Economic downturn is 'here to stay', says Tony Elischer

But charities are still not asking for enough, says the managing director of Think Consulting Solutions

Tony Elischer
Tony Elischer

Charities must accept that the economic downturn will remain for the foreseeable future, delegates were told last week at the International Fundraising Congress.

Speaking on the final day of the conference in the Netherlands, Tony Elischer, managing director of Think Consulting Solutions, told delegates: "Have you noticed the economic recession isn’t going away? We have to now accept this is here to stay. Just live with it and accept it."

But he also said that the luxury market was booming. "Is there enough money around?" he said. "Well, actually, yes. I do believe the money is out there. Luxury is booming. We’re not asking for enough. We need to raise the request, not lower it."

He said that charities needed to improve their donor retention, saying that 62 per cent of donors only give once. "That’s shameful," he said. "That’s not the fault of the people who are giving – that’s our fault. We’re still not getting the point of the second gift."

Elischer said that the sector was seeing more mergers, but questioned whether they should be referred to in this way. "We’re not allowed to use the word acquisition," he said. "There’s no such thing as a merger, it’s always an acquisition."

He also pointed out that for the previous two years, delegates at the IFC had been told that 2011 would be the year of mobile technology, which he said had now been proven. "If you’re not doing this stuff, wake up, because it’s happening big time and we need to be there," he said.

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