10 Strategies for Recession Fundraising

first_imgThe Chronicle of Philanthropy has a great series up right now with 10 things to do now, to raise money during the downturn. You need a subscription to read the full articles but here’s their list. It is based on interviews with a variety of organizations. Some of these are back-to-basics ideas, which is what a lot of people are focusing on. Others are about being  frugal and innovative. All excellent ideas these days.Don’t treat giving as a financial transaction. Tell donors how their giving is making the world a better place and don’t just focus on the perks they will receive (e.g. “you get a newsletter and four free tickets” — this is especially important for arts organizations).Keep close ties to donors. Don’t make your only contact with donors be solicitations. Focus on thanking and showing impact. Find ways to let donors see the impact for themselves.Offer matching grants. Ask a loyal donor or funder to provide the match.Ask donors to give monthly. ‘Nuff said.Look for ways to save money on fundraising. Trim special event expenses or eliminate programs that aren’t serving you well. Look for ways to move your communications online. Freeze salaries. Renegotiate with your vendors and consultants (don’t know about this one!).Seek alternatives to soliciting private donations. Can you rent some of your space to another organization? Start a social enterprise? Develop a cause-marketing partnership with a corporation?Collaborate to raise money. You can have greater impact and generate more attention by working with others. For example, ten grassroots organizations serving people with disabilities could put on one large event instead of each having their own. They would probably raise more, hold a better event and get more attention than doing it alone.Scale back ambitious campaigns, but don’t give up on them. You may have to scale back on the goal or increase the length of your “quiet phase” where the lead gifts are solicited.Avoid emergency solicitations. Asking donors to bail you out or save you from impending demise is not an appealing message — who wants to invest in an organization on the brink of collapse? Instead, tell people how the economy is hurting the people you serve and the issues you work on.Shore up relations with grant makers. It is going to take some time before endowment-based funders can get back to decent levels of giving, but that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to them. Be on their list when giving resumes, by being in touch and continuing to show them you are making a difference. Source: http://blueprintfundraising.com/the-fundit/last_img

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