If you believe the majority of the business reports in both the print and broadcast news media the economy is on the upswing. Sure, there have been a few glitches in the uptick, but for the most part it appears the past “down years” are now behind us.
The apparent improving economy has led many fundraising chairman to ask me if the upswing will roll over into their money raising efforts during the coming year. Although, in general terms it should, it’s really hard to project since fundraising isn’t directly tied to the overall economy – but the specific donor’s economy.
So, what do I mean by that? Well, if the country’s economic conditions are improving it’s a good sign for the country. What’s more important is – is the donor’s economic conditions improving? The two don’t always coincide.
It really comes down to confidence. If donors are confident about the economy they tend to loosen their pocketbooks. If they are not confident they will remain cautious and save for the proverbial “rainy day.
With that said, there is a way for charities to get donors – no matter the economic conditions – to contribute to the charity’s fundraising efforts. And that’s to build their confidence that the money they are donating is going to a good cause and will be used wisely to improve the lives of others that so desperately need help.
Donors are usually cautious with their money during uncertain economic times. However, they are willing to give if they have confidence the charity will be a good steward of their donation. The same holds true in good economic times.
It all comes down to communication. And, not their economic index – but their confidence index.