Good news: It’s a great time to be a fundraiser or a philanthropist or both, for that matter!
But the highs can’t last forever, right?
Today, I’ve provided three steadying truths to anchor your fundraising focus regardless of market corrections, elections, and cautious “expert” predictions.
Remember, Fundraising is Local
In September 2008, when big banks were being bailed out, I received a call from a board member who said something like this: “Can’t you see what’s happening? We can’t keep asking for money!”
Our donors, I told her, were still saying Yes. Sure, some were cutting back, but I wasn’t hearing lots of No’s. She good-naturedly called me “Pollyanna,” and we said goodbye.
A month later, the New York Times ran a story quoting several optimistic leaders from our community. The reporter wrote, “Residents here think that the financial whirlwind will also ultimately pass them by.”
Today, as stories of “recession watch” flash across your screens, fix your eyes on your reality. Know your donors. Listen. Be flexible with pledge payments and sponsorship benefits, if necessary. And, smile when you’re called Pollyanna.
Believe in the Power of Philanthropy
In March 2018, Money magazine reported that during a Harvard study of 4,000 millionaires, researchers found that “fewer than 13% said they could achieve perfect happiness with the amount of money they already have.”
What an opportunity! Like honeyed phyllo dough in a sweet bite of baklava, philanthropy produces multiple layers of happiness.
In giving, you find the appreciation of friends and colleagues, the lasting impact on another human’s life, the joy of knowing you did something good for someone else, and the gratitude of the organization in whose mission you believe.
Be optimistic! Share the difference a donor can make, and when he can give, he’ll choose you!
Focus on the Individual Donor
According to Giving USA, 70% of the $410.02 billion donated in 2017 came from individuals! In fact, this group increased their generosity by $14.2 billion over 2016!
To ensure this key sector remains strong regardless of the times, I suggest you work closely today to maximize individual giving opportunities which could be at risk in the future:
- Discuss the wisdom of gifting appreciated stock. Donors avoid capital gains taxes while benefiting from a tax deduction for the value of the stock at the time it is transferred to the non-profit.
- Educate donors who are at least 70 ½ that under the Trump tax law, a donation of up to $100,000 of IRA assets counts toward their annual required distribution and is deductible from their taxable income.
- Remind individual supporters that, depending on their income, they can likely continue to take the traditional charitable tax deduction.
- Most importantly, remain grateful, positive, and donor-centric.
As I said at the beginning, this is a great time to be a fundraiser or a donor! Email me with “anchors” you’ve used to weather fundraising storms! And, smile if you’re called Pollyanna!
Discover more simple, experience-based fundraising tips, by Clicking Here.
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