For years, political prognosticators have pointed to one measure as the best single indicator of how national elections might go … responses to the question: “Overall, do you think the country is headed in the right direction?” If you're an incumbent, and the trend is rising “No's” to this question, watch out!

Perhaps a comparable early warning for fundraisers might be found in the so-called “Ladder of Life” survey that has been conducted consistently for years by Gallup, and now the Pew Research Center. In the Ladder of Life survey, respondents are simply asked to rate their “quality of life” today on a scale 0f 1-10. Once today's rating is so-anchored, respondents are then asked to similarly rate their quality of life over the past five years, and then the rating they expect for the future, five years from now. Pretty straightforward.

Pew has just released the latest version. Forgive us for taking a pessimistic reading of their findings, but a potentially worsening climate for fundraising is a contingency we should all give a bit of thought to.

The essentials follow … but before reading on, rate your own present and future quality of life on the 1-10 scale (10 being highest quality).

Continue reading “Slipping Down The Ladder Of Life”

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