Fundraisers that have been successful have increased communication with their donors and continued to tell their positive and inspirational stories. The opportunity today is to lift donors up with the news of the wonderful things that nonprofits do to change lives, as everyone surely needs a bit of good news these days.
The first opportunity that exists is one that we believe must be embraced, as your organization's very existence depends on it. It must start at the executive-management level with realistic goals. Ignoring these trends is the first step to complete breakdown. The second is to forget the long-term plan that existed prior to August 2008 and adjust accordingly. We have never run organizations in this atmosphere or climate, so we must be wiling to approach each day, week, month with a willingness to adjust and change accordingly. Finally, one must communicate by phone, mail and Web to your donors as never before — passionately, positively and personally — so that you inspire them in these very challenging times to allow you to continue doing your mission. Donors are more valuable than ever before. An organization must continue to prospect and make every effort to keep lapsed donors in your support systems.
Clinton O'Brien, vice president of business development, Care2
Gloomy economic talk in 2009 did not stop most of Care2's largest and most sophisticated nonprofit clients from buying even more online donor-lead acquisition campaigns from us than they had in 2008. For some of them, this was because they continued to get a strong ROI from the leads they acquired, even in a tough economy. (That's a testament in part to their fundraising prowess.) For others, the acquisition activity this year was more of a defiant bet on the future, by fundraising professionals who know that, when the recession ends and donors become more generous again, those nonprofits that have large e-mail lists of loyal supporters will be much better positioned to harvest the recovery.