Video interview with Margaret Bennett at 29th IFC

Margaret Bennett of THINK Consulting was head of individual giving at WWF-UK during the recession of the 1990s. She shared some of her experiences and those of other charities from those times at her masterclass at this week’s International Fundraising Congress.

Speaking to UK Fundraising just after the masterclass, she explained some of the topics she had covered with the delegates.

She started with the good news: committed givers will most probably stay with your charity, and some might even give more. Other supporters might pause in their giving.

What should charities do in this recession? They need to focus on existing supporters, identify and focus on sustainable income, and strive to ensure general, uncommitted income is maintained.

To do this charities need to re-examine their fundraising portfolio and focus on their core fundraising activities. As a result, they should focus a little less on recruiting new supporters.

In addition, fundraising managers must protect their fundraising team, since too many charities are tempted to cut fundraising staff when times are bad. Bennett argues that you need to invest in fundraising and be ready to respond to new opportunities, and take advantage of the recovery when it comes. “Go against the trend – recruit more fundraisers”, she added.

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