Alexander "Sandy" Macnab, president, Alexander Macnab & Co.
Clients that are focused on gifts from individuals are cautiously optimistic about giving through the end of  and are looking for modest improvement in 2010 because their donors report that they feel things are getting better. There are exceptions. One campaign that initially expected a lot of support from real-estate developers and builders is stalled. However, by reaching out to the area's farm community, it is attracting support from new sources and constituencies.
Those organizations that depend on grants and foundation support reported a decline last year and are planning significant cuts in 2010, particularly from state grants.
Savvy special-event planners are finding they have to work much harder to find sponsors and must plan to replace those that either reduce their level of giving or don't give at all. However, as a possible indicator of an improved economy, those individuals who attend events seem to be spending more freely.
For example, Randi Frank, director of development at The Center for Enriched Living, a Riverwoods, Ill., program providing social-interaction opportunities for children and adults with development disabilities, said, "Overall people seem be more confident and are willing to spend more at our events. Last year, they seemed more cautious." In addition, she reports annual-fund contributions running ahead of last year.
John Braune, president and CEO, The Heritage Co.
Donor confidence is at an all-time low, and [donors] are taking refuge in a security cave as opposed to being out and active. They are in hibernation as unemployment, foreclosures, corporate failures, bailouts, and unexpected government growth and increased taxes drive them to hidden places like never before. As our agency collects information on rebuttals from hundreds of thousands of comments and white mail, the recurring rebuttals from potential donors are 1) "Not at this time as I just cannot afford it"; 2) "I just lost my job"; and 3) "I have had a recent cut in salary."