The economy continues to be a concern as we move into fall. It is still true that the organizations that are asking for funds (in a personal way) are still receiving gifts, response to direct mail and other traditional annual appeal methods are not performing as well as they have in past years.
A new technique (that is really an old tradition) is performing well. That is response to ‘movements’ rather than campaigns. Donors want to be a part of a solution, rather than simply helping an organization survive. What is your organization helping to solve? What difference are you making in the community?
Here are this week’s headlines. Happy reading!
THOUGHTS ON FUNDRAISING
Americans' Spending Unlikely to Rebound Anytime Soon, Survey Finds (Chronicle of Philanthropy) Economists and politicians are pointing to signs of recovery in the stock market and other economic arenas. But a new survey suggests that Americans’ discretionary income and purchases—as well as their charitable giving—are unlikely to return to pre-recession levels anytime soon. http://philanthropy.com/news/prospecting/9103/americans-giving-unlikely-to-rebound-anytime-soon-survey-finds
The Great Philanthropy Takeover (The Wall Street Journal, editorial) Earlier this month, the Council on Foundations, a national association for philanthropic organizations, attempted to chart a progressive course aimed at combating problems facing rural America. It hosted a three-day conference at Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203517304574304361519423066.html
Small Family Foundations Often Overlooked by Nonprofits Seeking Grants (About.com) We are often dazzled by the "name-brand" foundations such as the Gates, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations, whose assets run into the billions. But 90 percent of foundations have endowments of less than $10 million, and these are mostly small family foundations. http://nonprofit.about.com/b/2009/08/07/small-family-foundations-often-overlooked-by-nonprofits-seeking-grants.htm
TIPS AND RESOURCES
New charity feature on Twitter (Chronicle of Philanthropy) TwitCause gives nonprofits a new way to get the word out about their cause http://twitter.com/twitcause
Online Video Soars (Fundraising Vital Signs) 62% of U.S. online adults have watched online video. Amongst those with broadband access, that figure is 69%, with nearly one-in-four watching in any given day. http://www.theagitator.net/media-usage/online-video-soars/
Crowded roads ahead for charity 2.0 (cnet.com) Way back in February, the Web's elite were all abuzz over the "Twestivals," a series of events around the world that were organized online to benefit Charity Water, an otherwise small nonprofit organization that funds the construction of wells in developing countries. Months later, with Twitter practically bursting at the seams, is this strategy still sustainable? As the Web is flooded with more and more charity initiatives, both large, well-established ones and new nonprofits created specifically with harnessing social media in mind, problems can arise. At best, donations could be spread too thin, rendering many organizations less effective. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10302991-36.html?tag=mncol
Is the Recession Changing How Donors Think? (The Chronicle of Philanthropy) Ellen Remmer of the Philanthropic Initiative says the recession is causing donors to assume a “beginner’s mind” and look at how they can give effectively rather than give to the newest, flashiest charity. http://philanthropy.com/news/prospecting/index.php?id=9078
Economy Pushes Fund Raisers' Confidence to New Lows (The Chronicle of Philanthropy) Confidence in the fund-raising climate continues to be at or near record lows, according to the latest biannual survey of fund raisers conducted by Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy. http://philanthropy.com/news/updates/index.php?id=9067
Five-Year Old Shows San Francisco How to Make Change (Service Nation Website) Sometimes it seems like people just don’t seem to care about giving back to the community, and then you run across stories like this one from a five-year old named Phoebe. Phoebe saw a homeless man with a sign in the street and asked her parents: “Why does that man look so sad, and why is he holding a sign in the street?” With the goal of raising $1000 for her local food bank, she sent 150 letters to family, friends and With Care Pre-school alumni, asking them to donate their soda cans so she could use the 5 cent return to donate to the food bank. http://www.bethechangeinc.org/changewire/2009/08/05/five-year-old-shows-san-francisco-how-to-make-change/