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What Does the Future Hold? A Bold Prediction.

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As we settle into another month of staying indoors, a lot of people and so-called experts are making a lot of speculations about what’s next — for public health, for the economy, for our society as a whole.
It’s an understandable response. We are scared, and we’re looking for ways to find order amongst the chaos.But the truth is, no one really knows what the future holds on this pandemic and the economy. And while some guesses are more educated than others, for the most part, they’re simply that: guesses.

Keeping it Real

I’m not going to play that game. I can not tell you how the COVID crisis is going to play out over the next few months, or how it’s going to affect our day-to-day lives when the dust settles. I won’t guess at what’s going to happen to the economy, or how our daily lives will — or won’t — change, long-term.

But with almost three decades of experience in the fundraising world, I can predict, with a great deal of authority, what’s next for philanthropy — regardless of the current economy.

Are you ready? Here it is:

Giving is going to grow.

You read it correctly the first time, but go ahead and read it again:

Giving is going to grow.

How can I make such a bold prediction?

Because I know that we Americans, despite all our differences, are a truly generous society. In fact, we’re the most generous on the planet — and that holds across all our social and economic classes.

The Ties That Bind

And in times of crisis, we band together to do good, to prop each other up and help wherever, whenever, we can.

We did it after the stock market crash of 2008. We did it after 9/11. We did it after Hurricane Katrina. We did it after World War I and World War II. We’ve been helping each other out, consistently, since this country was formed 244 years ago.

Right now we’re in the thick of a shared experience. We’re cut off from family and friends; cut off from our daily routines. We’re sheltering in place, limiting travel and contact, and doing our best to create new routines during these challenging times.

And we’re all doing it at the same time. We’re sharing the same fears, the same worries, the same heartbreaks.

And just like every other time before in our history, we will band together, help each other, and come through this crisis stronger than before.

Act Now

Your job, as an executive in the philanthropic world, is to be prepared.

Take this time to work on new fundraising initiatives. Launch a simple planned giving program. Connect with your donors and prospects. Thank them. Reassure them. Reach out to them. Here’s what Jeff Comfort and I recommended in this webinar.

And be prepared to see a new wave of philanthropy in the wake of this shared experience — the kind of philanthropy that we Americans are famous for.

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