Time for Fundraisers to 'Shift & Reset'
There are organizations that are doing parts of this stuff very well. They all have faults; we all have faults. But I think that the organizations like American Heart Association and Feeding America, who are openly and publicly trying to solve challenges and align with people differently, they're the ones that we should be looking at. Just because you raise a lot of money and get recognized by people as having a great brand does not mean that you're actually fulfilling your mission or contributing in a way to the complex problem that needs to be met. My argument in the book is that if that's the position you're in then maybe you shouldn't be doing that work anymore.
FS: Anything you'd like to add?
BR: The two big points are we need to recognize that because the world has changed and is constantly changing that what we're doing isn't working anymore, and that the measures of success that we see today, including money raised, are short-lived potentially. We need to be focused on the short term, but we also need to keep the long term in mind at the same time. It's not enough to go quarter to quarter. It's not enough to go campaign to campaign and raise money and say, "Look, we succeeded," or when money trails off as it recently has, just blaming the economy. The reality is when you look at the stats, people are giving a lot of money. People are still donating in huge amounts, but they're donating to different things now. The people who are sitting there saying it's just a slow economy — how do we up our marketing or improve our awareness so that more people will see what we're doing and open their wallet — the truth is when people look at them, they're making other choices as to where to invest their money. So what we're doing isn't working anymore is one of the big points that nonprofits need to understand.