Harness the Power of 'P'
According to a recent Philanthropic Giving Index report released by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, nonprofit organizations call the overall climate for fundraising the worst it's been since 1998. The London-based Resource Alliance and The Management Centre asked 100 leading fundraisers from around the world to provide tactics for charities to survive and thrive in the current economic climate. They commented that boards and management need to have realistic fundraising expectations; accept reduced short-term gains for long-term strength; and focus on regular giving, major gifts and bequest/legacy programs while dropping marginal activities. Most importantly, the fundraisers said to remind donors they are wanted, needed and appreciated.
We all know that the last half of 2008 in particular was a period of remarkable instability in economic markets. Because of a paradigm shift in donor thought and action, some traditional theories and practices have become obsolete. The forces of supply and demand, plus the weakness of the dollar and bad mortgage decisions, turned the stock market upside down. Many professionals began to take reality to heart, change traditional ways of doing business, and truly cherish the relationships and process of fundraising.
Giving USA cites 2008 charitable giving at $307.65 billion, a 2 percent drop in current dollars from 2007. The report also notes the 2008 figure is the first decline in current dollars since 1987 and only the second since reports were published in 1956. Adjusted for inflation, total giving was down 5.7 percent, the largest drop since Giving USA began tracking donations.
Based on historical trends, giving might not recover until 2012. That said, to enhance the probability of fundraising success, your program must be in order. I suggest you consider the power of "P" in pursuing profits.
The Children's Medical Center of Dayton undertook a capital campaign for the first time in its 40-year history in 2002 with a goal of $10 million. While the center had a traditionally strong annual-giving program, it wasn't used to addressing major and planned gifts during a capital campaign. The campaign closed on Dec. 31, 2007, with the successful attainment of $12.3 million. With an ongoing goal of $5.5 million in FY 09, which represented an increase of $1 million over FY 08, the annual/major gifts achieved 12 percent more than the goal, with one month to go in the fiscal year — all of this using the power of "P." Despite the volatile economy, the power of "P" also can work for you. If you are interested in truly pursuing profits, read on.