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.
The Most Influential ‘Living Person’ in Philanthropy
Robert F. Hartsook Receives Honorary Doctorate of Business
Plymouth University, United Kingdom
Bob Hartsook was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration by Plymouth University in Plymouth, England. The University described Bob as: “arguably the most influential living person improving the philanthropic donor experience.” Such global affirmation appropriately recognizes Bob and uniquely distinguishes Hartsook as the world’s fundraising counsel.”
Plymouth University honors individuals who have achieved great distinction in their professional lives and who have made contributions to society at large. In recognizing Bob Hartsook’s impressive achievements, the University has highlighted his service to the field of philanthropy, his promotion of academic study and research and his personal commitment to growing philanthropy around the world. Go here to learn more and view videos from this event.
Pictured: Karin Cox, Hartsook Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer; Julian Chaudhuri, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience; Bob Hartsook; Adrian Sargeant, Professor of Fundraising at Plymouth University and the Director of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy; Jen Shang, Philanthropic Psychologist and Director of Research at the University of Plymouth Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy; Matthew J. Beem, Hartsook President and CEO.