James Daniel

James Daniel

James P. Daniel is an executive partner at Bentz Whaley Flessner. He offers more than thirty-five years of advancement experience—20 years as a major gift officer and vice president and 15 years as a consultant. His consulting focuses on major gifts strategy and on...

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.