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The Sierra Club

I felt a little irritated when I found in my mailbox a thick envelope from the Sierra Club. I had not renewed my membership, so of course it was a solicitation. The thickness of the envelope was clearly meant to give the impression of something valuable inside, as encouragement to open the envelope rather than just toss it. I opened it.

Inside I found five bifold cards, nicely printed, and five nice envelopes, white on the inside but tastefully washed in a pale yellow on the outside. How could I throw that away? A mailing like that must be very expensive. Not only is there the cost of postage, the cost of printing also would be high. It made me wonder if the Sierra Club spends an excessive amount of money to raise money, but I found at Charity Navigator that the Sierra Club has a four-star rating and that their fundraising expenses are 11.6 percent, which is not bad at all. The mailing worked. I’ve sent them a check to renew my membership.

The Sierra Club must be the oldest environmental organization in the United States. It was founded in 1892 by John Muir. In its long history, it has done a lot of good work and has not made many embarrassing mistakes. (One such mistake was accepting money from Chlorox and donations from the gas industry.) According to Wikipedia, the Sierra Club spent just over $1 million on the 2014 elections, all of it to oppose Republicans. Good work, that.

After I thought about it, I was glad to have renewed my membership, and I was impressed by the effectness of their direct mail appeals. With mailings like this they are, after all, providing much-needed revenue to the U.S. Postal Service. It’s also flattering to Sierra Club members (or former members) that the Sierra Club regards them as people who continue to use the U.S. Postal Service and who even send cards in the mail.

One Comment

  1. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    I get many solicitations too. And after reading what you said about the package you received from SC, I wish I had kept it.

    Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

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