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ANNOUNCEMENT: 'Fundraising in Challenging Economic Times' Podcast Now Online

January 15, 2009

Last month, Janet Camarena, director of the Foundation Center's San Francisco office, sat down with Kim Klein, internationally known educator, author, and fundraising consultant, to discuss fundraising strategies for tough economic times. The podcast is the latest installment of Philanthropy Chat, a series of recorded interviews featuring experts and thought leaders in the field.

(Total running time: 23 minutes, 32 seconds)

Among other things, Klein offered the following advice:

  • Nonprofits shouldn't necessarily resort to cutting important programs and services; instead, why not try to raise more money? Too often, says Klein, nonprofits cut programs instead of reaching out and asking for additional help. If there was ever a time to reach out to donors and close supporters, this is it.
  • If your board insists on cuts, then suggest some specific things that should be done before any cuts are made.
  • Try and put yourself in your donors' shoes. "We have to remember: the vast majority of gifts come from an individual's income, and the vast majority of people remain employed." For big donors who have suffered significant losses in the downturn, your outreach strategy will have to be calibrated differently. Explain that your organization continues to do great work but is making adjustments in light of the difficult economic circumstances. Also consider reaching out to them with volunteer opportunities such as hosting a house party. Donors like and want to hear that they've been critical to your organization's work and success.
  • Donors respond well to specifics (e.g., what does it cost per day to keep your doors open). Almost any organization that thinks creatively can describe its work in terms of how much it costs to do a specific thing. You can build loyalty among your donors by helping to educate them about their giving. Being transparent about your organization's finances is a start.

To download an mp3 version (10MB) of the podcast, click here.

And be sure to check out the audio events archive for more Philanthropy Chat podcasts.

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