Thursday, December 3, 2009

News You Can Use

Maintaining Good Donations in Hard Times

Well, with Thanksgiving just a calorie-filled memory, we are now truly in the Holiday Season. This is the time of year when many a person's thoughts turn to love for his or her neighbor. It is after all the season of giving.

An article in the Wall Street Journal by one of "The Hub"'s favorite writers - Karen Blumenthal - suggests that the current year end may not be as generous as in years past because of the lingering economic malaise. Her piece "Tough Choice for Givers" describes 2009 as a down year for giving. The American Red Cross found that 20% of donors were scaling back donations. Even the venerable American Cancer Society has seen an 11% decline in giving.

The point of the article is to help the many people wrestling with perhaps giving less or confused as to how they might effectively give in 2009. Consider these points in your own giving. Also think how your LC could appear more donation-worthy.

  • Think like a foundation - Foundations base giving decisions on the effectiveness of the charity. What we can do: describe more fully how cost effective our program is. 100% of each dollar donated to you now goes directly to local services.
  • Make your list - List the charities you support and prioritize them. Then break the charities into tiers and give gifts based on tier. What we can do: A note now to your past donors advising them that your need is greater than ever and explaining that a gift ant last year's level (or greater) would be so important this year.
  • Look for a match - a great leverage is a donor who will match funds. If one of your charities has this, it might help your decision-making. What we can do: Do you have a past donor who might be interested? This might convince him/her to step up this year.
  • Be Selective - There are lots of scammers out there as well tele-charities that call for donations and spend that money on fundraising. Give to charities you know. What we can do: Remind our Masonic donors of the Fraternity that founded and supports our Centers and of its solemn obligation to be "on the level." Then ask in the spitit of charity for support.


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