Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Follow-up: Too Many Nonprofits, Part Two: Market Saturation

I promise to get off this topic in the next post, but first, just one more point on the "too many nonprofits" debate:

JW of "Selfish Giving" added a comment to yesterday's post on the subject pointing to his excellent blog on the same topic (I've just added his site to the blogroll).

He quotes a Wall Street Journal article complaining about all the "fun runs" and "charity walks" that clog up urban streets every weekend, and then blames the traffic on "too many nonprofits." He then gives a few good rules to consider when planning an event to ensure that it will be worth your time and effort.

The villain behind clogged walkathon traffic isn't "too many nonprofits" - it's too many foolish nonprofits. It's just bad fundraising practice to copy the same concept everybody else has already tried.

The issue here is market saturation. If there are already 25 charity golf tournaments in your region, the community probably won't support one more. Donors are '-athon'ed out. In most cases, they'd rather just make a donation to your organization than have to go on yet another walk to get yet another too-big t-shirt filled with sponsor logos.

I touch on this issue in part of my book, Introduction to Fund Development Planning. When prioritizing fundraising ideas, originality and market go right up there with the cost-benefit analysis.

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