Ah, the lazy hazy days of summer. Do you have plans to relax, rest and rejuvenate? In just a couple of weeks I’ll be heading to Denmark to do just that. I’ll have time to visit my sister and will also be attend a residential ceramics class (that will be held completely in Danish). You may be aware that a recent study found that Danes are the happiest people in the world. Perhaps I’ll have some ideas to share when I return about ways to bring some of that happiness back here to the United States!
Be sure to make time in your schedule to rest this summer – sometimes a little break will allow us to see challenges in a whole new light.
Here are this week’s headlines. Happy reading!
THOUGHTS ON FUNDRAISING
Charitable Donations Fell by Nearly 6% in 2008 (June 8, 2009, The Chronicle of Philanthropy) Donations to nearly every type of charity faltered in 2008, as contributions declined by 5.7 percent last year after adjustment for inflation (declined about 2% in dollar-value), according to the new edition of Giving USA which was released Wednesday morning. It was the steepest decline in the history of the survey, which has been conducted since 1956. http://philanthropy.com/news/updates/8510/charitable-donations-fell-by-nearly-6-in-2008-the-sharpest-drop-in-53-years
Friend, Or Mere Acquaintance? (June 10, 2009, The Agitator Blog) Our sister firm DonorTrends has just been in the field with a survey on donor loyalty for a major national nonprofit. This group has been around a few decades, long enough to develop some considerable brand awareness and loyalty. Here’s an interesting finding: Respondents are three times more likely (60% to 22%) to think of the organization as an "acquaintance" than as a "friend." http://www.theagitator.net/branding/friend-or-mere-acquaintance/
Why Direct Mail is Still King (June 12, 2009, Nonprofit Forum Blog) As we all look forward and adopt new technologies like e-newsletters, facebook, Twitter, etc., it is worthwhile to remember that direct mail is still the king in the nonprofit world for fundraising and other purposes, such as newsletters. http://nonprofitprforum.blogspot.com/2009/06/why-nonprofits-still-rely-heavily-on.html
TIPS AND RESOURCES
The Nonprofit Email Marketing Guide. Download Network for Good's free email outreach guide to learn strategies to improve your relationship-building and fundraising results. http://web.networkforgood.org/email-fundraising-guide/?utm_campaign=email-guide&utm_content=blue&utm_source=npo
TechSoup – Provides software for eligible nonprofits for a small administrative fee. Some of the products that are available include powerful design tools like Dreamweaver CS4, Illustrator CS4, and Photoshop Extended CS4. www.techsoup.org
ONLINE / SOCIAL NETWORKING
Organizational Social Relationship Models and Strategies (June 12, 2009, Beth’s Blog) Even though it based in technology, its still really about the relationships. http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/06/listening-leads-to-engagement-relationship-models.html
New, Improved Web Tools (June 11, 2009, Entrepreneur Magazine) These 5 solutions will increase your efficiency and make you wonder how you got along without them. http://www.entrepreneur.com/homebasedbiz/homebasedbizcolumnistlesleyspencerpyle/article202268.html
Forswearing greed: MBA students lead a campaign to turn management into a formal profession. (June 4, 2009, The Economist) THEY did not actually say that “greed is not good”, but the oath taken on June 3rd by more than 400 students graduating from Harvard Business School amounted to much the same thing. At an unofficial ceremony the day before they received their MBAs, the students promised they would, among other things, “serve the greater good”, “act with the utmost integrity” and guard against “decisions and behaviour that advance my own narrow ambitions, but harm the enterprise and the societies it serves.” http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13788418&CFID=59701344&CFTOKEN=27131961
The Hidden Costs of Cause Marketing (Summer 2009, Stanford Social Innovation Review) From pink ribbons to Product Red, cause marketing adroitly serves two masters, earning profits for corporations while raising funds for charities. Yet the short-term benefits of cause marketing—also known as consumption philanthropy—belie its long-term costs. These hidden costs include individualizing solutions to collective problems; replacing virtuous action with mindless buying; and hiding how markets create many social problems in the first place. Consumption philanthropy is therefore unsuited to create real social change. http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/the_hidden_costs_of_cause_marketing/
Passing the Plate (April 27, 2009, An Unlikely Prophet) The median annual giving for an American Christian is about $200, just over half a percent of after-tax income. 5 percent of American Christians provide 60 percent of the money churches and religious groups use to operate. This article lists some causes and things that pastors can do to turn around these trends. For at least three of the five suggestions, I recommend that we change ‘pastor’ to ‘nonprofit leader.’: (1) Immediately make sure your personal giving is what it should be. (2) Immediately say "thank you" and find ways to do so regularly all year. (3) Tell people regularly what was accomplished through their giving. http://willimon.blogspot.com/2009/04/passing-plate.html
Hospitals Will Fight Legislation Requiring Charity Care Standards (June 3, 2009, The Foundation Center) An association representing America's hospitals is preparing to launch a lobbying campaign aimed at preventing Congress from including more stringent hospital charity care requirements in healthcare reform legislation, the New York Times reports. http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=253700037
Over Half of Companies Increase Their Philanthropy in 2008 (Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy Press Release 6/02/09). The annual survey of nearly 140 U.S. companies found that while 68 percent of respondents reported a year-over-year decline in corporate profits, 53 percent increased their giving -- down slightly from the 56 percent that increased giving from 2006 to 2007. Within this group, 27 percent of companies increased their year-over-year giving by more than 10 percent, with non-cash giving growing the most (nearly 35 percent). The inflation-adjusted median giving total per company remained high at $30.78 million, a decline of 7.8 percent from the record $33.19 million recorded in 2007. http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/pnd/20018471/story