Domestic Charities to Reassess Fundraising in 2005
10 January 2005 at 12:01 pm
Record amounts of private and corporate giving to International Aid Agencies in Tsunami relief will see some domestic charities re-assessing their fundraising forecasts for 2005.
Many charities are already planning their responses to donors who say “I gave to the Tsunami Appeal” and believe that domestic donations may be significantly lower in 2005.
However many large welfare organisations say they have not cancelled their next planned major appeals including the Salvation Army.
The Salvo’s John Dalziel says people have been extremely generous and they have been made aware of a new dimension in their lives and the response has been wonderful.
He says the disaster has made Australians more ‘giving’ as well as made them aware that it is possible to give more.
The Salvos’ Red Shield Appeal includes eight direct mail campaigns throughout the year and there are no plans to delay or cancel the campaigns.
The challenge for most charities is whether or not to mention the Tsunami Disaster in their next round of direct marketing to existing donors.
John Dalziel says the Salvation Army will not be mentioning the Tsunami tragedy in its domestic appeals.
He says the Salvos have a separate appeal to assist their relief work that already exists in Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia in which 100% of the donation goes to their overseas aid.
Michelle Trevorrow from the Peter Mac Cancer Centre in Melbourne says after the Bali bombings and Canberra bushfires the hospital’s direct marketing campaigns were not affected.
As well donations since Christmas have increased on the previous year.
Trevorrow says however the next few months would not be the time to try to acquire new donors.
She says Peter Mac has decided to set up a targeted appeal to its regular donors outlining the cancer centre’s links with the Tsunami disaster including volunteering by medical staff and its fundraising collaboration with CARE Australia.
Light House which addresses youth issues including homelessness says it has begun the re-assessment process.
Founder and CEO, Sue Barton says she trusts Australians will remain aware of local needs and continue to give.
Barton says the challenge is to find new and innovative ways to keep local issues in the public arena.
She says Light House will refocus on how it tells its story to the public.
She says while many of the regular donors may have given to the Tsunami Appeals perhaps they can approach donating in other ways such as giving up the cost of theatre tickets or a day’s salary to coincide with a special or happy occasion.
She says Light House will take advice on whether to mention the Tsunami Appeals in its regular communications with donors in coming months.
A US consultancy called e-Fund has it’s own advice for domestic charities saying that if you are trying to raise funds not associated with the tsunami then it is a ‘modified’ business as usual.
e-Fund says ignoring a story this big will seem absurd to your donors, so recognise what’s happening.
It says that if you are sending an email to raise money for higher education, for example appeal to the need for more educated doctors or forensic specialists in a time like this. If you are a regional group caring for children affected by violence, make the correlation and acknowledge that the children in Asia are not so different from the ones at home.
It suggests that a staff psychologist put together a list of helpful hints for parents whose children are seeing very graphic images. Send the tips out to your email list and tell them to pass it along to friends.
e-Fund says most importantly, think about your own disaster plan. What if the emergency was close to home? Are you ready to raise money online at a moment’s notice?
The Royal Children’s Hospital runs an annual telethon each year in Victoria on Good Friday and appeal organisers say they are quietly optimistic that donors won’t let them down this Easter.
The Good Friday Appeal office admits that the pubs and clubs that fundraise all year have been quiet since Christmas but their efforts up until then have been above average.
Pro Bono Australia’s Online Instant Poll is looking for your input on this topic and asks the question: ” Will the Asian Tsunami Disaster Appeals affect your charity’s domestic fundraising for 2005?” Will it
– decrease expected donations
– increase expected donations
– no change expected
We will publish the results in our next edition. If you would like to make a more substantial contribution to this debate then join our online Forum. Just click Forum on the home page menu in the left hand column or email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.