Unfortunately, as I see it, yes.I asked my friends at Blackbaud if anyone had compared the rate of decrease of discretionary buying by the American public from 2008 to, say, 2010 (let’s keep this most recent financial picture out of it) and compare it to the Giving USA report of decrease in giving?The answer was, not that they were aware.Well, I did.We all have read that Giving USA has revised their numbers. They added in estates, which meant that ’08 really didn’t lose money and we adjusted for IRS studies . . . you get it.But what it says in dollars is that the loss went from $309 billion to $290 billion in that three-year period.That was a three-year loss of 6%. Which isn’t much, considering the national media claimed that the world of nonprofits was practically coming to an end!Wouldn’t you consider giving to be a discretionary “buying” decision?Want to guess how much discretionary buying has gone down from September, 2008 to September, 2010 according to the Gallup report of October 11, 2010?Oh, Bob, you say . . . It is probably the same. Though it could be a bit more . . . giving to my Church matters so I continue to give. . .Well, I could bore you with hundred more of those trite comments I have heard.Discretionary buying went down 40% over this same three year period, September 2008 to September 2010.That’s six times — or 600% — more than giving.If you were one of the smart nonprofits that ignored the wails and whines and “the world is coming to an end” prophesies of the nonprofit media, you raised a lot of money in the last three years.If not, you were too busy shrinking and cutting back to notice donors shopping elsewhere.Let’s see. What other excuses can we come up with for not raising money?Or better yet, I have an idea. Wouldn’t it be a lot more productive to come up with reasons to raise money? If we did, our donors just might buy them.
Photo credits: National WWI Museum
President and Trustee
The Sunderland Foundation
Recipient of the
2018 GROWING PHILANTHROPY AWARD FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL CAPITAL PHILANTHROPY
Kent Sunderland was presented with the prestigious Growing Philanthropy Award in Kansas City by Hartsook President and CEO
Matthew J. Beem during National WWI Museum and Memorial’s VIP event, Night at the Tower.
He was nominated by Matthew Naylor, Ph.D., President and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial, and was selected unanimously by Hartsook Institutes and the International Board of Visitors Growing Philanthropy Committee.
Kent was Vice Chairman of Ash Grove Cement prior to its recent sale. As President of The Sunderland Foundation, he has played a significant role in advancing philanthropy with major gifts.
The Growing Philanthropy Award recognizes a distinguished group of individuals and organizations whose efforts increase philanthropy through research, innovation and challenging the status quo. For more information, contact [email protected].