Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fundraising in a recession

Well the market keeps getting bleaker. Ouch. Lots is being said about what should be done about fundraising during tough times.

People (fundraisers) are asking me 'What should we do!?'

For evidence, proof and more detail (a lot more) I have just finished a big, thorough article about it, covering all areas - potential effects, what boards should do, what impact it has had on income to date etc. The article is bloody long and will be a little while more because it is with an editor right now, but it will be essential reading because it gives you what you need to go in and fight the most important battle:

Prevent recession suicide. The most dangerous thing about a recession is charities panicking and making bad decisions that will harm them more than any decline in income as a direct consequence of the actual recession. Cutting budget, reducing acquisition volumes, cutting staff - all of these things are killers for you. Much, much more dangerous than the actual recession.

Puling my big article together, I read a ton of articles, from people I know, such as: Gonzalo Ibarra (Chile, article is in Spanish, he reckons it helps you focus on who your real donors are and that in the massive financial crisis in Argentina they got low rates of attrition and brilliant results). Mal Warwick (USA, DM guru and all round brilliant bloke), who is worried about people cutting back on acquisition and donor care.

And also strangers to me, people like Lisa J. Lehr (a US copywriter) who reckons don't cut back, '...If you're a nonprofit, however, don't make the mistake of thinking that this is the time to cut back on your fundraising efforts. What these gloomy indicators mean is that nonprofits need to increase--not decrease--their fundraising efforts...".

Marc A. Pitman agrees and he wrote a book too, so he must be clever.

All these people - and more - are saying don't cut back. Mal's article includes some big picture data references, but most are telling you this as they are experts.

My article goes a bit further. It has tons of data, explains in detail what to tell the board, management and colleagues and comes up with a ten step plan to protect your charity in a recession. Heavy, but essential reading.

If you want the full article, then please email rob.novotny@paretofundraising.com who will send it when it is ready to go!

If you are new to this blog, and are wondering what Pareto Fundraising is, please click here for more information.


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