Fundraisers know all about disaster fundraising. Some relief groups have made it into a veritable art form.

I’m not being at all critical. At such times, the need is profound and visible. Catastrophe helps shake many dormant donors out of their lethargy … and turns some into lifelong givers. That’s terrific.

At the same time, I have to hand it to our commercial marketing friends, who also see opportunity in looming threats to humankind.

Witness the remarkable marketing around the Mayan prediction of apocalypse, some of course tongue-in-cheek.

Here’s an account from CNBC that will either bemuse or horrify you.

My favorite is the hotel that offered 40% if you pre-paid for a room booked for after 21 December — great deal, unless of course disaster struck!

If you’re still (belatedly) planning your fundraising for the year ahead, you might take a moment to reflect on the potential catastrophes that might influence your success.

But be careful, predictions are tricky. Here are 14 Spectacularly Wrong Predictions.


P.S. My favorite of these is Decca Records rejecting the Beatles after a 1962 audition, saying: “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

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