Down the drainThe debt ceiling debate has been dragging out for months here in the USA. Whether right or not, it’s got lots of Americans thinking of the credit limit on their credit cards and how close so many of us are to them.

This leads to a focus on scarcity and lack and could definitely impact philanthropy.

Nonprofits already have a reputation, all too often earned, of not being the most fiscally well run organizations. And with the US government looking like a bunch of whiny people centered on their parties’ respective narratives and sense of entitlement, the danger is this irritation will spill over to our sector.

But this isn’t a doom-and-gloom post. I think this debate can also be an opportunity to lay the foundations for more donations to your nonprofit.

What if you used this debate to show your supporters what a good investment your organization is?

What if you worked hard now telling your supporters how fiscally sound your organization is. Highlighting the aspects that are going really well. Shoring up confidence now, before year end giving hits?

Here are just a few ideas on how you could do this:

  • If you have no debt, celebrate that!
  • If you have a large base of donors, thank them and show how that stabilizes funding for the important work you do. (You can celebrate this even if you’re not fully funded yet.)
  • If you’re a faith based organization, perhaps you could build on something fiscally sound your doing by reminding your supporters that true fiscal security rests in something more permanent than the machinations in Washington.

And if you’re one of the many nonprofits that have lines of credit to help finance your mission, just think, you might soon have a better bond rating than the USA! Depending on the voice of your organization, you might be able to have an appeal themed around that! Than again, being more trustworthy than the federal government might not be the most motivating theme to donors. 🙂

It’s easy to get emotionally bogged down about a debate like this. But don’t stay there. Your nonprofit is still worthy of funding, go out there an prove it. Especially now, before your end of year appeals start in earnest!

Will you be able to use the debt ceiling debate to drive more donations? Share how in the comments.

PS This blog post was directly suggested by multiple members of the Advisory Team. If you’d like to join, you can sign up at:

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