A Look Back — and Forward
In the past 10 years, as a group, we have created new strategies, new channels, new models, new ways of thinking, and a whole new generation of donors and fundraisers. And at the same time we have continued to do what has always worked best — communicate honestly, clearly and with passion about what we do to the right people at the right time. Seems so simple — yet it is now much more complicated as we have so many different “best” ways to do that simple yet complex thing.
Sure, the competition is greater (there are more charities), the technology is more advanced, costs are up, the donors are less trusting, there are more experts telling us what we should be doing or that what we are doing is all wrong, and the work requires even greater thinking and creativity than it did 10 years ago. But the need is still very great — people are, unfortunately, still hurting, still hungry, still sick and still dying for ridiculous, solvable reasons. Wrongs still need to be righted. Injustices still need to made just. Civil and human rights still need to be protected and fought for, and the past few weeks have made it very clear that there is still a great deal of change that needs to happen in our government.
American donors know that nonprofits make change happen — and they will continue to give to the ones that communicate with them at the right time with the right offer that is clear and honest, and that in a heartfelt, impassioned way causes a reaction that turns into the action of giving. I would not give up what I do for any other job in the world — would you?
Pitman: There seems to be a new “normal” now — a reality that fundraising is going to take work and institutional focus, which is something tangibly different than 10 and 20 years ago. I’m thrilled with the emphasis on donor retention, in addition to donor acquisition. It used to be “all acquisition all the time.”