DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who is an artist. He has worked on many projects, and over the years he has started capital campaigns to get his friends and others to help fund his ideas. I like the fact that he is trying every way he can to pay for his ideas, but I find it uncomfortable to keep getting these pitches from him. I know him. We went to college together. I like him a lot, but I do not have the resources to continue to help fund his projects. I feel guilty for not wanting or being able to give him money when I receive requests from him in very personal ways -- like via text or direct message on social media. How can I handle this? Should I say something to him? -- Pitch Fatigue, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR PITCH FATIGUE: The only reason to say something to your friend directly would be if you want to educate him on his strategy. You could tell him that his requests make you feel uneasy, because you like him but do not like the pressure from him of contributing to his work.
You could also simply not respond. Typically, the response rate for direct mail pitches of any kind is low. People who do broad pitches, even when they reach you personally, do not expect every single person to respond and donate. You can ignore the pitches until and unless something he is doing appeals to you. If you see him at some point, you can congratulate him on his new project and wish him well. If he asks whether you will be able to help him out, say, “not this time.”