If you’re worried about the effects of recent US tax reform on your fundraising, then the best thing you can do is to pass on that worry to your donors.
Hang on – let me explain.
Several months ago, I wrote a blog titled Hyperventilating Over Tax Reform where (essentially) I said that you should focus your energy on telling your donors how their giving is making a tremendous difference on the planet. And I still believe you should do that. (Please read that blog before you continue.)
Here is another idea.
While Jeff and I believe that the passage of tax reform will not materially hurt your revenue if you follow the advice we have given, we do think it is wise to include messaging about it to your current caseload donors.
Here is what that would sound like if you were talking to one donor on your caseload.
“NAME, all of us here at ORG NAME so appreciate your support. You have accomplished so much through your giving (give examples of how the donor’s giving has made a difference).
“One of the things we are worried about is how the new tax reform legislation will impact giving to ORG NAME. We are hoping that our good and loyal donors like you will continue to give as they have in the past and, in some cases, give more to make up any possible loss from donors who decide to give less.”
This is the general concept which communicates two important points – points that must be made within the context of how the donor’s giving is making a difference:

  1. Please do not let this affect your giving.
  2. Would you consider giving more to make up any possible loss from other donors?

By articulating the concern in a calm, understated way, you help the donor understand that there could be an impact on the organization and they can do something about it. Be sure not to let this message be the central theme, but rather a side note.
Time will tell what will actually happen with this new situation. Jeff and I suspect that your good donors, if you have properly taken care of them, will be with you through all of it and you will be fine. Let us know how it goes.
PS – While my comments above are specifically about US tax reform, they would apply to any country’s tax reform that affected charitable giving.