Do We Really Need to Save Fredericksburg’s Slaughter Pen?

FrWell, I guess we do, but now that I have your attention let me share with you what is included in the Civil War Preservation Trust’s latest mailing.  (1) notice indicating the availability of CWPT’s financial reports; (2) glossy sheet advertising a Jeff Shaara book or windbreaker as a free gift for donation; (3) typed letter by Jeff Shaara addressed to, "Dear Fellow History Buff"; (4) interview with Jim Lighthizer and on reverse side words of praise for CWPT by well-regarded historians; (5) full-length sheet with breakdown for donation: donate $500 for Cannoneer Membership Level, $35 for Bugler Membership Level, etc.; (6) 2-page generalized letter about the CWPT and the need to save battlefields; (7) detailed tactical map of the battle of Fredericksburg with color image and photograph on reverse side and (8) business reply mail envelope.

I’ve given to the CWPT before, but given my salary as a high school teacher I can’t take part every year and I definitely cannot contribute to additional mailings throughout the year.  I would love to know how much money is wasted on these mailings.  Email would be a more efficient means of communication, but my guess is that the good people at CWPT are operating on the assumption that a hard copy is more likely to lead to a contribution.  Let’s assume that is true; do they still have to include everything mentioned above?  What exactly am I missing in all of this.  Keep in mind that I receive such mailings at least 4 times a year. 

Isn’t it possible that the Slaughter Pen could already be saved if they scaled back on these bulky mailings?

I know this is probably a write-off for the CWPT – which reminds me of a Seinfeld episode:

Kramer : It’s just a write off for them.
Jerry : How is it a write off?
Kramer : They just write it off.
Jerry : Write it off what?
Kramer : Jerry all these big companies they write off everything
Jerry : You don’t even know what a write off is.
Kramer : Do you?
Jerry : No. I don’t.
Kramer : But they do and they are the ones writing it off.
Jerry : I wish I just had the last twenty seconds of my life back.

1 comment… add one
  • I too received the same mailer Kevin and agree that it was a bit “overdone.” I also live approx. 10 minutes down the road from the Slaughter Pen and recognize its importance. I have had the pleasure of being invited to several local events held by the CWPT and I can say firsthand that they are all a wonderful group of caring and enthusiastic people. I think that they probably feel the ‘zippy’ mailers have more of an impact, and the free gift is a good incentive. Unfortunately for some people there has to be a ‘return’ on their investment. You and I may not need a free jacket to donate, but many others do. I was surprised to see their ‘donate and get your name on the monument plan’ w/ the font sizes getting bigger according to your financial gift. It’s a very cool concept, but something to me feels strange about ‘buying your way onto a Civil War monument.”


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