Then, direct mail. Oh, and those annoying calls at dinner time.
But, the world of Web 2.0 has offered a new voice to charities - and a secondary voice of bloggers and other web 'luminaries' lending THEIR voice to the charity.
A good example is Paul Mooney and his quest to raise money for the Charity:Water organization. Their goal is to give 150,000 people in Ethiopia access to safe, clean drinking water. Paul's blog entry about it is here, and to date he's apparently raised nearly $2,000. His birthday was in September and he blogged "this is what I want for my birthday. A donation ..."
What's interesting is that Paul's blog post came to me via RSS, and a number of other bloggers in the community picked it up also ... and then there were Tweets about it and suddenly Paul's single voice had grown into a chorus. All thanks to Web 2.0.
I donated in Paul's name, and if you're so inclined, you should too. We may have missed his official birthday (September 1), but I don't think he'll mind a belated present.
Another interesting twist is what Squidoo is doing. They have US$80,000 that they want to give away to charity - and you can go vote to decide where they send it.
Squidoo itself is one of those strange sites that sits somewhere between search engine and social bookmarking - and a large percentage of the money they make from advertising, etc., is given away anyway.
So, they've engaged the community to help them give away money.
Once again, if you're so inclined, visit Squidoo and vote. Participate.
The common thread here is the sense of community ... it's a far cry from going door to door.