With the economy likely to put a crimp in philanthropic donations, nonprofits need to take advantage of the internet now more than ever, reports the Ocala Business Journal of Ocala, Fla. That was the advice of a consultant who spoke to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Arredondo Chapter, in Gainesville, Fla., on Nov. 13. Regina Hoffman, an education market executive with eTapestry, a fundraising software company (http://www.etapestry.com), cited a study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University indicating that total giving falls by 1 percent on average during a recession, with a more severe impact in long recessions of eight months or more. Giving is a largely discretionary expenditure for households, Hoffman said, and tough economic times challenge charities "to make the needs they fulfill more compelling than other discretionary expenditures." "You have to make me want to switch from using my money to go to Starbucks to sending somebody to school," she explained. The key to doing that, according to Hoffman, is making sure donors understand how organizations use their contributions. "For example, ’55 women were given GED instruction and 100 percent graduated,’" she said." Such testimonials should be included as bullet points in thank-you notes to donors, but also can be powerful on the web through testimonial clips on YouTube…

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