Thursday, November 27, 2008

Recession and passion

I spent the last 3 days at the AFP Congress in Toronto which was a great few days, with economic uncertainty on most fundraisers lips.

I covered this in some detail in the session I facilitated and made mention of the following email that Fraser Green from Canadian fundraising agency the FLA Group sent to delegates that morning.

A timely reminder for what's important right now. Thanks to Fraser for sending this and allowing us to put it up on this blog.

Jonathon Grapsas

Recession and passion...

The sentence?

During this recession, it’s more important than ever to fuel the passion of your most loyal donors.

Let’s face it. Times are tough – and they’ll get tougher. Just as with your own life, when the crunch hits – it’s family you can count on. Pretty simple idea, no?

Here are three simple ways you can do that:

1. Be candid. Acknowledge that your donors are feeling the pinch – as is your organization. Fess up to the fact that funding your work is a tough challenge right now (without sounding whiny and needy).

2. It’s all about the cause. Don’t talk about yourself so much as you talk about the cause. Donors give to the hungry, abandoned pussycats – more than they do to the Save the Pussycats Foundation. (Our favourite fundraising maxim is that the institution has no needs!)

3. State your immediate funding needs in a simple, dramatic way. (Between now and Christmas, we need to get 32,000 pussycats into our shelters where they’ll be warm, well-fed and safe.) Don’t get caught up in jargon – and don’t get too far into describing your process for saving pussycats. Your loyal donors trust you to get the job done if you have the money.

Use this strategy everywhere you can – and make sure everyone in your organization is on the same ‘message page’. This approach won’t make the recession go away – but it will maximize your revenue in the short term. We’re convinced of that.

Good luck.

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