A Look Back — and Forward
Geoff Peters, president, CDR Fundraising Group
We were focused more on single-channel fundraising and not multichannel. Enough charities were growing so that lists were more readily available and names more plentiful. There were strongly held views on whether premiums were bad for fundraising (since resolved in favor of them).
Dane Grams, director of direct response and monthly giving, Human Rights Campaign
It was a weird time in the world: We were still recovering from 9/11, the U.S. declared war on Iraq. Despite this, it was a relatively good time for fundraising — particularly at Human Rights Campaign. We had just completed a multimillion capital campaign and moved into our new headquarters. Maybe I should credit that to George W. Bush and his giant tax cut. Nah, I credit the hard work of a lot of great fundraisers.
Gail Perry, consultant, gailperry.com, and author of “Fired-Up Fundraising”
Ten years ago the digital arena was just emerging. People were tentatively doing their Christmas shopping online to see how it worked. Donors were nervous about keying in their credit card numbers. Now, I heard recently about a gift for $100,000 that came in online! Can you imagine!?
What hasn’t changed? The need to get in front of major donors, connect with them, listen to them, engage with them and find out how your project matches their passions.
It’s just as hard to get out of the office to make those major-donor calls as ever before. But they have got to be made. The need for “face time” will never go away. Now there are new tools for engaging with your major donors — don’t get me wrong. You can Facebook and tweet and e-mail with them all you like. But when it comes time for the important conversations, they’ve got to be face-to-face.