Fundraising in a Down Economy

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Lecture at Philadelphia Free Library on the current state of fundraising

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Fundraising in a Down Economy

  1. 1. RX for hard times Morrie Warshawski www.warshawski.com Philadelphia Regional Foundation Center Keynote address. April 21, 2009
  2. 2. Here we are <ul><li>WHAT DO WE KNOW about how this recession is affecting nonprofits? </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT DO WE WANT TO KNOW? </li></ul>
  3. 3. S&W <ul><li>YOUR ORGANIZATION’S 5 GREATEST FUNDRAISING STRENGTHS </li></ul><ul><li>5 BIGGEST FUNDRAISING WEAKNESSES </li></ul>
  4. 4. WHAT EVERYBODY KNOWS <ul><li>1995 – 2005, Charities grow by 53% to 1.5 million </li></ul><ul><li>39 out of last 40 years, INDIVIDUAL donor giving has increased </li></ul><ul><li>Nonprofit Finance Fund Survey results </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals still giving, but a bit less to each organization </li></ul><ul><li>Those that deliver tangible services are in strong position </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations are cutting back, esp Event sponsorships </li></ul>
  5. 5. 3 REACTIONS <ul><li>1. PROACTIVE AND AGGRESSIVE </li></ul><ul><li>2. INFORMED BUT CAUTIOUS </li></ul><ul><li>3. RELUCTANT AND IN DENIAL </li></ul>
  6. 6. REACTIONS TO THE RECESSION <ul><li>Reducing programs </li></ul><ul><li>More collaborations </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing staff and/or salaries </li></ul><ul><li>Delaying payments to vendors </li></ul><ul><li>Using reserve funds </li></ul><ul><li>Developing worst-case scenario budgets </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging more closely with Board </li></ul><ul><li>Discussing issues with Funders </li></ul>
  7. 7. ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO WHAT SMART FOLKS ARE SAYING <ul><li>FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS AND NOT MONEY </li></ul><ul><li>HAVE A CRISP, CLEAR, SHORT, ENGAGING WAY TO TALK ABOUT YOUR GROUP – FOCUS ON IMPACT </li></ul><ul><li>FOCUS ON VALUES </li></ul><ul><li>CHANGE YOUR DEFINITION OF “MAJOR DONOR” </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>INTENSIFY EFFORTS FOR PLANNED GIFTS </li></ul><ul><li>STICK TO WHAT WORKS </li></ul><ul><li>ARE YOU MAKING MONEY ON YOUR FUNDRAISERS? </li></ul><ul><li>RESPOND IN A TIMELY MANNER </li></ul><ul><li>EMBRACE VOLUNTEERS </li></ul><ul><li>HONE YOUR FUNDRAISING SKILLS </li></ul>
  9. 9. Misc…… <ul><li>EMBRACE THE NET </li></ul><ul><li>PARTNER </li></ul><ul><li>REACTIVATE LAPSED DONORS </li></ul><ul><li>LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES </li></ul><ul><li>OLD SCHOOL – TRY A PHONE BANK. </li></ul>
  10. 10. SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS <ul><li>1. DONORS: How do I keep them involved? </li></ul><ul><li>2. BOARDS: How do I energize/actualize them for fundraising? </li></ul><ul><li>3. PARTNERING: What are the opportunities? Who can I partner with and for what? </li></ul><ul><li>4. THE INTERNET: How can I better use the Internet and social networking for involving my constituents, and for fundraising? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Goethe “ Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.&quot;

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