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Fundraisers for Arts, Environment Coping Despite Priority Shifts

AFP members from non-human service organizations said their core supporters are stepping into lead roles in these tough times to make sure the curtain still goes up.

“We have seen phenomenal support from individuals,” said Clyde Kunz, chief development officer of the Arizona Theatre Company in Phoenix. “I was getting a bit worried knowing we had $400,000 in pledges due by the end of December. We did have a couple donors ask to change their payment schedule, but the rest has come in like clockwork,” he said.  A few donors even fulfilled pledges early because they said they knew times were tough.

The same is true for Jill Koski, vice president of development at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill. “We’ve seen our closest donors increasing their giving because they know these are hard times for us,” she explained. Her organization is focusing on stewardship of current donors and retention and is enlisting the help of core supporters to communicate its message.

Yet, Koski said they took a hard look at their revenue goals for 2009, setting a goal with more modest expectations that she says are simply realistic given the times—despite the fact that they exceeded their goals in 2008.

Changing Priorities of Funders

Unfortunately what has been true of individual giving will not likely be true for corporate and foundation giving in 2009.

Koski explained that a longtime corporate supporter of the Arboretum has told them they are rethinking their giving strategy to focus on people affected by housing foreclosures. “They are absolutely right that people are hurting in terms of housing and other important areas,” she says. “That could mean, though, that we will get less funding.”

Kunz said that in his area, support from state and local governments is “absolutely tanking.” “The state of Arizona has warned organizations that there could be a 70 percent reduction in funding.”

Frank Bourget, director of development for the Phoenix Symphony in Phoenix, Ariz., said that foundations in his area have announced a short-term shift in focus toward human service organizations. While corporate giving remains intact, he said his organization is also seeing a drop-off in giving levels by individuals. “People tell us that they still want to support us but they just can’t right now.”

In response, Bourget said the plan is to meet with more past donors and reengage them. Kunz said he has stepped up his direct mail and telephone solicitations, and broadened his base of contacts, including calling past ticket buyers.

Stewardship the Key

Existing and past donors, it seems, is the name of the game. None of them have stopped their new donor acquisition efforts, but acquisition is definitely a bigger challenge, Koski said, than engaging current or past supporters.

“Our message is that in these times we are more grateful than ever to our donors,” said Kunz. Bourget says their thank-you speech at curtain call now contains a call for support, but that they always thank people for coming, acknowledging they have a lot of choices of where to spend their money. In a recession there are certainly urgent charitable needs. All the more reason, these members say, to thank the people who choose to keep the lights on and the music playing at your organization.

For helpful advice on fundraising in a bad economy check out AFP’s Survival Toolkit on the AFP homepage,

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Fundraising Named One of Top 30 Careers in 2009

Fundraising has again been ranked among the best careers by U.S. News and World Report, receiving a grade of “A” in all categories including prestige and job market outlook.

The report also gave fundraising an “A” in job satisfaction and training difficulty. For the write-up by U.S. News and World Report please see the links in the electronic version of this issue. 

Do you have any feedback on the ratings and the description of fundraising that is set forth in the article? If so, email and we’ll compile the responses for a future issue.

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Donors More Numerous, More Generous in U.S. Than Canada

A new study shows that if Canadians gave at the same rate and level as U.S. donors, Canadian charities would have collected an additional $9.8 billion in 2006.

The Fraser Institute’s 2008 Generosity Index measures private monetary generosity using two indicators: the percentage of tax filers who donated to charities (i.e., the extent of generosity), and the percentage of aggregate personal incomes donated to charity (i.e., the depth of generosity).

In 2006, Americans gave 1.66 percent of their aggregate income to charity, with donations totaling US$182 billion. This rate of giving is more than double that of Canadians, who gave 0.76 percent of aggregate income (CA$8.4 billion in total) to charity in 2006. If Canadians had given, in aggregate, the same percentage of their incomes to charity as Americans did, the Canadian charitable sector would have received private donations worth an additional $9.8 billion.

In addition, a higher percentage of tax filers donated to charity in the United States (29.7 percent) compared to Canada (24.7 percent) during the 2006 tax year.

The provinces with the highest percentage of tax filers who donated to charity during the 2006 tax year are Manitoba (28.1 percent) and Ontario (26.7 percent). The province with the lowest percentage of tax filers who donated to charity is Newfoundland & Labrador (21.6 percent).

The provinces that donated the highest percentage of aggregate income to charity during the 2006 tax year are Manitoba (1.14 percent) and Ontario (0.92 percent). The province that donated the lowest percentage of its aggregate income to charity is Quebec (0.33 percent).

In terms of the percentage of aggregate income donated, Canadian provinces and territories fall behind every U.S. state except for North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and West Virginia during the 2006 tax year.

