I’m looking into my crystal ball at the invitation of Gayle Roberts, ringleader of this month’s Giving Carnival, who’s rounding up takes on the future of fundraising. Great idea, Gayle.
Here’s what I see happening fundraising-wise in 2017:
- Issue-focused giving. With so many nonprofits addressing every issue, it’ll be a must to simplify offerings for the giver. I see issue-oriented giving, with donors having the option to specify organizational recipients by percentage of the total gift.
- Giving to smaller orgs or those less well-funded by endowment or major gifts (when you do pick an org). I don’t give as much to Brown (my alma mater) as I do to other orgs where I know my gift will really make an impact. I hear the same from friends and family. And for those giving on a large-scale, it’s far easier to get your name on a building at Maplewood’s Memorial park, than at Harvard.
- Most giving will be on automatic renewal plans, executed through credit cards or direct deposit, or the 2017 equivalent. This "membership" approach will become increasingly attractive efficiency wise, and one of the only ways to maintain ongoing relationships with donors as info/communications overload continues to grow.
- Customized giving. Donors frequently want to earmark their gifts to specific programs or events. That desire will only increase as customization options appear in every venue from blue jeans to mini vans.
- Personalized reporting on impact. I see a RSS-type feed where donors can see graphical feedback on how their gifts (to all charities) have been used, and their impact.
- A shift from corporate giving to cause marketing. It’s already beginning to happen, as giving lives more and more frequently in the marketing department. Result for nonprofits — partners not gifts.
- Giving as a core part of estate and financial planning work, for folks beyond the very rich to take maximum advantage of increasingly complex and frequently changing tax laws. So the nonprofit sector better start doing a better job of educating these planners on guiding their clients to the right decisions.
Gayle, thanks again for the invite. I can’t wait to see what else will be happening in fundraising in 2017.
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