I just hit the jackpot.
You're looking at it: Five bankers boxes packed full of direct mail fundraising appeals.
I got it from Uncle Maynard. It took me nearly three years to persuade him that I really was interested in looking at the mail he was so reluctant to throw out. (Reluctance to throw stuff away is a pretty common trait for people of Uncle Maynard's generation.)
For a while, he'd show me two or three pieces, usually things he thought interesting or strange.
Then he started bringing me grocery bags full of mail. I kept thanking and praising him for his generous contribution to my education. He was dubious. I kept reminding him I'd love to see it.
Then, a few days ago, he showed up at our door.
"I have those letters for you," he said. "Are you sure you want them?"
I figured it was another grocery bag. It wasn't. It was five trips up and down the front steps with full boxes of direct mail treasure.
Uncle Maynard is the ideal donor. He's a thoughtful, church-going, 78-year-old retiree. The most atypical about him as a donor is that he's male. And he's not online. Doesn't own a computer, has no interest in adding the complication to his life.
Here's who's been writing to him:
- A lot of veterans' aid organizations (Uncle Maynard is a veteran).
- Local social service organizations (food bank, rescue missions, Salvation Army, and others).
- International relief.
- Conservative political causes.
- Liberal political causes (Uncle Maynard is very broad-minded).
- Christian teaching ministries.
- A smaller number of other causes, including environmental, animal aid, and health organizations.
I'll be showing you some of what I learn from Uncle Maynard's Treasure Trove of Direct Mail Knowledge. In the mean time, I'm busy. I have a lot of sorting to do.