What do you do when the Stock Market Plunges 500 points!

Wow!  The stock market plunged downward yesterday.  I guess that means you should stop all spending on your development and marketing plans and just hope for the best.

Not a chance!

If you have been waiting for the right time to either start a major gift program, get some help with your major gift program or in any way increase the amount of time you spend on your major gift program, NOW IS TIME!

Why?  Because those with wealth in this country are SPENDING  like they did before the recession.  And, if people with wealth are spending, they are also giving.

Here’s a link to a New York Times article that came out Thursday on how people of wealth and companies that cater to them are fairing.  It’s amazing!

New York Times Article

Now, even though the stock market may fluctuate on a day to day basis, (especially like it did yesterday) since March 2009 the stock market has grown 80%.  Here are some other important stats in the article:

1. The top 5% of the wealthiest individuals account for 1/3 of all spending in the U.S.

2. The top 20% of the wealthiest individuals account for 60% of all spending.

3. BMW profits are up 16.5%

4. Porsche profits are up 59% over last year.

5. Tiffany sales are up 20% over last year.

In addition, the tax rates for the wealthiest in the United States are at their lowest in the last 60 years.

Now, putting aside your politics or your feelings regarding these stats, the fact remains that the wealthy are incredibly active in our economy and it’s your responsibility to help bring some of that activity to your organization.

I have to be honest with you.  I’m seeing so many development directors who are short-sighted and NOT beefing up their major gift programs.  While overall the economy is tough and unemployment is very high, this is not the time to hunker down and stop spending on programs that yield a high ROI.

Don’t let the economy that affects you and me cloud your thinking here.

With most non-profits, the top 10-15% of your donor base gives you 80%-90% of your revenue…why would you not invest in these good people?

If you can sense the urgency as I’m writing…you’re very perceptive!  Everyday, I see highly developed direct-response acquisition programs, well-thought out social networking plans, but either very sparse or non-existent major gift programs.

A well-planned, focused, strategic, major gift program will yield incredible results for your organization.

Folks…let’s get on it!

Jeff

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About Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry

Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry have over 55 years of experience fundraising for non-profits. Richard Perry was co-owner of Domain Group until 2005. Jeff Schreifels was a Senior Strategist for Domain Group for 12 years. They came together a few years ago to start Veritus Group, a full-service major gift fundraising agency. Veritus Group has a unique, data-driven approach unlike any agency focused on major gifts. Jeff and Richard are passionate about their work, passionate about life and hopes this blog will provide you with insights and tangible benefits for you and your work. Thank you for reading!
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