Harvey over at 2 into 3 sent me through a report from Harvey McKinnon Associates on the implications to fundraising of the financial downturn.
There isn’t much new in it and there are no firm stats or data (still probably too early for anything we can stand over).
There were a couple of interesting points. The first was one I have been telling people about, because its how I feel
People feel poorer, even when they are not. This phenomenon has sometimes been termed “psychic poverty”
They also point out that:
Emotions like fear and anxiety are driving investments, investor behaviour and also fundraising.
I think this is an interesting point as we tend to tap into peoples emotions as fundraisers so we need to look at the emotions we are targeting. If people are anxious and fearful, well we shouldn’t focus on that, we need to give them hope and a belief in their ablilty to make an impact.
The report goes on to state what we have been told before that
Historically, non-profits have done fairly well in most recessions – on average.
This isn’t going to help anyone going to their Board or CEO with reduced revenue! But they do highlight 18 steps we can take to minimise the impact, again nothing really new in there, donor care, looking at lapsed donors, working harder and smarter etc….ie being a good fundraiser!
As with most of the posts in this series we need to remember that all is not lost and I agree with this point.
People will still want to give money to great causes. And they will give when they feel that it makes a difference, that there is the sense of urgency, and that it will make a difference to their emotional lives. It is critical that, as fundraisers, we continue to ask.