hand holding junk mail (l) woman speaking (c) junk mail on table (r)


‘These manipulation tactics worked’: TikToker shows how nonprofits flooded their grandpa with mail

'This is one of the reasons I don't like nonprofit organizations and why you shouldn't either.'


Phil West

Internet Culture

Published Oct 15, 2021   Updated Oct 15, 2021, 9:10 am CDT

A TikToker showcased the volumes of mail their grandfather is getting from nonprofit organizations, criticizing their fundraising tactics in what has become a viral video.

The TikTok video comes from @curlystrawsonly, who identified in their bio as a 24-year-old living “on unceded Abenaki land,” which includes Vermont and New Hampshire. The video has drawn nearly half a million views since going up on the platform Sunday.

In it, the TikToker shows the piles of mail that have accumulated at their grandfather’s home, coming from a number of nonprofit organizations seeking donations.


“This is my grandpa’s mail from just one week,” they open. “This is one of the reasons I don’t like nonprofit organizations and why you shouldn’t either.”

“Millions of senior citizens are being manipulated and taken advantage of every single day by companies and nonprofits like these,” they contend. “Political mail from both parties, cancer, ambiguously blank envelopes urgent envelopes, gifts.”

Then, pausing on an envelope from Autism Speaks, the TikToker adds, “Barf.”

The video continues with the TikToker asserting, “The grossest tactics are the ones that pretend to be handwritten. Look at this shit.”

Then, focusing on one for an Alzheimer’s disease organization, they note, “This one really fucking gets me. I’ll show you why. It’s addressed to both of them together. They no longer live together, because they are both in memory care facilities.”

“They do shit like this,” they assert. “They put money in the envelopes, and faces [on them]. That’s so fucked. And this is just one week.”

“All of them are asking for money, almost all of them are on auto-renew. These manipulation tactics worked. My grandpa was sending them so much money. Some of these were set up as recurring payments and he just forgot about them.”

Then, dramatically, they say. “I have to do a part two.”

In the comments, the TikToker alleges, “This made people mad enough that I got banned from posting until tomorrow night. Then I’ll make a video about why NPOs suck.”


Reply to @curlystrawsonly when you say “it’s not late stage capitalism, it’s charity!” just… think about that a little more #latestagecapitalism #nonprofit

♬ original sound – ♓

In that promised video, they begin, “I am struggling a lot to get through a 60-second video without getting very upset by the end.”

They note, “Emotional regulation is simply not having it today,” before getting into the thesis.

“Basically, let me just encourage you to look very critically at anything that is encouraged to exist within our late-stage capitalistic patriarchal white supremacist society,” they argue.

While the TikToker admits that there are “small nonprofits that are working in grassroots organizing that actually focused on mutual aid within their communities and they’re doing good work,” they note that “When I say nonprofits, I’m talking about this incorporated thing that is existing within the framework of capitalism that is insidious, because it’s misleading, and it’s leading to complacency.”

They contend that it’s “distracting people from trying to actually make change.”

In both videos, commenters debated the merits of their argument, with one arguing, in jumbled fashion, “What works better sweetheart! Socialism communism. Life isn’t fair get over it! Stop with the white supremacy bullshit!”

Another commenter countered, “This comment is genuinely just word salad. You shit out buzzwords into your own open hand and smeared them into the comment section.”

The Daily Dot reached out to the TikToker for comment.

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*First Published: Oct 15, 2021, 8:08 am CDT