Canadian Giving Amount Increased But Fewer Gave

From 1996 to 2006 the extent of charitable giving fell in almost every Canadian province, meaning a smaller percentage of all tax filers gave to charity. British Columbia was the only province to see a slight increase (of 1.2 percent) in the percentage of tax filers donating to charity. The provinces that experienced the most pronounced drops in the percentage of tax filers donating to charity are Quebec (decreasing 12.6 percent) and Prince Edward Island (decreasing 10.3 percent). The only provinces that experienced decreases lower than 5.0 percent in the extent of charitable giving are Manitoba (decreasing 4.2 percent) and Newfoundland & Labrador (decreasing 0.9 percent).

In contrast to the provinces, the territories saw increases in the extent of charitable giving, led by the Yukon (increasing 40.0 percent) and the Northwest Territories including Nunavut (increasing 4.5 percent).

On the other hand, all Canadian provinces recorded increases in the percentage of aggregate income donated to charity between 1996 and 2006. The increase is most striking in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, where the percentage of aggregate income donated to charity grew by 43.8 percent and 36.2 percent, respectively. British Columbia and Ontario also saw significant increases in the depth of charitable giving, each recording increases above 25.0 percent at 35.4 percent and 29.1 percent, respectively. In sharp contrast, Newfoundland & Labrador recorded less than 5.0 percent growth in the percentage of aggregate income being donated to charity.

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Available Soon: AFP's Updated Review Course for CFRE Exam  

AFP’s revised CFRE Review Course will be available to chapters by the end of January.

After an intensive review of the previous version of AFP’s CFRE Review Course and of CFRE domain objectives, a 15-member AFP task force, assisted by AFP staff and a curriculum consultant, revised the course. Material from the former course was reordered and updated. Related content was pulled together in modules that parallel the exam domains: Current and Prospective Donor Research, Securing the Gift, Relationship Building, Volunteer Involvement, Management, and Accountability.

Using the domain objectives as a guide, new material was added throughout the course. Notable is a new and comprehensive section on staff management, expanded information on effectively working with volunteers, and more thorough treatment of planning, creating a comprehensive solicitation program, and building and sustaining relationships. A closer look at ethics and accountability includes a variety of resources the professional will find helpful in navigating this sometimes-tricky area.

Additionally, two new modules were added: a course introduction and a module entitled Marketing and Communications for Fundraising & Development. An extensive appendix section was developed for the participant manual that incorporates sample documents, articles, templates, and many other helpful resources organized by module.

For more information on course content go to the AFP website ( and click on Education & Career Development, then Certification & Career Management.

AFP is grateful to the hardworking course revision task force:  Dr. Mary Brumbach, CFRE, Chair; Donna Budak, CFRE; Glen W. Cosper, CFRE; D.C. Dreger, ACFRE; Ty Herring, CFRE; Gayle Kimball, Esq., CFRE; Joy Wohl LeCuyer, CFRE; Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE; Alexander (Sandy) Macnab, FAHP, CFRE; Ken Ramsay, Charlotte Rhodes, ACFRE; Hazel Richards, CFRE; Eugene Scanlan, Ph.D., CFRE; and Shereitte C. Stokes III, ACFRE.

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New Offering: Support a Cause Through a New AFP Networking Partnership

To help members connect with fundraisers in different countries, AFP has partnered with ammado, an online global networking community for the nonprofit sector. Through ammado, members can meet and network with practitioners from around the world and learn about other organizations, companies, strategies and campaigns that are making a difference in the lives of millions of people.

To celebrate the partnership and the season of giving, ammado will give the first 10,000 AFP members who create a profile on ammado an e-voucher for $1 to spend on the cause of their choice. What can a mere dollar do?  One dollar can, for example, get a child vaccinated against the measles or provide safe drinking water for a child for 50 days. Get your e-voucher, make a donation—even to your own organization on ammado—join the AFP profile and reach out to your fundraising colleagues by creating your network!  Use this link to get started and visit the AFP profile on ammado for more details.

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Member Motion Reminder

Changed jobs recently? Accepted a new challenge? Received an accolade for your work and accomplishments? Let your colleagues and AFP know! Simply send your current AND new job information (including city and state/province), or information about your recognition, to Please include the phrase “member motion” in the subject line.

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Now Open! Registration for the 2009 Web/Audioconference Series

AFP has a tremendous new lineup of Web/Audioconference programs in 2009. Plus, we are offering a special member price of $99 per program when you order 10 or more programs at once! There are more than 20 programs offered. Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear from experts in the field. To register to the AFP website ( and click on Education and Career Development.

We are starting 2009 with these two great AFP Web/Audioconferences!
Jan. 27, 2009, Raising Big Money Through Golf Events in a Down Economy with Phil Immordino
Feb. 5, 2009, Developing Major Gift Donors Who Deliver presented by Laura Fredricks, JD, LLC

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