A Realistic Look at Annual Funds

Participation, always a sensitive issue with trustees, is in decline at many institutions — not for lack of trying but for difficulties in simply making contact. Erosion in landlines is picking up speed, and direct mail is super-saturated. But the golden age of...

Confidence: Fundraising is the business of optimism. Good news on the confidence issue!

Fundraisers and their Presidents and Boards have been very nervous for the last twenty-one months over the implications of the Great Recession of philanthropy. And for good reason. The Dow tumbled about 58 percent before it leveled off in March 2009 and began a precedent-setting rally back into 5 digits. The rally lasted fourteen months but, though it got back to 11,000, it has sputtered over the last three months on a stagnant jobs market, a tumultuous political climate, the BP disaster, a flat housing market and a host of other technical and substantive issues. Donors–and institutions that must be sensitive to them–continue to be anxious. Confidence is wounded and many continue to wonder whether the wound is lethal.