First to be opened was one of the cleverest charity requests I have seen. It came from the Guide Dogs For The Blind Association (now rebranded as 'Guide Dogs', sadly). The kicker, and the reason I gave it more than the most cursory inspection, was on the rear of the envelope:
The clever bit is what is inside the envelope. There is a small leaflet explaining what they do (and begging for money, obviously) and there is also a cardboard thing about the size of a beer mat.
The three holes on the right are exactly the size of pound coins and the back of them is sticky. You have no option but to look in your pocket to find three coins and see if they fit. So I did, and they do.
After this, nothing remains but to put the beer mat in the envelope provided and post it off. Which I did. Very effective fundraising, this - no coercion, no guilt-trips, just 'this is what we do, this is why we need your money, here's how to do it' - and then make the process a bit more interesting and 'fun' than just writing a cheque.
Next up was this serious-looking envelope:
Anything anonymous like this, or addressed to 'The Householder' usually goes straight in the bin, but out of curiosity I opened it. Ambulance-chasers:
They need to know how much we care.