Editor's Letter – November 2009

For charities, money is the message

Steven Biller Social Scene 0 Comments

As Palm Springs Life this month presents its annual Social Datebook & Charity Register, we must acknowledge the fiscal challenges that philanthropic organizations face as the economy slowly recovers.

Charities have recent history on their side: Gving remained strong after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. And, while giving wanes during recessions, the average annual increase in giving over the past 40 years is 2.8 percent.

In addition to presenting the Social Datebook & Charity Register, we have aggregated strategies to help charities weather the recession:

* Communicate with prospects. If you continue asking them to give, they will appreciate the special need for their support.Be tactful and explain how you will use their dollars wisely.

* Emphasize your mission. It is more important now than ever. Explain to donors the consequences of falling short in fundraising. Who will suffer, go without, or be worse off?

* Focus on key prospects.Target donors who are most likely to give. With some exceptions, your best donors from the past are your top prospects for major gifts. But expand your reach toward prospects in recession-proof businesses.

* Encourage planned gifts, particularly annuities.

* Instill confidence in stewardship. Demonstrate how you have carefully used previous donations.

* Emphasize your need. Some of the most dependable donors will give when charities most need their contributions. This holds true in recessions, too, if they believe in the mission, trust the leadership, and enjoy personal involvement.

Our 11th annual Social Datebook & Charity Register, edited by Palm Springs Life Managing Editor Olga Reyes, offers a comprehensive guide to local charitable organizations — their missions, contacts, and major fundraising events.

We hope you will use this resource to help those who will find cures, ease suffering, improve quality of life, and educate and enlighten as many people as possible.

Additionally, the feature “Making His Mark” by Deputy Editor Janice Kleinschmidt celebrates the philanthropic contributions of Jim Casey of Integrated Wealth Management and introduces his new series of intimate dinners to benefit local charities.

Enlighten, inspire, and give!

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