Five Reasons Not to Panic
Moreover, according to the Giving USA Foundation, 65 percent of families earning less than $100,000 contribute almost 60 percent of all individual donations. In 2006, private contributions in the U.S. totaled $223 billion — “roughly the GDP of Poland, and about the same as what we spent on the war in Iraq between 2003 and 2006,” Outside added.
4. Strength through diversity.
To carry the financial metaphor a step further, we all know that a diversified portfolio is an important tool for reducing your investment risk.
In the same way, a diverse, multichannel fundraising approach can provide a safety net for your results in uncertain financial periods. The more avenues you use to reach your donors and prospects, the greater results you can reasonably expect.
Pick up any trade magazine or go to any conference, and you’ll see story after story about organizations that found success and happiness by addressing donors and prospects across a wide range of channels.
Direct mail reinforces e-mail, which reinforces the Internet, which reinforces print and broadcast, and they all reinforce each other by increasing message consistency, raising your profile, and — perhaps most importantly — expanding your potential donor base across a range of age and income groups.
It may seem ironic that these new technologies are finding their legs just as the economy is getting so shaky. On the other hand, using them effectively just might be the smart bomb that helps many organizations make it through this economic downturn.
5. Take the long view.
If you look at a graph of the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past 60 years or so, you’ll find plenty of ups and downs. Many of the rises and falls are pretty steep. Yet over the decades, the trend always has been upward. Progress has been painful — some businesses survived, others did not — yet over time there has been consistent growth in the overall economy.
Willis Turner believes great writing has the power to change minds, save lives, and make people want to dance and sing. Willis is the creative director at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He worked as a lead writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 15 years before making the switch to fundraising 20 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, and collateral communications materials that get attention, tell powerful stories and persuade people to take action or make a donation.