On Friedman, Consumer Confidence and Giving

This Sunday, July 16th, Tom Friedman of the New York Times will address CASE Summit 2017 attendees in San Francisco on "The Big Trends Shaping the World Today: Economics, Technology/Geo-Politics."

To be sure, where there is a lack of consumer confidence, political turmoil and macro uncertainty, we ought all to be thinking about how our fundraising missions might change.

Here in the States, there was some sense following a heated campaign for POTUS that we might see some positive impact to giving with potential changes to the tax code for the highest earners in America who account for such a large chunk of charitable giving. The only thing is, consumer confidence tumbled when that notion drifted away and financial tailwinds were replaced by cratering confidence:

In years past we've all seen charitable giving rates and total dollars mirror the trend line for GDP growth (and retraction). Regardless of your thoughts on our political climate, leading fundraisers have to be concerned with the themes in Mr. Friedman's talk come this Sunday.

So, then, how might colleges and universities establish confidence among their donors in an environment of general caution? The good news, I'd argue, is that education is better situated to weather these macro-economic storms and policy quarrels than any other industry.

The key is clarity and relatability.

By and large, it's on all of us to get more personal with our donors - to give them visibility into the work we do, how it relates to them, and why our missions are designed in earnest for long-term societal benefit. We're empowering our clients with those very insights - right down to which designations, university news items, events and even connections are going to help them feel inspired - and confident - in giving back.

We'd love to talk to you about how we're able to do that with Machine Learning and our AI bot, Isaac at CASE Summit 2017 in San Francisco. Drop us a line at getisaac@quadwrangle.com to grab time.