The Road Ahead in a Changing Marketplace

Responding to Current Market Survey Results

The results of our Outlook 2009 on-line survey* painted a clear picture of what most of us already know. . . raising money today is challenging. But, as development professionals are an optimistic lot, let’s focus on the positive and work to find the best path forward.

What did we learn? We learned that the future lies with individuals. Not exactly an “ah ha” moment you say, yet it seems that far too many organizations have to learn this lesson time and time again. Our survey results show that there are organizations raising more money than in previous years, and the contrast of these organizations that bucked the downward trend did so with individual donors.

Individuals are still giving, and those organizations which did raise more did so with larger gifts from individuals. Many were actively engaged in capital campaigns, others saw improvement from focused major gift efforts, and in the words of one survey participant “we asked more people to give.” We believe the results of our survey point to the activities and disciplines that will lead your organization to better results.

We must carry the disciplined focus of leading individuals through the defined major gift metric that clearly exists in a capital campaign to our day-to-day development activities. For many of our colleagues, it is just this activity that resulted in their increased levels of gift revenue. Many others are on this path as they identified that they are working toward:

    • revising overall fund-raising strategies,
    • specifically increasing efforts with annual/recurring gifts, and
    • increasing efforts with major gift programs.

Surprisingly, these are not entirely unlike previous years; however, we believe there is a renewed sense of urgency to accomplish these shifts in strategy and tactics, and we as a firm have been listening.

Over the past several months we have been working to develop an array of services that respond to these shifting needs with solutions that can fit into today’s nonprofit organizational budgets and operational urgency.

    • Our SMART-FOCUS Fund-Raising Analysis is affordably priced and can be completed in about 30 days. The design of this unique analysis is focused on identifying the strengths of your organization, development programs and staff. Our recommendations strive to identify specific and immediate tactics that your organization can implement with little or no additional cost. We work to position these recommendations within an overall organizational metric for improved and continued growth in your fund-raising results.
    • We have forged an alliance with a computer application developer specializing in on-line, peer-to-peer fund-raising, targeted e-Mail and social media marketing. Our goal is to help our clients integrate new opportunities created by today’s social internet to cast a wider net to attract new donors, to improve their ability to build community and to drive operational efficiencies.
    • To support and improve your major gift efforts, we can provide individualized development action plans, board and staff training, or direct the electronic prospect research and qualification of your donor and broader prospect constituency database.

Successful organizations will respond to today’s marketplace by working to expand the number of donors and neutralizing the current market trend toward a smaller dollar volume of recurring gift transactions.

Goettler Associates has a prescription for the changes in the fund-raising marketplace that so many organizations are facing today. We can assist you not only with determining the right strategies for your particular situation and existing resources, we can also help you to implement new strategies and new tactics; improve your annual/sustaining gifts programs; and, of course, with your major and special gifts program.

Our firm is confident that the nonprofit sector will find innovative solutions to generate sufficient financial resources and get back to the important work ahead.


click here for a pdf version: FRM53