By Mike Scutari
7 May 2020
In early May, the Oracle of Omaha saw the future of the airline industry—and it was not good.
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett told shareholders that he had sold all of the company’s airline stocks, admitting that the coronavirus had changed the business in a “very major way.”
“I don’t know that three, four years from now, people will fly as many passenger miles as they did last year,” he said.
As COVID-19 continues to reshape society, donors are having similar doubts about the long-term sustainability of some nonprofit organizations. With one eye on their hard-hit investment portfolios and the other on a drumbeat of predictions that many nonprofits won’t survive this crisis, they’re scanning their list of recipients, checking in with their guts, and asking themselves, “Am I throwing good money after bad?”
Right now, fundraisers’ livelihoods largely hinge on their ability to prevent donors from reaching this inflection point, at a time when one in five donors say they won’t be giving to charity until the economy is back up and running.
Fortunately, seasoned fundraisers told me that donors don’t jump off a sinking ship—they’re gently pushed. It’s usually due to a series of organizational missteps—poor pre-coronavirus financial stewardship, a lack of candid responsiveness in the face of crisis, panicked pitches—that nudge donors over the edge. Fundraisers won’t be able to sustain every relationship, but their odds increase measurably if the organization embraces transparency, data-driven strategic planning, and a calm and measured tone.
Read the full article in Inside Philanthropy.