Thursday, March 15, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Era of Winners and Losers in Fundraising?

Most of my blog readers are fundraisers who depend heavily on direct mail for a significant percentage of their annual dollars . . . and of course most of my readers know that I have been involved in direct marketing for over 30 years. Being good direct marketers means we are very attuned to “the numbers,” and being attuned to numbers means that as a group we understand more quickly than most the implications of studies that use hard numbers.

Last week I attended the NCDC Summit conference in Louisville, KY, along with a sizable contingent of Development leadership of NCDC member organizations as well as the leadership of corporate members like myself.

The lead speaker was Susan Raymond, Ph.D., from Changing Our World, Inc. Mrs. Raymond has her Ph.D. from John Hopkins in Advanced International Studies with a focus on economics. Over the next few weeks and months I will be referring to some of the key data points she shared with the group and the implications for all of us in nonprofit fundraising.

From 1982 until 2008, the number of charities incorporated increased 232% while the real value of adjusted giving dollars increased by only 133%.

The implication: too many charities chasing too few dollars. This will only produce one outcome and that is one of “Winners and Losers.” The winners are going to alter and change how they raise dollars by becoming more effective and productive, which will begin to take care of the “too many” charities. Those that change will have a chance to survive. Those that don’t change…

The good news for you and other existing fundraising organizations that already have supporters who love you is that you have a leg up on all those new charities that are just starting out. But the newbies don’t have your legacy direct mail programs and will not use direct mail to build their fundraising base as it is too expensive. What will they use? The Internet, where there are already millions of people online and the costs are lower. Don’t let these fundraising newbies beat you to the donors that are online!

And you thought all this draconian, Darwinian, “survival of the fittest” stuff just applied to the commercial sector.


Welcome to BIG's Blog!  Please feel free to forward this post to your friends and coworkers...and don't be afraid to leave a comment!

No comments:

Post a Comment