Pro tip | Everything old is new again

publication date: Jun 9, 2021
author/source: Ann Rosenfield

Have you noticed the uptick on social media posts of 70s music, 80s commercials, and 90s sit coms? In uncertain times, people tend to be nostalgic. This is a huge opportunity for charity fundraising for several reasons. Here's how you can benefit.

Unrestricted giving is back, baby

For decades, fewer and fewer donors have been unwilling to make unrestricted gifts to charities. All that has changed now. With clear need and evident crisis, there has not been a better opportunity in our working lifetime to ask for an undesignated or unrestricted gift. Even large donors are making major gifts. This is a great chance to benefit your charity by encouraging people to give your organization to respond to pressing needs by making a gift that allows your organization to be able to be flexible.

It pays to be well endowed

Endowments are another area of resurgence. Just a few years ago, no one was interested in endowments due to low interest rates. Now, donors are feeling the need to ensure that the organizations they care about have a strong base of support to weather any future tough times. Best of all this trend is combined with the trend for unrestricted giving to offer you an unusual opportunity to make the case for unrestricted endowment. The timing is right and this will stand your charity in good stead if you act now.

Mail myself to you

Digital is here to stay but in a world where so much is virtual, paper mail has made a huge comeback. From direct mail to old-fashioned thank you cards, paper mail is more popular than ever. Newsletters have also re-emerged. Many charities have been penny wise and pound foolish in this area. Don't let this be you!

Wealth of knowledge

Because these techniques are older, there is a wealth of information out there. This is the moment when your Baby Boomer boss or colleagues will be a huge asset to you. These are the ways of raising money and stewarding donors that existed when my generation were new fundraisers so it is an area where we can be very useful in terms of advice.

Don't forget to look ahead

In working in these areas, please be sure to keep looking forward in your work. While these areas are back, a strong investment in digital will help you continue to excel in the years to come.

Through a strategic use of classic strategies, you can help your charity today and also better position it for greater stability and success down the road.

Ann Rosenfield is an award-winning working fundraiser who learned all this stuff the first time around. She is also the editor of Hilborn Charity eNews.

Cover photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


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