Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BIG’s Blog: Japan’s Earthquake as a Lesson for Fund Raisers

Japan is not Haiti. Japan is a First World, modern, sophisticated country, whereas Haiti is as close to a failed state as exists in the world. The Japanese know the imminent dangers they face from earthquakes and they are so far ahead of the rest of the world in their building codes and disaster preparedness that they make other earthquake prone areas of the world – like California – look backwards by comparison.

That is why what happened off the coast of Seidei, Japan with the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting Tsunami gives us pause to wonder if any country can fully prepare for the “big one,” whatever the “big one” is for a particular area of the world.

Regular readers of my blog and attendees of our seminars know that I raise the issue of increasing postal rates, increasing mail production costs and the contraction of lists as signs that direct mail cannot be the work horse for fund raisers that it has been for the last 50+ years. My raising these facts gets me unfairly tarred as anti-direct mail. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But, the facts of direct mail's inevitable decline in effectiveness means that our focus today should be on preparing for the time in the future when the “event” happens. And that event is when the lines cross and mail can no longer produce a margin of profit for fund raising.

Preparing today means developing a new plan that includes new tactics and strategies that build in and incorporate more and different communication touches with donors as well as prospects. This also means assessing our organization's structure to accommodate these changes. In fact, this is the time to look at all aspects of your fund raising.

Although Japan has been devastated by this disaster beyond comprehension, nonetheless, Japan will survive and prosper again because they plan for disasters.

For fund raisers, is your model Japan or Haiti?


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  2. We live in the peaceful world, when one difficulty, directions support. We should help Japan's Earthquake, and expecially the Fund Raisers.