This email from team Obama dropped into my inbox a few minutes ago…
As you may have noticed, we’ve asked you for a donation a few times now.
But according to our records, you haven’t yet made an online donation to this campaign at this email address.(If our records are wrong, I apologize and thank you!)
I’m not writing to ask you for money again. I’m actually writing to ask your opinion about why you haven’t given, and what you think would inspire you or other Obama supporters like you to decide to take the leap and donate.
We have two quick questions for you. Can you take a minute to answer them?
There’s a good reason we’re asking for your feedback: The kind of organization we all decided to be a part of only works if people like you pitch in to build it.
It’s also the reason no other candidate has been able to match our level of grassroots support. This isn’t the easiest way to run a campaign — but we know it’s the right way.
That’s why we want to know what you’re thinking.
Please take a minute to answer these two questions today:
Thanks so much,
National Finance Director
Obama for America
P.S. — Of course, if you’d like to become one of our million-plus grassroots donors today, by all means, please make a donation of $3 or whatever you can afford”.
Well, that was certainly intended to prick my conscience. It’s a very smart example of “no stone left unturned” in the hunt for campaign cash. But I find the tone of reproach to be “bespoke fundraising” gone a little too far.
And so I felt moved to email back.
“I haven’t donated because you added me to this email list without my permission. As a journalist covering Senator Obama’s early campaign stops, I was only allowed entry to events if I registered with an email address. I enjoy being on the mailing list – this for example is a terribly elegant shakedown – but it wasn’t voluntary. Best wishes.”
I did have an immediate response, telling me where I could donate – or get merchandise – or volunteer for the cause. But I don’t expect an actual answer.
I wonder how many hundreds more emails I will get from team Obama by November.