Could the appearance of financial trouble be good for fund raising?

The head of the Jewish Funders Network, Mark Charendoff, thinks that it might be.

Charendoff recently told the Fundermentalist that he has seen a slew of mailings from organizations, especially Israeli not-for-profits, claiming financial hardships now, given the failing dollar and the tanking U.S. economy.

“We are definitely seeing it, and the question is whether it is real or that they are just betting that the message will be well received now,” Charendoff said. “I can’t tell you how many emergency pleas we have gotten from organizations claiming that their budgets have been thrown into turmoil by the dollar and the need for immediate response. I am not belittling it. There is a lot of pain out there in the nonprofit community and there are certain nonprofits that have been hit a lot harder than others.”

To be fair, he has also seen potential donors hide behind the tanking economy as a reason not to invest in projects – even though they have no financial reason not to do so.

“In a situation like this, there is no question that on both sides of the equation, people use it as either an excuse or an opportunity,” he said. “On the donor side, I know of people who have not been hurt at all, but this provides a wonderful excuse if they don’t want to give to someone.”

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