One correspondent, a federation professional with vast experience, offered an anonymous comment to our recent Post --one deserving of being reprinted here without attribution for your consideration:
"It's no secret to me. It's just illogical. Let's say we get 500,000 new donors (an outrageous expectation) and let's be generous on the size of the average gift $20 -- the system will have raised maybe $10 million or slightly more than a .1% (ed., that's 1/10th of 1%!) increase in new money. It seemed to me that with face-to-face typical solicitations raised 5% or even 10% increases (or at least a renewed gift) to compensate for the donors that were lost to attrition and still have the campaigns grow by 3-5%.
"What motivated so many people to respond to Obama had nothing to do with technology but with the fact they were so impressed with the new message and hope. The same techniques would not have worked as successfully if McCain had implemented because his message was not new. Could George Bush have raised Obama-like numbers via the Internet if he had been seeking another term? He had the same technology available to him. The only way technology is going to help federations significantly is if the donors recognize dramatic change in the message and the performance. Of course this will run the risk of alienating many of the 500,000+ donors who currently give their federations about $850 million.
"Then what do they do in the second year? How does JFNA expect to renew/grow the gifts? It seems to me they start in a $10 million hole in the second year.
"One only need to look at the Jewish response to tragedies like Haiti and the use of technology for donations. As moved as people were with the crisis how much exactly did JDC raise from individual donors via the Internet? It couldn't have been enough to save the federation system, could it?"
Good questions -- all of them.