A-The good news is there’s a new feeling of positive change that is gripping the United States. The bad news is his work is cut out for him. One of the major issues he’s going to face is the upcoming recession. Whatever plan of action he’s going to come up with charitable organizations are going to have to ride it out. What options are available to charitable organizations, and how can they best prepare now for the coming turbulence?
Now is the Time
In a new global survey developed by The Resource Alliance and The Management Centre, charity organizations were polled what fundraisers will be affected and how much. 40% of the respondents think the best response is to actively pursue market share…now! They suggest getting an organizations advertising out immediately, as a first move to protect themselves against the recession.
“The strategic and tactical decisions made by charities will have more influence on their fortunes than the recession itself. Charities have more control than they think they do, so long as they focus on the fundamentals of their programs, do not panic and focus on the long-term.”
Not All Affected Equally
Those polled said the charitable organizations most on the block for upcoming cuts would be arts and culture, animal projects and international development. Organizations that look after emergency relief, and both religious and childrens’ causes will be least affected. With charitable contributions being such a personal issue this may upset some donors but hopefully those organizations on the short end can take proper preventative measures to ride out the rough times.
Where to Put the Focus
The best solution to brace organizations will be to focus on the basics: Regular giving, major gifts and legacy programs. The strategy is think long term and maximum donation. New tactics or current ones with marginal or unprofitable returns will have to be closed for another day. There’s nothing wrong with putting new ideas to work but the timing may not be right for it.
Two concepts here: Make giving easy and available to donors through multiple platform giving. Make phone pledges, web donations etc simple for donors. The second idea is thank them for the donation in a way that makes them feel important to the organization and not merely lost in the pile. The quicker and simpler the process, combined with honest appreciation will give the donor a positive experience and keep him as a long term giver.
Preparation Leads to Success
There may be a recession coming but preparation now will determine how successfully a charitable organization will be able to ride it out. Now matter how bleak the picture may look, advantages can be had for charities that prepare properly.
Global Fundraising Confidence Survey, http://www.afpnet.org/content_documents/Survey%20global%20financial%20crisis.pdf , November 6, 2008.