Fundraising and the Government Shutdown
Well, we got through it. My Twitter feed has gone back to normal. My Facebook page is back to posts about kids, vacations and life in general. The television media has moved on to other stories.
But the question I keep hearing is, "Are we really 'through it?" As someone who works with nonprofits of all sizes, every day I see the struggle to improve performance of fundraising campaigns. The big question is whether the government shutdown and — perhaps more importantly — the "solution" (don't get me started on that topic) are going to affect us as we continue through the fall/holiday giving season.
Several marketers have reported that nonprofit campaigns that were quickly measured (i.e., phone, Internet) showed drops in response during the actual shutdown. Pollers and market researchers jumped on the opportunity to measure consumer buying during that period as well. The result? Yep, it affected buying behavior. As reported by CBS News, there were changes in all demographic groups. (For more insights into the affect of the shutdown on consumers, check out this piece from CNN.)
- 40 percent of consumers lowered their spending as a result of the shutdown.
- 70 percent of the overall number who were reducing spending indicated that they were cutting back "a little," while the remainder said that their spending reduction was "considerable."
- 32 percent of consumers making $100,000 or more were cutting back.
- 37 percent of consumers making $75,000 to $100,000 were cutting back.
That's right, folks — these are our donors.
But the shutdown is not the issue being debated in the hallways of organizations and agencies and online by marketers. Since the budget problem wasn't resolved fully and the debt ceiling wasn't resolved fully — it was all simply "delayed" by a few months — what does this do to consumer thinking and, ultimately, behavior? Many marketers are predicting that people feel as though this issue was put "on hold" versus actually being resolved. And, of course, the timing could not be worse for people to be feeling that another government shutdown is potentially just around the corner after the holidays. Yes, this could be a tough spot for our donors. But let's not get too upset. Here are my recommendations:
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.