Key Points From the Conference
How do you end a fundraising conference on a note that will keep people around for the final session? Not an easy task, but one the DMA Nonprofit Federation seems to have accomplished.
The last session of the 2008 Washington Nonprofit Conference, which took place in Washington, D.C., last week, was fairly well attended. It helped that there were prizes to be had, but the big draw was the promise of a session that wrapped up all the key points of the previous two days worth of sessions.
In all, five panelists were on board for the rehash.
Dana Weinstein, director of membership at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, kicked off the session by reminding the audience of our troubled economic state.
“Because we are in a recession, we may experience a softening of people donating,” she said, adding that nonprofits should worry about trying to recoup the lost donations later, after the recession passes.
One of the points the panelists kept returning to was the need for nonprofits to change the way they regard — and treat — donors.
Charlie Cadigan, managing director of Frontline Data Group, mentioned that a speaker in a session on donor acquisition he attended pointed out that acquisition is an investment and that it is therefore important for development staffers to have a constant awareness of what it means to a donor — on a spiritual and emotional level — when she makes a donation. He said making a donation is an important “part of self-definition for donors.” He suggested that all nonprofits might benefit from instituting employee donation programs and be as interactive with donors as possible.
Dennis Meyer, founder and president of Meyer Partners, said he was impressed by a session called “How to Break Through the Noise and Engage Your Donor,” adding that Jann Schultz, director of donor relations at Operation Smile, delivered a powerful message that could help nonprofits kill off old habits and mind-sets.