The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported on early results from the Philanthropy 400, the 400 largest charities in the US. The early survey results (from 88 of the 400) show that the largest national charities are struggling and that they collectively are projecting a 1% loss this year overall. Furthermore, only about 1/2 of these charities within this group are raising more than they did in 2007 when the recession began. This coupled with the fear of a continued recession in the new year has charities bracing for a tough end-of-calendar-year giving season.
While it is clear that the return to pre-recession levels is a long way off for many charities, there are still things one can do to ensure your best possible outcomes. Invest in your donors! This is the time to make sure that you are category-leaders in the area of donor stewardship and engagement. People give to people and to organizations that save and transform lives. Spend this time talking with donors entering into real conversations, engaging donors as volunteers on committees and boards and communicating to donors regularly showing them how their support has made an impact on your mission and is saving or transforming lives.
We at Laurus Strategies’ have been advising our clients to engage donors in meaningful ways. How are you do this? Share your ideas by responding to this blog!