What does an uncertain economy mean for the bottom line of nonprofit fundraising efforts? "Overall, the news is good," says Sarah DiJulio, Executive Vice
President of M+R Strategic Services. The economy may be down, but online donations are up — so far.
According to a new MRSS study,
a drop in the average size of charitable gifts in September and October
2008 has been balanced out by an increase in the number of donations,
for a net gain in online donations.
DiJulio cautions nonprofit fundraisers not to count on this positive trend keeping on through to the year-end, however:
“Despite the relatively good news for online donations, we have to
warn nonprofits not to get complacent about online fundraising. Many
economic analysts predict the current economic crisis will continue to
worsen before it gets better. And the fact that growth was slower in
October of 2008 may be a sign of things to come.”
How can nonprofits try to maximize their online fundraising in difficult economic times like these?
Stick closely to your mission in your messages, DiJulio
recommends. “Reminding your constituents of the current economic
crisis, even when it is topical and strengthens your case for giving,
does not make donors more likely to give, and may actually turn them
away from giving.” Instead, focus on the compelling reasons why people should donate to your organization.