- The Mayan Calendar predicts that the world will come to an end before December 25, 2012.
- The U.S. Congressional Calendar predicts that philanthropic incentives may be legislated out of existence sometime soon.
Sure — somebody somewhere always thinks the world is coming to an end. But when the government starts playing around with the philanthropic benefits that donors can take to the bank, fundraisers tend to take it personally. Should we be concerned that there may be some unwelcome taxes or other legislation in our future?
Our take is: Fundraisers with their hair on fire don’t close gifts. We have better alternatives.Rather than spread alarm and despondency we’ve got some helpful suggestions that we feel will prepare us for whatever eventuality comes down the pipe.
Let’s start with the bottom line: Regardless of what happens, let’s not forget that it’s the fundamentals of philanthropy that keep donors giving through good times and bad.
- Focus on your mission and vision.
Donors will support what inspires them, and that’s the good work you do now and intend to do in the future. Show them the satisfaction and pride they can take in helping your organization to make its special kind of difference in the world. Leaving a legacy has permanent appeal.
- Tell people why America needs us 20 years from now.
Don’t let present-day storm and stress distract your prospects from what their legacy will accomplish the future. And the future is what matters. The support they give now enables your organization to continue to exist – and pursue its mission – when today’s headlines are just a memory. We repeat: Leaving a legacy has permanent appeal.
- Bequests, bequests, bequests.
This gift type outstrips all others in popularity, and it just happens to be the gift that costs donors nothing during their lifetime. It’s easy to give and easy to receive, and current events aren’t going to change that. One more time: Leaving a legacy has permanent appeal.
None of us can see over the horizon. So let’s quit trying to do the impossible. And instead of fretting about it let’s get down to what we do best – inspiring and motivating our prospects to make the world a better place by leaving a significant legacy to support our missions.
Spread the word, fundraisers: Philanthropy is here to stay.