If you’ve hung out here for a while, you know how I feel about e-mailing people without getting permission. (It’s bad.) I bet you can also guess how I feel about buying, renting and even trading mailing lists from other organizations. (it’s really bad).
I do, however, get why nonprofits do it. Buying, renting, or trading mailing lists is fast, easy, affordable and (sometimes) effective, but the short-term gains lead to unpleasant consequences in the long-term.
One of your organization’s most valuable assets is the relationships you’ve built with your donors. They know you, they trust you and they have enough faith in you to support you financially. Every time you sell or trade their contact information you erode that trust. Continue reading