The Future of Fundraising
It's a bold move to try to predict the future. Five years ago, who would have guessed that Facebook would have more than 600 million members or that we'd be talking to each other in 140-character tweets — LOL, BTW, TTYL?
That said, I'm going out on a limb to predict the future of fundraising. Here's my take on four key trends that will dramatically change our field in 31 years.
In 2042, fundraising will be profoundly multichannel
Giving through one channel will become the anomaly vs. the norm as media continue to proliferate and millennials mature. Whether it's texting a donation, giving through a mobile website, responding to an e-mail, writing a check, organizing and giving via an event on Facebook, tweeting to donate, rallying gifts from your tribe on social fundraising sites, giving through the phone or because of a DRTV appeal, the idea of the single-channel donor will be dead. Smart nonprofits will learn the fine art of communicating via multiple channels and meet donors where they live. This will require a focus on analytics to track donor engagement. It also will require nonprofits to reorganize their fundraising departments.
In 2042, fundraising will be profoundly multi-ethnic
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2042 may be the year that the U.S. becomes a "majority-minority" country, i.e., people of color will outnumber non-Hispanic whites. I predict that this demographic reality will set the stage for a renaissance in fundraising.
Signs already point to the increasing wealth of minorities. For example, according to the Commerce Department's Minority Business Development Agency and the Census Bureau, "the number of African-American-owned firms in the United States increased by 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007 to 1.9 million firms. African-American-owned businesses also drove job creation over the five-year period, with employment growing 22 percent, exceeding that of non-minority-owned businesses."