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We have contributed to HIefer for a number of years, however are troubled by the amount of literature we receive at this time of year. We just received our third or fourth Christmas brochure within several weeks, when one would have done the trick. A big waste of your time and resources. I complained last year about this and am considering contributing to some other organization. What is your policy on mailings? how much is spent on mailings? How many copies are sent to each donor? What is your ratio of administrative costs verse actual dollars distributed?
Hello Robert. Thanks for writing in. I’ll do my best to answer each of your questions in turn. First, my apologies that you’ve been receiving duplicate mailings. We certainly understand your concern and want to honor your request. I have personally submitted a request to reduce your mailings to one time per year. If you could send your home address to email@example.com, I can better ensure our database is updated with your household’s preference.
The number of mailings sent to each donor fluctuates per donor. We understand that some donors do not like to receive multiple mailings; however, we do have donors who like to receive additional mailings as they like to keep connected and updated on Heifer’s work and mission, as well as having the opportunity to share our literature beyond their households.
To keep the cost of our mailings down and to care for the environment, we use recycled paper whenever possible. There is no single standard for recycled certification, however, so we do our homework to get the best combination of price/recycled content to make the most of every dollar while making responsible use of the Earth’s resources. This year’s catalog uses paper that is supported by carbon offsets and a reforestation project in Indonesia. It is made from 30 percent post-consumer waste material, uses eco-friendly vegetable inks and is 100 percent recyclable (Though I’d recommend sharing it before recycling it!). Other ways we minimize the cost of our catalogs is by ordering in quantities that qualify us for maximum discounts from printers.
For Fiscal Year 2012, 73 percent of our expenses went toward program services (which includes international development and education programs), and 27 percent went toward support services (which includes fundraising support and management and general support).
I do hope you will excuse our oversight in not meeting your request to change your mailings last year, and that you will consider passing your extras along to friends and family who might not yet know about the important work our gifts help fulfill. At the end of the day, it really all comes down to helping families get out of poverty and into prosperity.
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