A Look Back — and Forward
MacLaughlin: I would not have imagined there’s still such raucous debate over what constitutes best practices vs. tribal knowledge. To thank or not to thank? To quickly thank or to take your time? To use First Class postage or not? To rely on RFM [recency, frequency, monetary] or not? To e-mail and send physical mail or not? Many of these things are known knows and are fundamental practices for just about every nonprofit organization.
Church: That we would still be saying that direct mail is on the way out as a reliable source of income.
Barden: The declining retention rates surprise me a bit because that was something I was always laser-focused on. It seems that too many nonprofits have been wowed by the shiny new things and forgot to pay attention to the basics for survival.
Peters: Cookie matching.
Grams: The race to fundraise on Facebook. Reaching people and getting donations on mobile phones.
What, in your wildest dreams, will be going on in fundraising in the next 10 years?
Jeff Schreifels, senior partner, Veritus Group
We believe that in 10 years there will be a renewed emphasis on personal, one-to-one fundraising with nonprofits embracing building strong mid- and major-gifts programs. Additionally, nonprofits will finally invest and see the value in reporting impact of donor’s giving.
We’ve been talking about this for the last 10 years with very little movement in nonprofits actually adopting this practice. But 10 years from now, we believe, it will be implemented because donors will continue to demand that nonprofits report back on the effectiveness of their gifts.
As technology expands and becomes cheaper, nonprofits will be able to use it to not only report back on giving, but to cultivate and steward donors. However, this will not replace building solid, one-to-one strategies that include deepening human relationships with donors and the representatives of the causes they support. In fact, we believe we will see a renewed emphasis on training major-gifts officers, and nonprofits will see the value and start implementing major-gifts programs as direct-response programs continue to increase in cost.