Monday, December 9, 2013
BIG’s Blog: Towards Sustainable Faith-based Fundraising
Isn’t the goal of our faith-based and charitable organizations to not only sustain year-to-year but also grow? Merely surviving cannot be the operational goal.
Yet again for the fifth straight year in a row, reports are coming to me that results of mail appeals . . . with a few exceptions . . . are down again for the fall appeals and, worse, trending down for the all important end-of-the-year and Christmas appeals. Some faith-based organizations reported an increase last year over the previous few years but, again, they are off this year. They’re off yet again!
At what point do some of these groups say, “Maybe we need a different strategy?”
I know it has been said in these blogs as well as many other places, and by many writers, but it bears repeating yet again . . . the bedrock generations [Depression and WWII] who have supported your organization for the last 40+ years are declining so drastically in number that as another writer has said, “this decline will turn into a firestorm of red ink for way too many fundraising organizations very soon.”
Recently, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, the Founder of the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation, wrote an article wherein she, as a Generation X philanthropist, shared the way she thinks about choosing who she gives to. Her points are a peek into the mind of younger generations who are not just giving, but really checking out how their involvement makes an impact.
1. Outline your strategic giving plan.
2. Research organizations online.
3. Select high-quality nonprofits in which to invest.
4. Apply your time, skills, money and/or networks to a cause you support.
Almost sounds like an approach to retirement saving rather than choosing an organization to donate to. Look at some of the key words and phrases: “strategic giving plan,” “research . . .online,” “in which to invest (not donate . . . invest),” “apply time, skills, money . . . networks.”
Can you even imagine my 86-year-old Mother (or the average prospective donor you are mailing to) thinking like this? How does my Mother choose? Whoever makes it into her mailbox, that’s how. Forget the issue of direct mail; can’t you see that the “thinking process” of philanthropy has changed? Not “is changing” but “has changed.”
My fear is that too many faith-based organizations think that they “get a pass” and the new thinking doesn’t affect them.
Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is giving you a true gift this holiday season . . . and that gift is a glimpse into the mind of the supporters you want to reach.
If you don’t have a plan, seek help and information that can help you quickly develop a fundraising plan that can connect and engage younger supporters. These new younger donors offer you sustainability and growth . . . if you can connect and engage them.
-MikeWelcome to BIG's Blog! Please feel free to forward this post to your friends and coworkers...and email me a comment at: firstname.lastname@example.org