(a regular here)
The last part of this article really hit home with me. Years ago, after we bought a small business (we are now retired), the Police or Fire Department (forget which)came looking for us to "buy an ad" in their Dinner or Dance program. An older employee who had been around for years told us not to do it; if we wanted to help, send them a check donation. His reason: Almost all the charities distribute their programs to other charities, who then use that information to widen their own campaign list and we'd be flooded with new requests.
One year for some reason I don't remember I violated that policy and the following year I got a call from a Police Department (probably from an commission based fund raiser) over 50 miles away where we didn't go asking for a donation saying "We saw one of your trucks in town the other day; wouldn't you like to help our police?"