In a time of economic uncertainty when many nonprofits are seeing donations fall, one way to conquer a potential donor’s concerns about the economy is to learn whether it is personal or national discomfort that causes their reluctance. Learning the source of discomfort could lead to a donor’s realization that the gift should still be made.
So said Jason Franklin, executive director of Bolder Giving, an organization that encourages philanthropy. Franklin and Anika Rahman, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, a nonprofit that raises the majority of its $10 million annual budget from big gifts, took questions from attendees at a live Web discussion sponsored by The Chronicle of Philanthropy on how donors can be asked or even challenged to provide major gifts to philanthropic causes.
Citing a number of donors he’s talked with, Franklin said that it was important to get more information about a refusal from a donor who cites the economy as a factor.
“I’ve talked with several donors who were feeling uncertain,” Franklin said in the discussion, “but after talking realized that they were doing fine and in fact felt drawn to give more in a time of overall economic uncertainty because they had the comfort and stability to give.”