Fundraising 101A

A continuation of earlier posts from the IFC’s survey on the state of the economy and what we as fundraising professionals should be doing to ride out the storm.

  • The strategic and tactical decisions made by charities will have more influence on their fortunes than the recession itself. Charities have more control than they think they do so long as they focus on program fundamentals, do not panic and focus on the long-term.
  • Board members and senior management need to understand the current financial data and stop making unrealistic expectations.
  • Work like a for-profit organization to gain increased long-term growth.
  • Develop messages, themes and scripts around why we need our donors now more than ever.
  • Strengthen current partnerships to weather the storm rather than looking for new ones. Look at what you do best and focus on that before trying a new tactic. Examine where your money comes from and concentrate on high-yield activities.
  • Focus on the big three areas—regular giving, major gifts and bequest/legacy programs. Drop all other marginal or unprofitable activities that won’t provide significant long-term benefits.
  • Organizations should continue to market and conduct bequest and legacy programs. It may not make any difference this year but you’ll be in a lot better position next year than will other organizations.
  • Invest time, intelligence and money in massively improving the donor experience with the charity. Remind donors that they are wanted, needed and appreciated.