Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Just about everywhere you turn nowadays, you can find gloomy economic news about the charitable giving.

  • A new study released by Dunham and Company of 487 adults who donated at least $20 in the past year reports that only 2 in 10 Americans plan to continue or increase their giving next year. 1 in ten plan to stop giving altogether.
  • Giving USA has revised its estimates for 2008 and 2009 – and now says that donations fell by a higher percentage than in any other time in the past five decades.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy has several articles about declines in foundation fundraising, suggesting that it may be 2016 before donations return to pre-recession levels.
  • Policy-makers at all levels of government, desperate to make ends meet, have discussed cutting back charitable tax breaks and depending on non-profit organizations to make up for reductions in government spending on social causes.

So we start getting these kind of predictable questions:

  • Are we asking our donors for too much? Too often?
  • Now is not a good time to ask someone for money, is it?
  • Shouldn’t we wait until the economy levels out?

Here’s the bottom line: There are far more people are willing to make gifts than there are Board members willing to ask. You will hurt your organization more quickly by failing to ask than by asking for too much.



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