The 1990s marked a turning point in how nonprofit organizations regard women donors — as a financially high-powered cadre poised to give unprecedented amounts of time and money to charity.
Donor Relationship Management
It’s a development office’s dream: You’re a nice-sized nonprofit and you score some big corporate and foundation partners who start throwing money at you.
Sweet. Lots more cash in your coffers. Lots more people getting help.
But what about when those project grants time out? If you’ve put too many of your fundraising eggs into that big-ticket basket, you might find yourself a yolk or two short of an omelet somewhere down the line.
There’s a reason many charities are reluctant to engage in techniques to upgrade their donors — or fail to do so altogether. Call it the “fear factor.”
They’re afraid donors will get irritated and stop sending gifts. They’re afraid a donor will give the upgrade letter to a board member and complain about the “pressure.”
Be not afraid. I bring you tidings of great joy. Fact: It has never been proven by any reliable statistical measurement that reasonable upgrading techniques will result in a substantial attrition of the donor file.
African Americans currently make up 13 percent of the population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. In 1990, the bureau charted the African-American community to grow by 68 percent before 2030. But despite this growing demographic — currently 38.3 million individuals representing a buying power of $631 billion — many majority nonprofit organizations have only recently begun focusing efforts on soliciting support from the black community.
The past few years have proven to be challenging for direct marketing fundraising. When you consider the 2001 terror attacks and the ensuing questions about dispersement of funds contributed as a result, Anthrax scares, the war on terrorism, corporate distrust, the recent Catholic Church opprobrium and the troubled economy, it’s no surprise that fundraisers have felt left out in the cold.
It’s a stunningly perfect, late-summer day in the nation’s capital, and Carsten Walter is doing his best Homer Simpson impression — though maybe not on purpose. The affable, animated Walter slaps the heel of his hand against his forehead, rolls his eyes and explains how certain “duh moments” play into his work as director of membership programs at D.C.’s venerable Heritage Foundation.
Once considered haphazard and uncoordinated, international relief and rescue efforts have come into their own as vital fundraising campaigns. Whether responding to the grave effects of a natural disaster or to the plight of malnourished children in third-world countries, organizations such as American Red Cross, CARE, UNICEF, Food for the Hungry, International Rescue Committee and a host of others have heeded the global call.