Proxy Donating as Spam Filter

by beth1 min read19th Sep 20139 comments


Personal Blog

One thing that sometimes makes me hesitate to donate to a cause is that, unless you're donating in person and using cash, you're inevitably signing up for a gigantic stream of junk mail, not just from the organization you gave money to, but other, often totally unrelated charities as well. I haven't noticed a lot of these charities offering a privacy policy that lets you avoid this, but I haven't paid close attention because frankly, I don't think I'd have a lot of confidence in such a privacy policy even if I saw one in some literature.

I wonder if there are donations to be gained in guaranteeing this sort of privacy by going through a third party. Charities could include the usual pre-addressed envelope in their mailings, only instead of their own address it would go to an organization called Givepal. The envelope would include the charity's id, and donors would be instructed to make their checks out to Givepal, who would then distribute the money to the specified charity, keeping the transaction anonymous. Givepal could survive by taking a cut of the donations if necessary, or could itself operate as a non-profit.