It's Cram Season for every nonprofit.
The last chance to squeeze every dollar from donors during the last 50 or so days of the year.
Only this year, Cram Season is facing a new reality.
Case in point: My neighbour was away from home for a few days. She opened the postal mail upon her return.
A package arrived. She looked at the return address and immediately knew the sender. It was an appeal for money. The 4th mailing from them in two months, she said.
She didn't open it. She didn't want to hear about it.
"I'm not giving." That was her first reaction.
What I know is that her reaction was not a reaction to the sender.
It's a reaction to rising costs.
It's a reaction to shortages.
It's a reaction to uncertainty.
It's a reaction to the reality we're all living in.
The fear is palpable, and it's given way to a healthy amount of skepticism.
Here are just a few of the phrases I've heard over the last month in various locations within my own community -
"Is the money even going where they say it's going?"
"Is this nonprofit legitimate?"
“I only hear from them when they want money.”
My fellow Nonprofit Leaders, welcome to Cram Season 2.0.
As if battling for dollars wasn't enough, now you're battling to prove authenticity.
And let’s be real… questioning the legitimacy of a nonprofit is an excuse to avoid giving.
A way to avoid having to part with their money. That’s all it is.
This is where we are.
There's no getting around it. So...
Cram Season 2.0 is going to require more of you.
Get out there and show your community who you are and the Mission you stand for.
Sheree Allison merges the worlds of fundraising, marketing, and leadership combined with an entrepreneurial spirit to train and develop nonprofit leaders who are committed to building a world class organization. Check out her book “The Nonprofit Book of Wisdom - One Executive Director Who Couldn’t Be Swayed” and her weekly column at www.shereeallison.com.