Oy Vey, Send Money

Are you feeling lonely and neglected because nobody writes or calls? No one seems to care?  Do you stare at an empty email in-box as you sit around waiting for the phone to ring?

Well I have a simple solution to your problems: Write a check.

Or sign a petition, put your name on a letter or email to a public official, subscribe to a newsletter or respond to an on-line questionnaire.  You can answer a request to wish Hillary Clinton a happy 68th  birthday, thank Joe Biden of John Boehner for his patriotic service, wish Paul Ryan success as Speaker or show your support for our troops by simply clicking on the message.

And lately there's been a rash of diverse emails asking people to express their support for Israel in the face of a new wave of Palestinian violence, declare support for the two-state solution, oppose Palestinian statehood, help fight anti-Semitism.  They largely come from organizations whose mission is unrelated to the current outbreak and all have the same message: "oy vey, send money."

It's worse when disasters hit. Many organizations immediately spring into action, but for them "first responder" means rapidly mobilizing fundraisers.

Political and issues-focused fundraising has become an art and a science, as much in the organized Jewish community as in the broader political realm. It's irritating, but the fact is, it works, which is why every group from AIPAC to ZOA does it.
And nothing raises more money than the shrai gevalt of imminent disaster like "Israel's very existence is in danger because of (fill in the blank)."

When responding to appeals for money, make sure you write your name and both addresses – snail and email – clearly, include your phone number and any other information requested. 

Then sign on the dotted line, send off your check or give over your credit card information. 

Presto, like magic, your loneliness problems will be solved.  Soon you'll have more friends than ever.  You'll start getting mail, beginning with a warm and computer-personalized thank you that includes a request for more money.  Then watch as the trickle turns into a tsunami.

They usually don't ask for much, just $3 or $5; or maybe nothing at first, just answer a questionnaire (they don't really want to know what you think, they just want to get you hooked).

$3?  Hey, anyone can afford that.  What do you get for your $3? 

Mail.  Lots of it.  And phone calls. Constantly.

If you still want to donate to a politician or a worthy cause but not be harassed by a constant avalanche of email and dinnertime robo phone calls, donate anonymously.

And give directly to the candidate or organization, not some third party claiming to raise money to advance the candidate or cause, because most of that will go to the consultants and fundraiser .

If you get tired of all the attention from your newfound friends, you can set up filters in your email program to direct all this new mail to the junk pile.  If you don't know how to do that, simply ask any teenager you know.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.