Reader Panel Poll
Q: What do you feel is the most important issue facing nonprofit fundraisers as we approach the end of 2008?
“It seems to me the changing face of philanthropy is the most important issue. We have older, first-generation philanthropists dying and the second generations spending more and not giving as much. We have a new, younger, first-generation wealthy set who were not raised in philanthropic families and really need to ‘learn’ more about giving. And then there is the fact that, with the Internet, we are competing not just against the organizations in our towns, but every nonprofit out there!”
— Anne Steuer
Children’s Museum of La Crosse
“I think the biggest issue facing fundraisers is the sheer abundance of philanthropic options available and the challenge of not only understanding the impact these options have on one’s own organization, but also of prioritizing. The high-profile and very public dialogue centering on Bill Gates’ recent discussion of ‘creative capitalism’ has put us all in a position of having to rethink what constitutes philanthropy, and this isn’t the only new approach we’re trying to wrap our brains around.
On the other end of the spectrum is the concept of microphilanthropy. We’re also learning the role social networking can play in our development plans; we’re being exposed to wild concepts of venture philanthropy, text-message campaigning and more cause-marketing options than we’ve ever before seen.
It’s great news for the sector. Offering consumers and donors more opportunities to support nonprofits is undoubtedly to our benefit. But, like each of these consumers and donors, we must now all explore our various options and create a plan for dealing with them.”
— Dani Brzozowski
director of development,
“Integrating and ramping up online giving (and taking advantage of new media technologies) is one of the most important issues facing fundraisers right now. If we don’t get it right, donors will be giving one way and we’ll be asking for money another way. The nonprofit industry may also be forced by the ailing economy to find cheaper ways to raise our operating and program budgets.”