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Nov 7, 2018

A Fall of Concern

Here we are again in the midst of the big fundraising season. As I type, nonprofit organizations’ direct mail packages are landing in our mailboxes – with dances of response rates dancing in their heads.

This is always an anxiety filled time. Usually, election cycles don’t have a big impact on nonprofit giving. And though this is no usual year, a donor survey we conducted last week indicates that political giving is not siphoning money away from charities.

Still, the divisions and heated national discourse we all have been experiencing this past year isn’t exactly creating the peace on earth and goodwill toward men moment we hope for in the giving season. We are not the most charitable environment.

But the truth is that we’ve been here before.

As I look back at my 25-years in the business, fundraising made it through the fall of the dot.com bust. We made through 9/11 and the anthrax scare. And we survived the Great Recession.

It’s not to say we don’t all have some bumps and bruises from these events, but the generosity of the American people seems to have a way of shining through and saving the day.

I’m optimistic that we will have a good fundraising season, and can’t wait to dig into all the donor databases next January to see just how good you all did.

Early Returns

We are knee-deep in analyzing last fall’s results. While there is of course some variation in results by organization, the general narrative is that last fall wasn’t great . . . but it wasn’t awful either. It was just OK. What we are seeing is that overall revenue was...

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How Fundraising Will Evolve

In honor of International Data Week, I’m sharing how the future of fundraising will evolve. Many people are concerned about fundraising (I’m not btw). For nearly two decades, the “experts” have been predicting the death of direct mail fundraising. Eventually, the...

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Forecasting the Demise of the Boomer Donor

For the past decade or so, when fundraising analysts gather together around the bar at a conference, the discussion invariably leads to a debate on how the generosity of the Boomer generation comes to an end (after we put away our slide rules and stop talking about...

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