking yourself whether you want us to perceive you as intrusive and presumptuous, or as friendly and respectful to stakeholders? If you prefer to be seen as friendly and respectful, then please stop sending us unsolicited bulk email.