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!