There's no way to accurately predict the future, but there are trends you can study to better prepare for the days ahead. At the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association's year-end luncheon, veteran fundraising expert Roger Craver, founder of DonorTrends and editor of The Agitator, shared five fundraising trends to get on top of in 2011.
- 69 percent of people worry that society is too shallow, focusing on things that don't really matter.
- Today there are 130-plus socially responsible investment funds, up from 39 a decade ago.
- More than half a million people have loaned money to "working poor" entrepreneurs around the world via microfinance site Kiva.
It's up to fundraisers to provide those connections that donors desire, and technology is "the great connector, great enabler and great equalizer," according to Craver. To make the most of technology to connect with donors, fundraisers need:
- Better analytics — RFM is not good enough.
- Faster analytics — real-time and predictive.
- Integration with your CRM.
- Investment in a donor-relationship mind-set.
- Investment in innovation.
The rise of mobile engagement
Mobile is the fastest-growing channel of communications, and the mobile device is the most personal device people own, Craver said. Mobile is always with us and is far more transactional than the Web, providing vast opportunities for fundraisers.
- 54 percent of U.S. multichannel retailers will have mobile commerce within two years.
- Mobile marketing budgets are expected to rise 26 percent annually despite overall budget declines.
- Location-based features are projected to have the largest increase among mobile tactics, up more than 265 percent.
- Mobile spending increases of 141 percent on SMS and 137 percent on mobile video are expected.
- Mobile search is expected to be 20 percent of all search by 2012.
Furthermore, mobile transactions have been on the rise. In 2010, $158 billion was transacted through mobile payments. That number is expected to increase to $630 billion by 2014. According to PayPal, there was a 650 percent increase in Black Friday mobile payments from 2008 to 2009, and 52 percent of smartphone users have acted on advertisements within applications, Craver said — and mobile advertising is three times to five times more effective than online advertising.