Five Reasons Not to Panic
I think the same will be true of fundraising. We have to remember that, compared to the rest of the economy, direct-marketing fundraising is still a very new industry. So perhaps we can be forgiven for having a relatively short-term perspective.
The good news and the bad news is that the rise of direct-marketing fundraising also happened to coincide with a period of tremendous economic growth, especially in the U.S. So this troublesome economy might very likely be a painful reality check.
I hate to say it, but deep in our hearts, most of us know that the glory days of easy fundraising ended years ago. We just can’t keep expecting 1990s results in a 21st-century world.
The unfortunate likelihood is that not every organization will survive the challenging economic times ahead. But what has always been true for commercial businesses will prove true for nonprofits as well. Organizations will adapt, change and rise to meet new challenges.
At the end of the day, the vital, life-saving work of charitable organizations, the missions that drive people in the nonprofit community to be the best they can be, will continue. Are there going to be difficult times ahead? No question. But taking on tough challenges to achieve a greater good … well, isn’t that what being a nonprofit is all about? FS
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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.