Cleveland Park Listserv Fundraising Rules

Rules for Fundraising  & Charitable Solicitations on the Cleveland Park List

How to Write a Fundraising Message for the Cleveland Park Listserv

Please be aware that every week, all year round, the Cleveland Park Email List receives a large number of appeals for many worthy causes.  A high percentage of our many thousands of list members are public spirited and active in a wide variety of worthy causes. To keep list members from being overwhelmed with frequent appeals, the moderators have developed a checklist of requirements for all such messages to be posted for free.  (Please note that any fundraising messages ineligible for free publicity on the listserv can always be run as sponsored messages; the cost is $25 and you can pay for your fundraising ad here.)  Before you send in a message designed to raise funds or solicit donations  or recruit volunteers for a nonprofit orgnaization or charity that you support, you need to write your message in accordance with ALL of the points below.  If you have already submitted your message to the posting address, clevelandpark (at), and your message has not appeared within a day of submission, you can assume it was deleted because it did not meet the requirements below. Please reread your message and check it carefully against the checklist below, before you revise and resubmit it, as the listserv is far too busy for the moderators to review and point out problems in any individual list member's post.

The In-Boundary Only Rule:  The CP List posts solicitations for charities and event notices for fundraisers that benefit causes and institutions located on the listserv area coverage map: . What determines whether an organization is "in-boundary"? We do like to be generous in our interpretation of this requirement. Let's say you are collecting furniture for a refugee aid organization helping to resettle families all over the DMW. If you say you will go to people's home to pick up their donated goods, or they can come to your home, which is in-boundary, and drop off their donated goods, then your collection effort does meet the "in-boundary" test -- even though the aid recipients may not be located in-boundary themselves. Here's another way you might meet the in-boundary test: Let's say you would like to advertise an out-of-boundary event, such as a benefit auction at a downtown hotel. You could create a neighborhood connection by hosting a pre- or post-event gathering within the list’s boundaries, or you could organize a group to travel to the event together.  The list moderators may use their own judgment to determine whether the poster has done enough to create a neighborhood connection that turns an out-of-neighborhood charity appeal into a neighborhood-related message.

The Sign Your Message Rule:  ALL messages (not just solicitations) that appear on the Cleveland Park Listserv must be signed at the END with the name of the poster.  When it comes to charity appeals, you need to show your FULL name and say what your relationship is to the organization that you are asking your neighbors to support.

The No Canned Messages Rule: Messages to your neighbors asking for their money or other types of support need to be written in your own words. Do NOT copy text from your organization’s web site or brochure. Do not copy a message that is circulating on other lists or going out to lots of recipients. Do NOT include a line asking list members to forward your message on to everyone they know. (If you do that, the moderators may simply cut that line out of your message and put it through, in compliance with this rule.)  If you can’t take the time to explain your cause in your own words, then your message does not belong on this neighbor-to-neighbor discussion group.

The No Crosspost Rule: We will delete any fundraising message that you have sent simultaneously to other lists or other individuals. There are several reasons for this rule. First, crossposting often creates confusion in the reply sequence if a poster who has received the message from another source uses the “reply to all” button. Second, crossposting means repetition of messages for those who are members of several lists.  Third, crossposting means that the poster hasn’t taken the time to craft a personal appeal just for the neighbors on this listserv (see the “no canned messages” rule, above). If the organization is important enough, then it’s worth the time it takes to write your message just for your neighbors on this list. If, after a few days have gone by, you want to post your appeal elsewhere, that’s okay. But if your message shows up on another list on the same day you’ve posted it to the CP List, we’ll remove from the list archives. 

The No Repeat Rule: Fundraising messages need to be complete and contain all the information needed for list members to respond, as we will not post additional or repeated appeals. (We have made some exceptions in national emergencies -- e.g., after Hurricane Katrina -- but as a general rule we like to keep the listserv free of repetition.) 

The Must Fit Within the List’s Rules Rule: Fundraising messages must, of course, meet all the normal rules of the listserv.  Here are some of the most important ones:

·          No use of ALL CAPS (except for occasional emphasis).

·          Messages can’t be in all lower case.

·          No starting in the subject line and continuing the message in the text box.

·          Your message should be mainly text and links , and please keep the formatting simple and avoid fancy fonts and complicated layout; otherwise it may come in with crazy spacing,  garbled characters, or blank frames, and need to be deleted.

·          No posting for a friend or colleague. List members can post for themselves or members of their own households only.

·          No notes to the moderators in the message. Write your message exactly as you want it to appear on the list, and give it the subject line you want readers to see.

Please visit the list rules page at for a complete description of how to post a message suitable for the CP Listserv.

If you can revise your message to meet ALL of the requirements listed above, you may resubmit it to the posting address,  

For additional information on how the CP Listserv works, we recommend reading the list’s Frequently Asked Questions page at .

Thanks for understanding,

Peggy Robin

CP Listserv Owner/Publisher

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