Flashpoint: Loss of Expected Funds Forces Bay Area Nonprofits to Change Programming, Fundraising Strategies Edit Title

In a continuing effort to monitor the impact of the economic slowdown and September 11th aftermath on nonprofit fundraising efforts, CompassPoint surveyed participants at its East Bay Funders Fair held on February 20, 2002. Three hundred and fifty executive directors and development staff attended the conference held at the Oakland Marriott. Patti Chang, President and CEO of The Women’s Foundation delivered the keynote address, describing this as a “confusing” and “uncertain” period in which “private sector losses are taking a heavy toll on nonprofits.”
In response to the economy, many nonprofits have been forced to alter their fundraising strategies. Respondents mentioned putting corporate fundraising on hold, increasing collaboration with other community organizations, and hiring additional development staff to generate more asks as among the tactics they have employed. Focusing on individual giving has been a frequent response to the corporate and foundation reductions. One development associate claimed, “Our direct mail campaign was unexpectedly successful—regular donors gave generously.” In fact, 7% of respondents even reported that their fundraising was up because of the economic slowdown.
Still, the degree of programmatic shifting and cancellation reported is sobering. Many of those who anticipate loss or reduction of a significant source within the next 6 months are awaiting State budget cuts.
Despite the uncertainty, respondents overall remained guardedly optimistic that they would be able to meet their fundraising goals for 2002.

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