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Tax Time Eye Opener…


My husband and I contribute to several charitable organizations throughout the year. Last year, one of them asked us if they could e-mail us monthly notices requesting our pledged donation rather than mail the paper copy. They anticipated this change would save a huge amount of money on postal expenses and I agreed with their new terms.

I get a lot of e-mail each day. Not because I’m popular or important, but because I get junk mail. Every few years, I switch e-mail addresses but without fail, the junk still comes. Because of this, my junk mail settings are stringent. I glance through the junk mail box and catch a non-junk piece or two but it’s not a fool proof method.

I printed my tax receipt from the charitable organization and realized I had missed three months of payments. Not consecutively, just random months were missing. When I checked my junk mailbox for one of the months, the bold reminder e-mail was still unread. Apparently some months make it through, while others don’t.

I made up the missing payments and set a reminder on my calendar but I can’t help but wonder if I’m not the only one whose charitable giving was lessened on the new e-mail system. Those three missed payments would have covered nearly two decades in postage fees to mail the paper copy to me. Fortunately I caught it and 2011 will be a more reliable year of payments from me but has anyone else experienced the same problem? Or is it just me demonstrating, yet again, that I am perhaps the least tech savvy person on the planet?


  • Reply Caitlin |

    Can you not add their email address to your whitelist? That way it would always go into your inbox instead of your spam folder, because you’ve pre-approved it?

    I don’t have junkmail issues; I use Gmail and two separate addresses (that both forward to the same inbox) – one is my “real” email address, the other is the one I give out when filling in online forms.

  • Reply Jason |

    I’m with Caitlin. I’ve used GMail since 2004 and it’s changed the way I handle junk mail. VERY rarely do I have to venture into my junk email folder to look for something I suspect was misunderstood as junk. Definitely check it out!

  • Reply Shannon |

    I spend a good bit of time unsubscribing from emails i don’t want anymore. It’s kind of a pain, but it does keep the junk to a minimum. I’m sure you aren’t the only one though…it’s hard to keep up with everything when you get like 50 crap emails a day.

  • Reply Lizzie |

    Here we set up a direct debit where the charity can collect from you the same amount monthly without correspondence or a standing order which is controlled from you bank and makes the payment. I will appr3eciate them more now I know not everything is this simple!

  • Reply Abby |

    I have my charitable giving worked into my budget so on the 1st and 15th, that’s the 1st payment I make. I pay online and the charity I give to keeps their own account of every payment I have made over the past few years as well as email me a receipt immediately after I make a payment. I too am a fan of Gmail – I have a separate folder just for contributions, and since I am sitting at my computer paying all my bills at once, I just check my email right after all my payments are done and make sure I received a receipt. They also have the option of recurring payments, which is nice.

  • Reply Jen |

    Another vote for gmail, it’s made a huge difference. And I have two gmail accounts. One for my regular stuff, and one that I use for email coupons and e-newsletters that I want, but without clogging up my regular accounts.

So, what do you think ?