Think twice before you unsubscribe: The free gift your favourite charities need from you this holiday season.

28 November 2023

As the holiday season shifts into full swing and your inbox begins to swell, you’ll be tempted to do something that costs your favourite charities hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Please, please, please resist the urge to unsubscribe. The impact on your inbox will be minimal, yet each cause you care about will receive a precious gift of support.

Today’s email marketing platforms are so sophisticated that once you unsubscribe your email address will be permanently blocked. And while that may feel good in the moment, it means that any future communication with you requires human intervention and multiple manual steps that divert valuable resources away from pursuing that charity’s purpose. The acquisition cost for replacing you is out of reach for most charities, particularly small charities that have limited funds and expertise to devote to this very specific overhead.The hurdles for resubscribing are so high (with good reason!) that I could devote an entire post to the topic. If you really want to give your favourite charities a boost this holiday season, take it one step further and subscribe to their emails using your preferred personal email address.

“But you send too many emails,” I hear you say. You may notice a difference in the number of emails you receive from charities depending on their size. The reason for this is simple - larger charities are able to spend more on their marketing platform, which means they are better able to segment their audiences, integrate with other platforms and offer subscriber preferences. In fact, larger charities will have entire teams devoted to each specific audience segment! Organisations with little to no fundraising or marketing staff simply don’t have the resources to do this. 

Your email address is golden - please don’t take it away from organisations that need and value it. Go ahead and unsubscribe from the online store you purchased from at a low point of lockdown - they won’t even notice you’re gone. But I promise you that the charities you support - particularly the grassroots ones with small, agile and stretched teams - will and do.

Instead, continue to ignore the emails you don’t have time to read or reply to. Then you can continue to control how and when you engage with us. Better yet, take a moment this holiday season to make sure you have subscribed to the marketing lists of all your favourite charities starting with The Funding Network Australia. It is a gift that will cost you nothing but is worth its weight in gold.

By Kristen Lark, CEO of The Funding Network Australia