Whenever I go to a fundraising conference or meet with other fundraisers, one question that without fail comes up is ‘What’s next in fundraising?’ It’s like we are hoping for someone to wave a magic wand and say ‘Hey Guys! Here is the next big thing that will raise all the funds you will ever need! TA DAH!’
But, what I have realised is; we are ALREADY DOING what’s next in fundraising!
Fundraisers are a group of inventive, creative and enthusiastic individuals who are excited to try new things and see if they work for our missions and we are already looking ahead to see how fundraising might look in the future. Like the fantastic tap to donate Cancer Research shop that made it easy for donors to give with their contactless cards as they walked by, addressing the more and more common issue of people not carrying cash. Or the little boy who did a drawing for every donation received, which made sure each donor felt personally involved with the mission and received a wonderful keep-sake. Or (dare I even mention) the Ice Bucket Challenge, which sparked the biggest ever participation rate in a social media campaign, inspiring many copy-cat campaigns and opening the not for profit world’s eyes to the potential in social media!
What I mean to say is, we need to stop worrying about what’s next in fundraising because we are the ones who are driving the change. With every new social trend comes a chance to link back to our cause, such as the one second a day video by Save the Children to raise awareness of the children in Syria, which was influenced by the social trend of parents filming one second a day videos for friends and family online.
We are connecting with our supporters in much more exciting ways than ever before and we are using more and more social platforms to share the incredible work that donors make possible. Many of which, weren’t even imagined 10 years ago! So why are we worrying about things we probably can’t even imagine in another 10 years? Let’s celebrate the changes that have happened in fundraising and celebrate what hasn’t changed in fundraising!
New is fantastic but so is traditional! Direct mail, telephone and events fundraising are still relevant, exciting and produce results. Mix your approach with old and new, celebrate what you can achieve and stop questioning whether it will be the next thing in fundraising! Give it a go – learn from mistakes, share your knowledge and don’t be scared to try something that no one has ever done before! Fundraising is one of the most creative occupations and the options are endless! Let’s bring the future to us.