There’s a lot to feel good about if you’re a fundraiser.
Catching up on my reading I stumbled on an article by Jo Saxton at NFP Synergy with some downbeat predictions on how life for the fundraiser will get harder in the next ten years. ‘Downbeat’ isn’t a criticism by the way (‘worrying’ might be better) and nor am I about to downplay the issues in what follows.
That said, there are some very good reasons to be cheerful as well. Here then are six things I hope will make you feel a little more upbeat on a Monday morning.
1. Bits and Bytes
I don’t agree that we’ve missed the digital boat. Maybe the corporate sector is a little ahead but business still spends billions on so called ‘traditional’ media. Just look at any Sunday supplement or your own doormat to see that. And why? Because a lot of it is still hugely profitable, and a lot of digital just isn’t, or at least not yet.
Some of the new media messiahs who fifteen years ago predicted the death of direct mail raised our expectations too high and too soon and it’s one reason why we’re now lamenting our digital ‘failure’ when really it’s nothing of the sort.
2. Groups With Guitars Are On The Way Out
Prediction is a risky business. What we think will happen might happen differently or not at all. (Remember, we were told that direct mail would go the way of the dodo).
Similarly, there’s no written rule that says a new Code of Fundraising Practice will be bad just because it will leave the IoF. It depends of course on where it goes and who will make any changes, but what’s to say that they’ll rush to impose restrictive regulation? Let’s wait and see.
3. Who Wants Yesterday’s Papers?
The media is fickle and charities won’t be top of the target list for ever. The horror stories will die down and confidence should start to improve just by an absence of the negative.
That’s not to advocate complacency nor inaction when change it has to come. But our reputation is as much in our own hands as it is in the Daily Mail’s and if we can do a little better in our own defence then we don’t have to stay in the national bad books forever.
4. Mother’s Invention, Frankly
Humans are an infinitely adaptable lot. When things get tough we get clever. As long as we keep adding bright and ballsy people to the sector then who’s to say what innovations we’ll dream up to solve our woes and take us into bright and exciting new direct directions.
5. Cover of the Rolling Stone
Yes we’ll keep getting richer (probably). Even if the spread of wealth is uneven a richer country overall is as much good news for charities as it is for builders and retailers. True, donors may have a different proportion of their disposable income to give to charity but with economic growth that proportion could be just as big in absolute terms as what they have now.
6. When I’m Ninety-Four
Finally, and before we annoy the baby boomers by reminding them of their age, let’s not forget that they’ll be with us for a while to come. Many will be here for another decade, and the youngest for longer than that.
Cheer up everyone!
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