A big “thank you” to Andrew Watt, for addressing the fundraising profession directly and forcefully: the days of passive gift collection are over. Now maybe we can get on with growing philanthropy and building a profession that can generate more than 2% of Gross Domestic Product.Our new AFP International President and CEO put in on the line. In today’s world, competition for gift income is becoming ever more intense. The charitable deduction is at risk. This will slow donors from making longer-term pledges, as they deal with uncertainty about whether their gifts will be deductible.Government funding is going down and more is being shifted to the private sector for support. Frequently, we talk about this issue in the safety net world. But ask a public college president about the level of state support. It is down as much as 10% to 15% for many. Ask the private college president about increasing tuition making recruitment more difficulty. Ask hospitals about the pending changes in healthcare and their reimbursements. So this isn’t a food bank or homeless shelter issue. This is huge.Also consider that the funder is looking for accountability and impact. Giving them the number of beds filled or classes offered, with a charming smile ain’t going to get it any more.The Philanthropy Journal quotes Andrew as saying “Fundraisers have to be the donor’s gateway to philanthropy. . . .Donors don’t always know how to best get involved philanthropically.” Amen.Here I go again: We must reform fundraising education to teach skills like marketing, sales, reporting, analysis, and product development. We must move away from the nice person, do-good, warm fuzzy approach of too many nonprofits.You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those things that help successful people stay in business.Now, there’s an idea whose time has come.
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