ONEplace Blog

News, comments, resources, and more for nonprofits.

Tough Years Ahead for Fundraisers—What Can You Do?

Several fundraising and philanthropy organizations and journals, web-based experts, and sector associations are predicting ‘tough years ahead’ for all types of fundraising. Holly Hall’s article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy (June 2011) cites a Giving USA report indicating giving has fallen more since 2008 than in the past 50 years.

An article in the August 24th Chronicle cites a new report by Dunham+Company that shows two-thirds of donors surveyed plan to cut back on giving this fall—and, 10% plan to stop giving altogether!

The slow recovery and current threat of a double-dip recession, along with continued unemployment, suggest ‘it could be as long as 2016 before donations return to’ pre-recession levels.

Adding to the economic issues, the national deficit reduction talks and policy conversations may lead to additional challenges for nonprofits relying on donations to keep their doors open and serve their constituents.

What can nonprofits do? Take steps, today, to increase your skills and relationships!

The annual, year-end fundraising season is fast approaching! What can organizations do, now, to connect with their donors in more meaningful ways, and find new people to support their mission, in this environment?

  • Learn all you can about your donors and why they support your organization. What is ‘in it for them’ rather than what’s in it for the organization?
  • Gather stories (and photos) of real people benefitting from your programs and services to ‘show and tell’ what you do and what difference it makes.
  • Attend workshops and webinars at ONEplace and elsewhere to learn all you can about fundraising, donor relations, and communication.
  • Seek online resources, such as the Chronicle; blogs by fundraising experts across the country, like Tom Ahern or Donor Power; or, voices of experience on Monday Movies, Fundraising and Awareness Movies for Nonprofits; and, many more.

What can donors do? Take steps to know what your gifts do in the community/world and give** generously to those you believe in.

As donors, the choice is yours to invest in a nonprofit or not.

  • Why do you support the organizations you do and not others? How and when did you start giving to them? Are you involved in any other way? How much do you really know about them?
  • Have you stopped donating to some nonprofits? Why? Would you consider renewing gifts to them? Why?
  • Are you sure nonprofits you want to donate to are still tax-exempt? Check the new IRS rules.
  • Study online resources for donors that will help your decision making: TakeAction@GuideStar; Questions to Ask; and the Donor Bill of Rights from the Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • **Invest in the nonprofits you believe in and trust, generously, with your gifts of money, time, expertise, and ambassadorship. You will help make our community and world a better place during this challenging time, and always. Thank you!


ONEplace @ KPL