The Agitator’s Week In Review.  This week the roller coaster that is the U.S. and global stock markets rocketed down, then up,  on the news that The Fed, the U.S. Treasury and central banks worldwide pumped billions into financial markets ending a punishing week of financial panic…a malfunction in a 30-ton transformer temporarily halted huge the “Big Bang” atom smashing experiment taking place under Geneva… and the U.S. Presidential campaigns heated up in the intense 50-day countdown to the November election.  Meanwhile, hope among fundraisers big and small springs eternal.  The Council Bluffs, Iowa Daily Nonpariel  quotes Pottawattamie County Democratic Party chairman Sue Lett: “When times get tough, people may be more willing to support their candidates in the hope they win the election to make things better.”WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 15thMONDAY: Alicia Keyes Video – Slick Or Stirring?  Here at the Agitator we’re big fans of online video and we led the week with a quite-different, high quality film apparently now seen (at least in part) by over 2.4 million viewers. The film reports on AIDS in Africa and is the work of Alicia Keyes’ group, Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit dedicated to providing lifesaving antiretroviral (ARV) medicine and support services directly to children and families with HIV/AIDS in some of the world’s poorest countries. In April, KCA premiered a video with their ambassador Alicia Keyes about the plight of children affected by HIV in Africa. The video was called Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland. The film delivers a powerful message. And we’re happy to see a major celebrity like Alicia Keyes do her bit for a terrific cause. But, Tom asks, “is the whole effort somehow too polished?”Your opinion please.TUESDAY:  The Best E-Appeal I’ve Seen This Year   In stark contrast to the Alicia Keyes video here’s an appeal from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund designed to raise money to put a shocking video of what Defenders calls “Sarah Palin’s Wolf-killing Record” on TV, this exemplary appeal is worth careful study. It’s masterpiece of the genre.  AND….it raised more than six times the original goal of $100,000!First, take an overview look at this appeal by clicking here.If you want to study this in more detail click here to see the video and also get a good look at the donation page. Wednesday:  7 Fundraising Tips for Surviving 2008   In response to questions from client and colleagues Roger offers up 7 Tips for dealing with the current financial crisis in this final and all-important quarter of the year.Thursday:  Mobile Medical Care   The UN Foundation and the Vodaphone Foundation have partnered to develop and introduce software that enables health workers in sub-Saharan Africa to collect and utilize medical information in real-time in the field. What other applications can this amazing software be put to?  Tom fears that door-to-door canvassing may be an application here in the States. Friday: Is Your Nonprofit Fashionable?   To succeed as a nonprofit today, either in fundraising or advocacy terms, Seth Godin says you need to be “fashionable.”What he means by that, as explained in this audio presentation well worth a listen, is that your organization needs to be worth talking about, at least to some critical mass of true believers. Your “tribe” as he would term them.And believe us, given the times we’re in it’s all about the “true believers”.  Seth does ask a marvelous question: If you stopped sending emails to your house file today, how long would it be before many of your members contacted you to query or complain?! In other words, how long would it be before they missed you?!Your Weekend Bonus.   No question about it.  This year’s economic and financial events, especially the crescendo of meltdown-bailout-fear that has marked the past four weeks, make for sleepless nights among fundraisers.Taking the long view we all should remember that while giving temporarily slows in times like these it does come back and resumes its historic pattern of growth.  Of course that’s little solace for those trying to make their numbers for the year.  So what about some thoughts and advice for dealing with near-term pain?This week’s Fundraising Success Advisor  carries an excellent piece by Rand McCable, the founder and CEO of Mpoweropen the open-source CRM provider.Randy’s “Five Tactics to Rev Up Fundraising in a Down Economy” should get you thinking about some immediate steps you might consider:

  1. Connect with your donor’s pain.
  2. Call mid to major donors now.
  3. Begin year-end campaigns in September with installment options.
  4. Use alternative giving vehicles
  5. Focus on segmentation and target total net income (not return on investment or revenues.

Randy, you deserve a raise.Have a great weekend.    Roger          

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