Fundraisers: Hurtling Over the Fiscal Cliff?

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Let’s face it—it’s never good to go into high fundraising season with a constant national drone about an impending “fiscal cliff” hovering over our heads. It may leave potential donors and you fundraiser types feeling just a little unsettled.

The fiscal cliff is not the only destabilizer, of course. This is a strange and unsettled time, where money for some things flows freely while other fields are faced with the need to contract, even while the call for services increases.

It is not—no matter what people say—a rational funding landscape out there, even where individual giving is concerned. There are emerging realms like online direct giving, online giving through intermediaries, and crowdfunding, the characteristics of which we are only just beginning to understand. And there is the veiled personal giving that is more and more being funneled through donor-advised funds. Billionaires are having their own conferences focusing on how to give their money away, and the well-oiled machines of large institutional development have never missed a beat.     

What is a small to midsize nonprofit to do?

NPQ is trying to keep you all informed, such as with this article by Beth Kantor and Katie Delahaye Paine on social fundraising, but you can help us all stay apace with your own ideas and experiences.

What will it take to attract the attention of donors during this holiday season? Are you confident about your campaigns? How have they changed? What new ideas are you going to try out?

We would love to hear how you are thinking about your 2012 end-of-year fundraising, in the comment section below.

Or, maybe you have a question about some form of fundraising you think you should be exploring. Let’s talk together about this now, experiment with new ideas, and then debrief in January!

  • jme

    we’re trying some new things this year- setting a large goal, whereas before we just encouraged donations but didn’t set a goal…we didn’t feel like we needed to before. however this year, we have the most pets we’ve ever cared for (nearly twice as many) and so many young ones- we require a large infusion of cash quickly, in order to be available for all that need us. we have been pushing the overall campaign (raise our hopes- heal our pets), and showing different pets that are currently befitting from our help- from a puppy who sadly died of a birth defect, to a puppy who was the sole survivor of her litter, to the more than 40 kittens we cleared out from a no kill shelter, so they would not lose their lives! kittens, who as always, get sick as soon as they get comfy. we’re dealing with upper respiratory infections, diarrhea and ringworm even- but thankfully our fosters are dedicated and ready to help…we just need more donations! we are trying a new pet related crowd funding site called, and we hope this will have great success. we’re still working on some projects to utilize other sites like indigogo too- and working on some grants. we just received a small one and are waiting to hear about some others as well. we also do contests and the voting type nomination things for extra opportunities- either way we gain attention, interest and traffic. and yes, we have stooped to “promoting” our facebook posts- it really does get traffic, but haven’t seen a great rise in donations because of it.