In his position, De Galan oversees the organization’s total fundraising program, but he points out that while Mercy Corps’ New York-based ventures will enhance its mission, they aren’t specifically expected to generate a large influx of new donors — especially not NetAid.
“Young people just don’t have a lot of money, and we’re not expecting them to be a major part of our fundraising strategy,” he says. “What we’re looking for is another way to achieve our mission, and that’s to build a new constituency of people in the United States who care about our work.
“The payoff would be a more enlightened and engaged citizenry,” he adds. “Ultimately, it would mean more donations and an increase in the percentage of the U.S. federal budget spent on humanitarian missions.”
De Galan is betting that, in pursuing new ventures, Mercy Corps will come up with new models for fundraising that other organizations can use as well.
“The hunger center is meant to be a place where people can come and learn,” he says. “We’re looking for ways to combine it with the kind of work that NetAid does — using the Internet for peer-to-peer education. The combination can potentially be very powerful.”
Meanwhile, Mercy Corps continues to refine what it already excels at — raising money for disaster relief and economic development through conventional techniques such as direct marketing, telemarketing and street canvassing.
‘Explosion of giving’
According to De Galan, Mercy Corps’ total operational budget was about $200 million in 2006, and its total private income was $73 million, including $43 million in donated monies and another $30 million in gifts in kind.
Of that $43 million, about $15 million was raised online and another $13 million resulted from direct mail and other marketing efforts. The balance, about $15 million, was from major gifts, foundation and corporate donations, and planned giving.