With the global number of users on Facebook now fast approaching the size of the U.S. population, it’s surely clear that time is up for anyone who still wants to ignore online social networking as a passing fad. However, while nonprofits now generally recognize the need to take it very seriously, most still struggle to understand how they can best fit it into their fundraising programs.

May 21, 2009, The New York Times — In December, Joe and Nancy Briggs sat down in their home on Lake Canandaigua in western New York to take a hard look at their donations to charity. Their investments, like those of almost everyone else, were shrinking just as the pile of requests from charities was expanding.

Donations to The Salvation Army's iconic red kettles set a new national record of $130 million in 2008, surpassing the previous record of $118 million set in 2007.  The $130 million raised represents a 10 percent growth in donations year-over-year — the largest one-year jump since 1997.

You’ve almost certainly had the meeting. You know, the one about how to survive the crunch, the crisis, the catastrophe — or whatever you want to call it. The meeting where you probably were uncertain about what to do and even about what the impact might be on your organization. Maybe the only thing everyone agreed on was that it’s a difficult situation in fundraising at the moment with few clear answers on how to survive.

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