The money that both political parties and candidates have raised thus far is amazing. And I guess history has shown that in total all those gifts do not have have a negative effect on total charitable giving, but I just cannot help but wonder what’s it all for? I had to stop and think during all the whooplah of the historic moment surrounding the nomination of the first african american candidate for president (which is great by the way) and wonder, what if we had that much interest in feeding the hungry in our communities or getting the homeless off the street? Millions of donations could have an even greater impact in their very own hometown…come on can any president impact the issues present and pervasive in your community right now the way a gift to a local charity could? I like many want to believe that the best person for president will have a great impact on every American, but in over 200 years of politics it just has not worked out that way. Impact is stil made locally by the folks on the ground…I just can help wondering.
I am not certain if we are in a recession or not. What I do know is that economic uncertainty can cause donors to pull back on their giving. The mark of a strong fundraising program is the inclusion of an intentional stewardship program. Much research has been put into discovering what donors expect and it is no surprise that they want to be thanked and informed. Imagine that – a simple thank you and more information. What a formula. Your thank you should be quick, 24-48 hours. Information can be in the form of a newsletter, a note from the board chair, a phone call from the chief executive or an invitation to visit on-site. Rarely do we hear that a donor has been thanked too much! In fact, many of our colleagues believe that fundraising is more about cultivation and stewardship than the solicitation itself. Just how thanked and informed are your donors and what is the resulting impact on retaining their support?