Not too late to make a holiday askSubmitted Tue Dec 30 2008 10:39:00 GMT-0500 (EST) by Jason Z.
By this point, it's becoming more general knowledge that the last week of the year is a real sweet spot for holiday fundraising. But just to underscore the point -- be sure to get out at least one fundraising appeal today or tomorrow, terrible economy be damned. In fact, it's not only not too late to make a holiday ask, these next two days are probably the absolute best time all year to make that ask. Given the bleak fundraising scene that likely awaits come January and February and beyond, it'd be crazy not to put out that pitch e-mail in some form in the next 24 hours or so. Heck, how about one today and two tomorrow? Come February, are you more likely to wish that you'd asked more often or less often back when the getting was good?
Actually, for anyone with an online component in the job description, this holiday season could be the leading edge of an important structural shift in nonprofit fundraising.
While all charitable giving of every description figures to suffer in the years ahead, some scattered data points from retail suggest that online purchases more or less held their own during this past (and otherwise disastrous) holiday season. Some of that undoubtedly reflects purchases that would otherwise have been made at brick-and-mortar locations being shifted online, and while not all the parameters of nonprofit development are the same, it's a trend one could easily imagine spilling over. As with selling sneakers, nonprofit giving opportunities online cut out many expenses (notably mailing) and present a lower threshold for gift completion.
If a pullback in the overall revenue picture of many organizations is in the works, it's a pretty good time to remind H.R. managers how valuable the online piece is to the organization.