Humanists worldwide are experiencing the worst economic downturn in 70 years. Nobody expects the situation to recover until 2010 at the earliest. Businesses, individuals and organizations are struggling to finance their projects.
Even IHEYO is affected
IHEYO’s 2009 funds are lower than expected. We had to retrench the communication officer, and downscale other activities. This increases workload on volunteers in the Executive Committee and our president, Silvana Uhlrich. Why are organizations such as IHEYO getting less money now? Where can we turn for financial support?
“Year end gifts” gone
Tax reliefs and the warm, proud feeling inside when you support your favourite cause. In the past, people that had money left over at the end of the year donated and contributed. Now, the previously enthusiastic donators are putting their money into piggy banks rather than good causes. They are concerned about the future of their families or businesses.
Previously, construction, real estate or the mortgage businesses were heavy donators with big wallets. But these industries are now struggling for economic survival. Reports in the media show that donations fell by at least 24 per cent in 2008.
Spreading the risk – taking action
It’s no secret that IHEYO is funded from a handful of sources. Some might even say it’s less than a handful. This leaves IHEYO extremely vulnerable in tough financial times. And just as any viable company needs to have several sources of revenue and needs to invest in at least 8 to 10 different advertising channels, maybe IHEYO should look to expand our range of contributors.
What if we were able to identify 10 new sources of funding and support this year, and work with them to ensure that we can get a cut of their offerings in 2010. In order to get funding, it is crucial that we demonstrate our ability to handle current resources. The Executive Committee needs to run in a professional manner, events must be outstanding and we must have a clear vision of the future.
Money can still be found; there are many sources available. But, we have to keep in mind that money is given based on reputation and results. IHEYO has to work towards incredible results. Results must be one of our main priorities in the year to come. First, we have to create results, and then we have to spread the word. Nothing matters more than communication.
Sven Berg Ryen is a member of the IHEYO Executive Committee