As we conclude the first 31 days of 2012, I find myself reflecting on a few dreams and goals for fundraising during the remainder of the year:
- That more people will understand that charitable giving blesses the donor as much as the recipient.
- That charities better communicate that being on a “fire-in-the-belly” mission supersedes simply having a mission statement.
- That nonprofits will understand that fundraising is not about “arm-twisting” but rather clear, cogent, and targeted communication. That it is the responsibility of the charity to identify a prospect’s interests and demonstrate how their charity’s work is aligned with the donor’s priorities.
- That institutions understand that direct mail techniques are not used to insult appeal recipients but rather to assist those recipients. That utilizing all the allegedly “clichéd” direct response techniques is actually a thoughtful rather than insidious tactic and helps the potential donor navigate the appeal piece.
- That charities realize the true value today of social media. It will not replace traditional channels for gift revenue anytime soon, but it will help elevate relationships and engagement; enhancing traditional giving vehicles.
- That Ronald Reagan’s cold-war mantra of “Trust, but verify” is just as true for nonprofits as it was regarding the Russians in the late ‘80s. My hope is that charities will strive to gain the trust of their supporters and then supply verification of the outcomes of their contributions.
- That America is recognized for being one of the most generous nations on earth. We gave nearly $291 billion dollars to charitable causes in 2010 despite one of the most difficult economic climates in decades. Additionally, people give because it feels good to be generous. My dream is that more people will have the chance to experience that transcendent, blissful feeling of philanthropy.
- That it is realized that facilitating generosity through professional fundraising efforts is a noble profession, helping donors feel good and helping good causes continue their missions.