Advancing Nonprofit Capacity

It Was the Best of Times; It Was the Worst of Times…to Raise Money

Thanks to JWS Associate Lisa Ovenden for today’s blog.

Raising money in in economic and political hard times is something those of us in “the development business” have been dealing with for many years. And, of late, political and economic landmines are cropping up everywhere, especially on social media. Wouldn’t it be nice to go one day without having to read about “the right and the left”? “Fake news”? “real news”? and on and on. There’s no doubt that these are the times that try men’s souls. So, given all of that, how do we overcome all of the noise and help our donors and prospects focus on their philanthropic relationships?
Joanne Fritz authored an article for the online publication, “The Balance”, titled, “The Nonprofit Hard Times Survival Guide Is Your Charity Ready to Ride Out Any Economic or Political Storm?” (November, 2016). In that article, Fritz offers nine suggestions for operating a fundraising effort when philanthropy may play a distant third to other pressing issues on the minds and in the hearts of your constituents. She suggests:
1.       Don’t pull back on fundraising – you should not retreat, you should be even more focused in your efforts. Sharpen your case and cultivate your donors without apology.
2.       Let your donors know that those you help are in more need than ever – demand for services non-profits provide increase during uncertain times.
3.       Find stories that will touch the hearts of your donors – stories always win over sheer data. Use testimonials.
4.       Stay in touch with people who have stopped giving – Keep in touch with lapsed donors. Yu want them to have a relationship with you when they can again afford to give.
5.       Find new donors by looking in un expected places – broaden your donor base. Some types of businesses are recession proof. Look where other non-profits are not looking.
6.       Take the opportunity to lower fundraising costs – double down on online giving appeals and maybe, just maybe, reconsider your event schedule.
7.       Cut costs sensibly – cut the extraneous and focus on what impacts the core mission.
8.       Take a new look at projects you intended to raise money for – Think, rather, about services that go on in spite of the economy or that even intensify. Focus your fundraising efforts on those.
9.       Look for partners – There may be safety in numbers. Instead of competing with other charitable organizations, think about partnering instead.  Consider teaming up for a grant proposal. Foundations welcome this kind of cooperation.
As Fritz says, hard times call for thinking out of the box. I think that NOW is as good a time as any to try that!

Similar posts
  • Are You a One Man Band? Thanks to Michelle Jimenez, Senior Consultant, HUB Philanthropic Solutions, for today’s blog. If you’re like me, this time of year can feel overwhelming. Many of us in Development are serving as “one man bands” with responsibilities for soliciting gifts, acknowledging them, visiting with donors and many other daily activities.  We morph from Major Gift officer to [...]
  • Rural Communities and Small Towns Can... Thanks to JWS Associate Lisa Ovenden for today’s blog. JustWrite Solutions has had the privilege of partnering with many small, rural non-profit and community organizations over the past several years. Through those experiences, we have come to the realization that yes, “small towns are different”, especially when it comes to fundraising! Several of us on [...]
  • Time for a Change Today’s blog is courtesy of Susan Bottum Matejka, Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions. A few of my clients are in the process of reevaluating their major fundraising events, an exercise I think can be very beneficial, especially if it is approached in the right way and with the right spirit.  If your fundraising events are [...]
  • 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Projec... How did nonprofits fare in fundraising in 2016? You can get all of the results of the 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report here. According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Survey: “The basic concept of the Fundraising Effectiveness Survey is that growth in giving from one year to the next is the net of gains minus losses. [...]
  • Engaging the New Philanthropists Thank you to JWS Senior Consultant Lisa M. Sihvonen-Binder, MS NMP, for today’s blog. Millennials. It’s a term we hear a lot on the news, see on social media, and read about in professional publications. Studies show that older generations (Baby Boomers, Gen Xers) get frustrated when trying to interact with them. Who are they? [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Blog

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events.