By Kevin D. Feldman
The largest generation of people in World history is aging and with many outliving their retirement resources because they are living longer than projected by their retirement plans. Those who were once generous givers, may no longer be able to give.
The shrinking numbers of the generations that follow will hardly be able to replace the “Baby Boomers” of yesterday. There will be a shrinking pool of individual donors and prospects because of this. The competition for the donated dollar will become fierce.
Employers will be scrambling in search of qualified employees in a shrinking workforce. It is likely that many businesses will fail due to the shrinking number of consumers and lack of available workers. Corporate wealth may be stretched to its limits as companies consolidate to reduce expenses and adapt to the forthcoming decline is sales and worker shortages. The businesses that survive and were once generous donors and sponsors to nonprofits may have to reduce their levels of giving or stop giving altogether.
This historic contrast in demographics and world population levels will mean fewer people and companies to support the nonprofits that exist today, as well as those of tomorrow. The lack of needed nonprofits means a shortage of vital services to individuals, families, the environment, and much more.
A crisis awaits.
Is your nonprofit ready? If so, what has it done to prepare for this crisis? What are you doing now to prepare?
I have my own ideas that I will share with you in an upcoming post.
The “golden rule” for nonprofit FundAbility is the same as the “Golden Rule” for living, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” To behave any other way is not only shortsighted, but will cost a nonprofit organization potentially hundreds, if not thousands of new donors — some of them having the capacity to make large gifts.
As leaders of nonprofit organizations large and small, we should set high standards for how our employees and volunteers interact with others, and train them to follow these standards. Ask yourself, “How is our receptionist greeting people as they walk through the door?” “How are we treating our vendors, the mail carrier, and restaurant staff?” “How do we treat our own employees — and how do they treat each other?”
With unemployment rates at historic levels, no doubt your nonprofit has seen an increase in the number of job applicants. How are you treating them? If you do not believe that some of these applicants are your donors, sons and daughters of donors, or potential donors — you are wrong!
For an Executive Director, HR representative or hiring manager to ignore job applicants by not following up with a letter, phone call or email to say “thank you” is narrow-minded at best. Most charities that I know of would never think of searching an applicant’s name through their database of donors … but they should! Even if the applicant’s name is not in the donor database, do not count them out as part of your organization’s donor acquisition strategy?
I had served a large international charity for several years and got to know the major gift officers rather well. One of the gift officers had been a major donor to the nonprofit before selling his business and working for the charity full-time. He continued making large gifts to the organization while in its employ.
Message to nonprofit leaders: “Never underestimate the value of job applicants and others to the future of your organization.”
Welcome to my website, “FundAbilityRules.com”
FundAbilityRules is devoted to holistic approaches to nonprofit advancement. Believing that every action and activity of a nonprofit will have either a positive or negative impact on the organization’s ability to raise money, I created this blog/website to help employees, Board members and volunteers take a more critical and introspective look at their entire nonprofit operation.
You are welcome to participate, so that together we can discover root causes for our organizations’ revenue problems, as well as find new pathways to success.
Kevin D. Feldman