Don’t Let a Dark Economy Leave Fundraising in the Shadows
Review your case
Many case statements don’t motivate anyone to do anything, and they’re dry and flat. Make sure yours is current and compassionate. Read one of Mal Warwick’s books to learn how words can make the difference. Now is a crucial time to make sure you are clearly making a great case for the cause of your organization.
Tap into retirement
Though their assets might be down also, donors can name your charity as the beneficiary of their retirement accounts, pension plans, life-insurance policies, or even make a gift of the policy itself. Donors 70.5 years or older can make gifts totaling up to $100,000 a year from their IRAs to qualified charities without incurring income tax on the withdrawal. This provision was recently renewed through the end of 2009 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
Create a wish list
For many donors — and for many companies — it’s easier to part with in-kind items such as clothing, furniture and other material goods rather than cash. Creating a wish list of goods and services your organization needs — and posting it prominently on your Web site, newsletter and other public locations — can reduce expenses and ongoing operating costs. As companies are downsizing, you might even do them a favor by taking items for which they no longer have good use.
Leave a legacy
Go for those bequests! While we all like current donations today, the single largest gift many donors make is when they die. Make sure you encourage your donors to name your organization as a beneficiary in their wills or estate plans so that you secure long-term support for your institution.
Encourage matching gifts
Many companies match their employees’ charitable contributions. For a donor finding it hard to maintain her current level of giving, highlighting this feature might increase the chances of keeping your annual giving at its current level.