Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tough Fund-raising Year Ahead for Nation's Top Charities

Today's Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that "[b]ruised by the deepest recession in decades, the nation's most-successful fund-raising organizations anticipate that giving will decline this year by a median of 9 percent."  The Chronicle's conclusion is based on a survey it conducted  to determine the 400 organizations that raise the most money from private sources.

The findings reveal that the fund-raising outlook for those organizations in 2010 is gloomy.  In fact,

Nonprofit officials say they are hopeful that the stock market's climb will prompt donors to give more, but they fear that foundations and corporations might cut back further. For the most part, they are setting their budgets conservatively, often hoping to raise just 1 or 2 percent more than they did in 2009.

These developments haveforced nonprofits to create new methods of fund-raising.  According to the Chronicle,

... the push to be more aggressive in seeking donations continues. Colleges and other nonprofit organizations are stepping up their efforts to solicit individuals, trying to explain more clearly why they need money, focusing on donors who have stopped giving, experimenting with new methods of online fund raising, and putting more time and effort into securing planned gifts.

Charities are also reorganizing their fund-raising departments, sometimes because they have been forced to lay off employees. They are encouraging fund raisers to share responsibilities and work more closely with people in different departments.

Smaller charities are more badly hit than larger ones.  Yet, the picture for big groups is still grim:

For only the third year in the survey's 19-year history, the minimum amount to qualify for The Chronicle's list dropped, to $47.6-million from $51.5-million in 2007, adjusted for inflation.


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