11 Money-Etiquette Issues, Solved
Problem: You're passionate about raising money for several charities. How many times can you hit up the same people?
Solution: You can approach immediate family for pretty much every fund-raiser you support, from cookie sales to charity races. However, if you solicit distant relatives more than twice a year, e-mail them annually and ask which causes interest them most, suggests Allison Blanton, the senior development adviser of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "That way, you don't inundate them with requests unless they've said it's OK," she says. With friends and acquaintances, limit yourself to two or three requests a year. Group e-mails (with recipients' addresses hidden, to protect privacy) asking for contributions are fine. It's always a good idea to send a thank-you note or e-mail when a fund-raising project is over, to communicate your gratitude and to let donors know their generosity made an impact. But remember: You'll get better results―and keep more friends―by targeting your solicitations, rather than blasting your entire address book. "If it's the symphony, contact friends you know are passionate about the arts," suggests Caroline Tiger, author of How to Behave: A Guide to Modern Manners for the Socially Challenged ($13, amazon.com). "But save the call to dog lover Aunt Eileen until you're raising money for the animal shelter."