Love me some nonprofit spam

Following is the only-slightly-redacted text of an actual email exchange I just had with a well-intended but utterly clueless environmental activist trying to get the word out about his work.  The original message had about 400 people in the To/CC lines.

Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 8:47 PM
To: Jon Stahl

Jon: I have taken you from the list.

Thanks for suggestions, but I like sending to diverse strangers, in the field
of XXXXXX, especially gov people who live in a protected (idea) world. There
is to much time wasted, "talking to the converted".

Actually, I get very few complaints.

> With all respect, we all really need you to stop putting your
> entire address book in the To/CC line of your emails.
> It is creating a huge amount of unwanted email, generating a
> "reply all" storm, and it's absolutely terrible online communications
> etiquette.  Please consider starting an email list (e.g. at
> or Google Groups) or using a simple email
> broadcasting service like
> Please remove me from your list, too.  Thanks.
> cheers,
> jon

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

4 thoughts on “Love me some nonprofit spam”

  1. Two weeks ago I was called in by a nonprofit board whose org I’d reviewed two years ago, with the warning that their disbursement process was very loose and almost an invitation to steal. Guess how much one of the employees got away with just before an end of year vacation that never ended. The ED couldn’t “get the checkbook to balance”, so they called me.

    Sometimes I wonder why I bother, too. My sympathies to you.

  2. Argh, that’s frustrating. Unfortunately, far too common. I can name three client organizations off the top of my head that have been the victim of six-digit embezzlements. All were large and in theory “mature” enough to know better than to have such loose controls.

  3. The AFP posts their Fraud and Control surveys intermittently:

    The statistically common “employee gone bad” is often a first-time sinner, 64% likely to be age 40-59, and uses either owner authority to misrepresent revenue receipt (in NPs, the ED) or accounting disbursement to fake payments/time receipts. The two best ways to catch bad behavior are the least likely to be used: surprise audits, and enforced vacations/duties reassignment. I’ve always noticed that non-profit board members are especially unwilling to talk $, which adds to the problem.

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