How to Survive in a Challenging Economy

Our economy is in bad shape and will only get worse. So what can we fundraisers do to minimize the impact of this difficult period on our organizations, and at the same time maximize our income?

For starters, let’s agree that panicking and crawling into a hole is not a reasonable option. Nor is pretending that economic troubles will create multiple opportunities for venturesome fundraisers, who need only invest more in raising money. Instead, I believe, a cautious middle course is the only rational way to respond to the crisis. And that middle course boils down to nine concrete steps:

  • Reassess the Whole Ball of Wax: Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications.
  • Strengthen Your Case for Giving.
  • Stick with What Works.
  • Cut Costs with a Scalpel, Not an Ax.
  • Fish Where the Big Fish Are.
  • Be Attentive to Your Donors.
  • Do Due Diligence.
  • Step Up Your Efforts Online.
  • Break Down the Silos.

You can read more in a series of recent posts from Mal Warwick Associates, Fundraising in Tough Times.

Mal Warwick is the Founder and Chairman of Mal Warwick Associates. This article is adapted from his book, Fundraising When Money Is Tight: A Strategic and Practical Guide to Surviving Tough Times and Thriving in the Future, to be published April 2009.