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What do we know about recovery of giving after recessions/depressions?
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University has just published a report in GivingUSA Spotlight analyzing its research on charitable giving after The Great Depression and more recent economic recessions, including the one nonprofit organizations are facing now.
The report concludes that "If the recovery of individual giving after the Depression and after the 1973-1975 recession is any indication of what to expect, it is likely that donations from households and individuals will not reach their 2007 levels until at least three years after the end of the current recession, when measured in inflation-adjusted dollars."
The report also makes recommendations to best prepare for post-recession fundraising:
- Assess what kind of your orgnaization's fundraising yields best returns
- Shift resources from lower performing activities to those with best returns
- Lay groundwork for a planned giving program
- Keep telling stories about your organization's success and impact
- Invest in learning new approaches to fundraising
- Remain in touch with your most reliable donors
You can download the 11-page report, which is packed with a lot more information.
What do you think about these findings and this advice? What is your organization's experience? Are you taking any of the recommended steps?
Posted by: Rebecca Nickels, Executive Director, PWCL | October 28, 2009 12:04 PM
Thanks for posting this resource - it's definitely helpful to have some solid ideas on how to focus our agency's fundraising, as well as a realistic idea of a possible timeline for any up-turn.
Posted by: Susan Bender Phelps, Interim Development Director, Washington County Museum | October 29, 2009 09:30 AM
Thank you. Though not surprising, this report will be helpful in developing and supporting our conversations with board members and donors.
Posted by: Andy Nelson, hands On Greater Portland | November 3, 2009 09:01 AM
Here's another recommendation: invest in volunteers. The economic recession means we have more, skilled volunteers ready and waiting to take on tasks and projects at nonprofits. What's needed is new volunteer opportunities, a kind of pro bono volunteering model, to harness this unique opportunity. Volunteers won't solve the funding problem. But they can ease the pain in the short term -- and build support for the long term.
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