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Fundraising in Challenging Times

I need help coming up with a rough outline for a 10 page paper on managing a non-profit organization. Any help would be greatly appreciative. My topic is on Fundraising.

I would like to look at the problem of fundraising. Before the recession, fundraising was bringing in money, but organizations were becoming more creative in their efforts. Post recession, organizations still need help, but people have had problems going back to work, getting work that leaves them any disposable income, and many are reluctant to give much when they might face problems. Foreclosures and people being forced out of homes have also changed the landscape of non-profit giving.

New ideas are surfacing, but are they working. If they are working, who is benefiting? Online and group fundraising efforts are becoming popular for many projects. How will this help or discourage fundraising efforts locally or more broadly based?

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Post Recession Scenario
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), over 1 million public charity nonprofits existed in the United States in 2009, funded by $1.4 trillion in revenues from contributions, gifts, and grants (22 percent); program service revenues, including government contracts and fees (67 percent) and other sources, including dues and special event income (11 percent) (NCCS, 2010). This was a lot of money which was being fundraised ,before the recession hit the world.

A large number of these are organizations that provide basic services related to mental health, housing, and other types of basic services . Their contribution is immense and is carried out by social workers who put in their time and effort selflessly. Now, these nonprofit organizations are facing the worst ever financial conditions in the last three decades. Federal funding for social services is expected to stay flat or decrease (Calmes, 2010). States are experiencing revenue shortfalls that average nearly 12 percent less in 2009 than in 2008 (Pew Center on the States, 2009). Foundation funding has fallen (Foundation Center, 2009). Finally, individual giving to organizations that work with the poor has decreased (Center on Philanthropy, 2009). Only 18 percent of surveyed nonprofits expect to break even in 2010 (Nonprofit Finance Fund, 2010). The Corporation for National and Community Service and the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project carried out a survey of nonprofits and AmeriCorps organizations. The survey found that 80% of the organizations that responded experienced fiscal stress between September 2008 and March 2009. Close to 40% experienced severe or very severe financial stress, with nearly one-quarter of them cutting staff hours and one-third cutting staff (Salamon & Spence, 2009).
This indicates a massive contraction in the funds to nonprofit organizations, resulting in moderate to severe financial distress, due to recession.

New fundraising strategies
With the dismal performance of fund raising during recession, nonprofit organizations have realized the need to look at new strategies and techniques to improve their revenue inflows.
Studies indicate that a higher performance had been achieved by an increased emphasis on relationship building and face-to-face meetings with donors—building partnerships rather than donor lists (Curry et al, 2012).
This relationship was especially true for Christian missionary type of organizations. Instead of just appealing to donors, if the organizations took the time and effort to build a rapport with donors by visiting them and talking to them about issues that would benefit them and not about fund raising, and also letting the donors know the projects and purposes for which their funds had been used, over a period of time, this had a positive impact on fund raising and was also somewhat immune to recessionary trends. Three quotes exemplify this emphasis (Curry et al, 2012):
"Because we had been building deeper and stronger relationships with our donors . . . we began to bear the fruit from the seeds we had sown."
"Actually, we did not do anything significantly different than in previous years. However, because we had been building deeper and stronger relationships with our donors and because we had been focusing more on biblical stewardship last year, we began to bear fruit from the seeds we had sown."
"When I came on board in 2006, the ministry was only focusing on direct mail, and some planned giving. Most of the donors had never received a visit from anyone in the agency and the ministry was neither practicing accountability (letting the supporters know what had been done with their funds) nor educating the donors about biblical stewardship. We began to intentionally go out and visit donors to inform and educate them about both the ministry and biblical stewardship. As a result, in the past three fiscal years, giving to the ministry has increased by 25% (including nearly 12% last year, despite the challenging economy) and the number of our major donors has grown by 60%. More interestingly, except for the direct mail pieces that donors received, we did not make many asks—last year we only gave out one proposal (which was fully funded). Our goal was not to ask, but to minister to the ...

Solution Summary

The solution looks at the fundraising status of non profit organizations in recessionary conditions, and also looks at strategies that non profit organizations can adopt to raise more funds for their organizations. All references used are included.