Charities, Fundraisers Consider Possibility of Double-Dip Recession

As bad economic news in the United States and around the world continues to threaten the fragile recovery, charities and fundraisers are bracing for the possibility of a double-dip recession and slowdown in giving, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.

Many charities have been unable to match fundraising levels they reached before the recession began in December 2007. While some organizations were anticipating an improved fundraising climate in 2011, others remained bearish — a stance that appears sensible given recent debt crises in Europe and the decision last week by Standard & Poor's to downgrade the U.S. government's credit rating, which contributed to the steepest drop in the stock market since the crash of 2008.

But charities should not get distracted by the national or global economy, fundraising consultant Robert F. Sharpe told the Chronicle. Indeed, local and regional employment trends may have a greater impact on fundraising efforts, though some donors will continue to have enough wealth to be generous.

Still, the threat of a double-dip recession "will probably not make a difference in moving forward with a campaign, but it could take a long time" to raise money, said Bruce Flessner, a Minneapolis-based consultant who helps plan large fundraising drives. "Anyone with a big ask out now will see a pause."

Holly Hall. "Fundraisers Mull Effects of a Double-Dip Recession." Chronicle of Philanthropy 08/08/2011.