Charities Should Check in With Donors Affected by Storm, Says Panel

As charities prepare for the crucial year-end giving season, donors in New York and New Jersey are facing a growing wave of emergency appeals to support recovery efforts from the Superstorm Sandy. But those appeals shouldn’t affect the year-end giving efforts of groups that have a strong relationship with their existing donors, according to a panel assembled for a conference that The Chronicle co-hosted.

The panel—which featured Terry Axelrod, founder of the fundraising consulting company Benevon; Bob Ottenhoff, chief executive of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy; and Chronicle reporter Raymund Flandez—discussed how organizations can effectively raise money in the wake of Sandy.

During the call, Ms. Axelrod suggested that fundraisers should call or e-mail donors in the affected areas to see if they are OK.

“You may find that some of them say, ‘We’re unscathed and back in business and just doing fine.’ That should give you a better read [if they will be donating this year],” Ms. Axelrod says, noting that such outreach will help form stronger relationships with those donors.

You can listen to the entire discussion below or register for the second free conference call on the same subject on Monday, November 5.

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