I was reading an article on the AdvisorOne website called Nonprofits Must Take Action to Weather the Recession. The title caught my eye because of the planning meetings we are having at MindFrame, the digital fundraising company where I am a partner. On Monday we were discussing the landscape of the nonprofit and fundraising world in relation to the recession. Allen Rosso, our managing partner, had this to say about the recession:

Technically the recession is over. We are starting to see a rise in consumer confidence, drop in the unemployment rate, and the stock market has been (generally) on the rise. However, the downturn isn’t necessarily over. We are seeing examples of this in budget cuts (federal and state). Unemployment has improved but it is still an issue. The nonprofit world is and will be experiencing massive declines in funding because of cuts in the state/federal grants and the decrease in endowment investment.

I don’t mean to paint the picture of doom and gloom. Believe me… I hate painting and I despise the concept of doom. It is going to be an interesting time for nonprofits in the next few years because of a shortfall in monetary contributions. However, there is good news.

With the economy rebounding smaller gifts are becoming even more important to organizations. We are seeing a shift in the giving patterns of individuals and the market.

The number of donors are increasing and the gift size is decreasing.

This means that the importance of understanding the INDIVIDUAL is paramount. At MindFrame we have a saying that should be echoed through every hallway at every organization…

It is about WHO instead of HOW MANY.

There are plenty of things on the “weather the recession list” but just as important is the concept of change and adaptation. It is important that we (as an organization) understand what makes each individual (who has given and will give) tick.

Are you changing the way you communicate to put more emphasis on the individual instead of a mass mailing?

It is about time.