Philanthropy In Times of Crisis – The Importance of Case Stating

17 03 2011

Turmoil in the Middle East, Tsunamis, and a possible nuclear crisis – this is not exactly the environment you were thinking of for launching your capital campaign, major gift solicitation, or next annual giving appeal.  The great recession made donors cautious in a way that had not been seen for a very long time.  The mega-gift took a hiatus, large major gifts were truncated (smaller gifts often given in cash with no long term pledge), and giving flat-lined or declined for many institutions.

But we should ask why didn’t all giving take a hit?  The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s new survey, “The Effect of the Economy on Health Care Philanthropy” indicates that nearly 71% of respondents saw a negative impact on their fundraising efforts.  Understandable? Sure. How about the other 29% who remained even or made gains?

Gains were made across the non-profit landscape including some educational institutions, some healthcare, some arts, and some social service.  Common themes were better donor relationships and as part of that — better case stating.  So as we potentially enter a new era of uncertainty have you:

  • Strengthened relationships with existing or potential donors?
  • Made your case compelling and urgent?


On annual giving surveys with thousands of donors and non-donors, the number one reason people do not give – financial.  So make your case important enough to make the donor prioritize giving to you and make sure you have sufficient access to the prospect to ensure effective delivery of those critical messages.




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