Charities need to brace themselves for the next 18 months, as things won't be getting any better despite media coverage saying the recession is coming to an end! 2010 will be a year of stewardship and focusing on your existing donors.
Corporate fundraising will continue to be a challenge as many industry sectors will continue to suspend their support but will still want to continue their CSR programs. Charities need to be more imaginative in their proposals to companies, using them as a route to market and using their resources to support communication and brand activities.
Public funding cuts over the next few years will dramatically impact the U.K. not-for-profit sector. Even if fundraising holds up, which it will, there will be increased funding pressure that will be difficult, if not impossible, to meet. So things could genuinely get worse. The recession, and the resulting situation, runs deep and will impact for at least the next five years; this is not a time to be a timid or fainthearted fundraiser.
[Fundraisers overcame the challenges of 2009 by] standing their ground and being brave enough to continue investing and marketing. 2009 was not the year to cut fundraising; smart organizations realized this and cut elsewhere.
[For 2010], continue investing, focus on relationships, use donor insight and data smarter — and continue investing.
Sarah Durham, founder and principal, Big Duck
In 2009, the fundraisers I spoke with seemed to struggle with variations of the same issues. First, how to distinguish their organizations in an increasingly competitive giving climate. The ones that managed their communications proactively and with agility seemed to fare better than the ones that maintained business as usual, from what I've seen — and this is what prompted me to write "Brandraising," a book about the importance of effective communications on fundraising.