IBJOpinion

FELDMANN: Fundraising trends to watch for in 2011

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Derrick FeldmannWell, it’s that time of year again: time to gaze into the crystal ball and predict what trends will dominate fundraising in the year ahead.

Before we do that, though, let’s take a look at what shaped the fundraising landscape in 2010.

• Text campaigns: The Haiti earthquake inspired mobile users to give more than $35 million for victims of this natural disaster. Organizations that thought they could emulate this success realized quickly that it requires a specific recipe: impulse opportunity, specific needs and media/awareness.

• Social media: If you’ve not heard about the power of social communities, you must be living under a rock. Not-for-profits that have embraced social media are wrestling with the question dogging everyone: How much do we invest—in money, time and staff—in this trend?

• Transparency: Talking openly with donors about how their gifts are used and how they made a difference yields better relationships. It’s no longer enough to say, “Give because it’s for a good cause.” The top U.S. award for websites—the “Webby”—went to not-for-profits that developed new ways to use the Web to communicate the impact of donors’ gifts.

• The multi-channel donor: Donors no longer interact with organizations through one channel only (direct mail, social media, e-mail or events). Donors who give through traditional methods use websites to get information. Those who receive e-mail or online-based communications also give offline through direct mail. And there is a growing trend of older donors who use the Web without giving online.

Having covered what happened in 2010, let’s predict the trends for 2011.

• The technology trifecta: Organizations will look at communications and fundraising through the lens of the technology trifecta: Web, mobile and social media. They’ll test concepts in all three technologies to discover the right recipe for their own constituency bases. Mobile will gain momentum as technology and techniques improve. Social media will provide better donor communication and stewardship, and the Web will offer a tool for transparency and donor interaction. Testing and experimenting will be key to implementation. Organizations must manage expectations and define effective donor delivery methods without simply copying others’ tactics.

• Communication preferences: Organizations will let donors select how they receive communication. This practice will have the added benefit of strengthening donor relationships.

• Smaller consecutive gifts: Donors will seize opportunities to provide smaller amounts of support several times during the year. Organizations that enable impulse giving will see more dollars and stronger donor relationships.

• Giving transaction time: Organizations will decrease the time between the giving decision and the actual transaction. One-click gifts, instantaneous giving and other impulse-giving technology will gain popularity. However, this trend comes with a caveat: Making it easy on the front end doesn’t give organizations a license to decrease stewardship activities.

• Donor networks: We will see the rise of donor networks—donors who come together to support causes, volunteer and engage in other activities to promote organizations. These networks will be small and intimate groups of donors who come together to help many causes. Organizations must discover existing donor networks and engage them by introducing them to their cause. Network members will want to meet and understand the causes they support—and that requires in-person delivery.

• Impact reporting: Organizations will rely more on ongoing and real-time reporting of impact, and less on annual reports. Using technology and other communication methods, organizations will inform donors regularly about how their dollars are used and how people are affected. In an instantaneous society, waiting for an annual report to learn about impact will not suffice.

Of course, all these predictions are just that: predictions. Even if these trends do emerge, they might not affect every organization in the coming year. Still, at some point, all organizations will need to incorporate aspects of these practices. Otherwise, I predict they’ll find themselves falling behind, in both fundraising and donor engagement.•

__________

Feldmann is CEO of Achieve, an Indianapolis-based consulting firm for nonprofits. He can be reached at dfeldmann@achieveguidance.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

ADVERTISEMENT