"The next generation of donors is a bit different," she says. "My father's generation was very transactional, but now donors want to see a business plan and an RFP. They want the details, the measurable impact. It's up to us to show them that, and not just thank them for their money."
Building Lifelong Relationships
Although the new breed of major donors may require a bit more maintenance, spending the time to develop long-term relationships is well worth it, Doliner says.
"The most important measure is not just your ROI, which is how much you are raising in response to the amount you are spending, but that it becomes a lifetime return. That person's gift to me today is important, but I also want to know that they'll make a gift next year and the year after that. It's about building a lifetime relationship," she says.
In addition to the slow economy, fundraising efforts are also not helped by the political firestorm surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the often misleading statements made about healthcare reform by politicians and pundits, Doliner says.