Advice From the Fundraising Sages
“In addition, the endowments of foundations have steadily increased over the last three years and should provide the necessary resources for more aggressive investments in the work of nonprofits," he adds. “To tap in to charitable dollars from both individuals and foundations, the need for a strong, compelling and well-written case for support will continue to be critical. I also believe it will be important to remind individuals of other major gifts given by individuals to show that the climate is changing and people are feeling more hopeful about their financial well-being.”
They’re talking about you
“Adopt and adapt to a ‘market to and through your constituents’ mentality,” says Eric Streiff, president of Oculus Direct. “People support organizations they believe in and have an affinity to, but they are also being far more selective about which organizations they support. Their gratification comes from doing more than just giving money — it comes from being a part of something bigger than themselves, which means participation and active engagement at multiple levels.
“In addition to this, the new donor is more likely than previous generations to share information about whom they support and how they support their favorite charity," he adds. "Nonprofits that embrace this new reality may find themselves with fewer supporters in the end, but their donors will demonstrate greater loyalty, affinity and advocacy, and have a higher likelihood of being a substantial supporter over a longer period of time."
It’s time (once again) to invest
Let’s face it — donor acquisition is tough on the bottom line. But Donna Packer, president of Packer List Inc., gives us a timely reminder that list attrition did not take a break in the recession. “Too many nonprofits are faced with smaller donor files, and that’s leading to less money and no growth in program — creating a vicious cycle if there is no acquisition to offset donors lost to attrition. In 2013, nonprofits have to invest in acquisition methods that have been proven to work. Yes, direct-mail acquisition isn’t a shiny new bullet, but nonprofits consistently grow their donor file (and therefore, their income) through a strategic mail plan.