Recently, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the calendar year is off to a strong philanthropic start. According to a survey of selected large charities, the median increase in giving during the first quarter of 2010 as compared to a year ago is 11%! Not bad.
I’m not an economist, so I can’t say with authority (or conviction) that the recession is over. However, what I can say is that visiting with clients and donors around the country has provided me with enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that most folk no longer believe the economic sky is falling. The Chronicle survey supports this general sense of optimism.
During the past couple of years, most expert advice-giver types suggested that organizations should engage major donors but not necessarily follow-through with plans to ask them for gifts. The timing was simply all wrong. If your organization has not already moved away from a self-imposed moratorium on asking your major donors, I suggest you do so immediately.