Looking Back: Fundraising In The Insecure Economy

Sections of this topic

    Retrospective: Fundraising in the Insecure Economy

    Over the years, the biggest mistake that many non-profits made was believing that Grants from Corporations, Foundations, and Governments would continue at former levels.

    Giving by foundations and corporations is dependent upon their available resources, and during the recent “low period” in the stock market their assets shrank dramatically. And, obviously, with shrunken portfolios, they were less able to make grants at the same levels as in prior years – if at all.

    •   In a period where the stock market lost almost one-third of its value,
    a non-profit that relied on foundation support went way beyond wishful
    thinking – it bordered on denial of reality !!

    •   Where corporations laid off employees and looked for government bailouts,
    counting on corporate support was foolhardy.

    •   In that economy, where there was a lot less government money going
    to non-profit organizations, relying on federal, state, or local support
    was delusional.

    • It was also dangerous to rely on special events; as, during a recession,
    paying to attend an event is likely to drop very low on people’s lists
    of priorities.

    While governments cut complete line items, and few foundations or corporations wanted-or-were-able to extend their commitments to non-profit organizations, NPOs still had their commitments to the people they served.

    So, when the grant for a specific program ran out and didn’t get renewed, did you end that program and discontinue service to those who needed it, or did you have a backup source of ongoing funding ??

    When the event you relied on to fund your programs/operations didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, did you tell the people you serve that you “can’t help them right now” ??

    Were you able to continue your programs at prior levels ?? Did you maintain or reduce service to your constituency ?? What did you do ??


    Have a comment or a question about starting or expanding your fundraising program? Email me at AskHank@Major-Capital-Giving.com. With over 30 years of counseling in major gifts, capital campaigns, bequest programs, and the planning studies to precede these three, we’ll likely be able to answer your questions.