When FundRaising Success first came into existence in 2003, the Internet (as a fundraising tool) hung plump and juicy, like a peach at the top of a tree, not quite ripe — and just out of reach.
In the five years since, the fruit has matured, gotten heavier and is now fairly bursting with possibility. It teases with its heady aroma and seems ripe for the picking. But the nonprofit world still can’t quite grasp it. And around it are other blossoms — like mobile giving and virtual realities — that are even more elusive.
But you’re getting there. Every year — hell, every month, every day, it seems — the branches that will lead you to that perfect fruit grow stronger, and you find new and better ways to navigate them.
But at the core of your fundraising, as always, is the trunk of the tree. Stalwart and supporting all your efforts, it’s made up of the less glitzy strategies that have been the backbone of fundraising for decades: direct mail, telefundraising, etc., plus solid campaigns for major gifts and planned giving. And then there are the roots — good communications, flawless accountability, faithful stewardship and old-fashioned relationship building — that ground the whole thing.
The best intentions of … well, you know
Last summer, when we were in the planning stages for 2008 editorial content, I was in a tizzy over so-called emerging technologies. There’s an undeniable allure to the unknown, a sexiness that turns your head and tries to tear your attention away from those things you know so well — no matter how successful they’ve been in the past.
But in the months between the time our 2008 editorial calendar came out and now, it’s become clear that the future of fundraising — Fundraising 2.0, if you will — doesn’t lie in any one area. Surprise! There will never be a magic bullet that will catapult your fundraising into the stratosphere all on its own. Every new technology, every new tool will have its challenges. It will have its supporters and its detractors. It will engage and tease. It will be heralded, then tested and, then, find its rightful place in the fundraiser’s toolbox along with all of the innovations that came before it.
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