Will the stock market decline hurt nonprofit fundraising?

Harry Lynch, Sanky CEO.

Over the past week, I have been asked incessantly how the stock market “decline-turned-panic” will affect nonprofit fundraising. My general response has been, "Not much." And also, "Thank goodness this is happening now and not in December."

Most of us who have been doing this for a while know that, unless what happened over the last 10 days is a harbinger to a recession, the impact will be short-lived and minimal – barely a blip on the year’s radar when all is said and done. August, for the vast majority of nonprofits, is not a month that makes or breaks a year.

Of course, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep a close eye on your August results. I suspect that direct mail and online campaigns that delivered into the August 20th through 25th date range will see a clear impact on those days, as the stock market pain was historic, palpable, and surely distracted some donors from their normal charitable giving pattern. There is already some evidence of that as we see the numbers from last week.

For a couple of unlucky charities – ones that launched important summer campaigns that should have been peaking last week – this may well be a sadly significant factor with sharply negative impact.

Let's all stay tuned… and hope the coming days bring good tidings for the philanthropic world.

Harry Lynch


Harry Lynch

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