Opportunity Expanded

In my last post, I mentioned the opportunity I see in the latest tax law change.

My point is that it is possible that the fundraising landscape has changed enough that any forward-thinking, creative non-profit could really take advantage of the situation.  This advantage could not only solidify their own donor base but also add to it.

However, as I continue to read post after post, opinion after opinion, I see that my use of “opportunity” was too narrow.

With a quick search on Twitter or nonprofit focused LinkedIn groups, you will find this tax law change and the resulting opportunity taken in an entirely different direction.

Below is a list of just some of the ways I’ve seen “opportunity” represented in response to this change and its ensuring uncertainty:

Consultants selling webinar seats to explain the code and “what it means to your non-profit.”

Direct marketing vendors already talking about increased mail schedules and volumes.

Consultants/vendors offering content for donor information e-blasts to educate constituents about the impact of the change.

Fundraisers talking about leveraging the uncertainty to try a new strategy, knowing if it fails they can blame the change.

Nonprofit executives discussing how to inspire fundraisers who are discouraged by the change (and if goals should be adjusted).

Content vendors leveraging the change to adjust prices because “everything has to be rewritten and reprinted.”

Consultants using scare tactics to sell their services so that the tax code change “doesn’t force your charity to closes its doors.”

Advocacy groups leveraging the action as a reason why they are more important (and in turn in more need of your funds) than ever before.

Etc., etc., etc….

To be clear, most of these aren’t in-and-of-themselves bad or wrong (though some certainly are).  Some non-profits will need help and nearly all will benefit from an outside perspective as they reevaluate their fundraising and constituent engagement strategy.  Just make sure you are selecting someone for the right reasons.

If you elect to partner with someone to help you chart your course, I would urge you find someone who aligns with your mission’s, well, mission.  Partner with a person or company who projects the future you want to see and has the experience to help you get there.

Above all, be 100% comfortable with the partner.   What they suggest should make you uncomfortable, but the person delivering it should not.

We are a week into 2018, and ahead lays a year chock full of opportunity.  Perhaps more opportunity for meaningful donor engagement than any other year in the last quarter century.  But, if all you do is what you have done, then I fear it won’t turn out well for you.   Latch on to this opportunity, leverage it, and allow it to thrust your mission to the next level.

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