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Evolution of Fundraising: 2016 and Beyond

Lexy Cascone

Fundraising is a continuously evolving initiative. This post by Fired Up Fundraising, written by Gail Perry, provides multiple tips and predicted 2016 trends in order to guide a business in effective fundraising. There is a central focus of adaptive and innovative strategies in the tips provided. “Tip 1) “Donor loyalty” gets my nod as the nonprofit buzzword for 2016.” Nonprofits are finally starting to understand that a good relationship with donors is more important and ultimately profitable than a new lead. “Tip 2) Crowd funding will become a serious fundraising tool – for the right nonprofits.” Social media is quickly becoming an important resource for attracting the attention of donors. Nonprofits are realizing that online presence is very important for their success. “Tip 3) The end is coming for general unrestricted fundraising.” Specific projects are attracting donors as they like to see specific results and outcomes. They become more engaged and attached to the brand.

In addition to the innovative effort of integrating nonprofits with social media, the key for effective fundraising in 2016 and beyond is a modernized method of communication. “Tip 4) The new communications tools will be revolutionizing how, when and where we tell our story.” New channels should be utilized in order to effectively reach untapped audiences. Technology should be used to customize the fundraising experience for all. “Tip 5) “Fundraising” is shifting toward a broader concept of “philanthropy.”” The shift in this term can be attributed to the connotation of the word and the evoked emotions of each term. Philanthropy evokes happy feelings and helpful emotions.

Even with the evolution of this term ‘fundraising’, for the time being it will continue to be underfunded. “Tip 6) Fundraising will unfortunately continue to be chronically-underfunded.” Smart budgeting and staffing is impetrative and by utilizing the technology available, this can be an enormous benefit to nonprofits. “Tip 7) Mobile giving will continue to increase.” Continuing with the technological trend, mobile will be an important tool and therefore mobile capabilities and optimization is more important than ever. “Tip 8) New forms of philanthropy will continue to confound regular nonprofits.” It is important to stay true to the original mission and not to be thrown off by initiatives with massive amounts of money looking to come up with alternative solutions. “Tip 9) Clear measures of performance and impact will be required by donors and funders.” In addition to communication being important, clear results are additionally important to be communicated. “Tip 10) Sustainer fundraising programs will be king.” Monthly donations are still important and provide pertinent sustainability donations to nonprofits. Reach out to loyal donors as this will be essential for sustainability.

The main focus for nonprofits looking for donors to support a fundraiser should be on the needs of the donor. The donor should feel included and important. In addition, it’s important for projects and fundraising opportunities to be integrated with social media efforts as well as innovative communication methods. Nonprofits need to take a deeper dive into evaluating donor’s motives and feelings upon donation. With this in mind, the term fundraising is being attributed to a broader topic of philanthropy. This is changing the realm of donation and fundraising into a more helpful, philanthropic experience rather than simply a monetary donation. Clear, innovative, and philanthropic tactics will be important for fundraisers to be truly profitable and effective in 2016 and beyond. The key to the successful evolution of nonprofit fundraisers starts with the willingness to take risks and the ability to think with an innovative and progressive mind.