Musings on the Future of Fundraising

Today’s generation connects in a different way than other generations. We live in a time where even email is becoming outdated for our youth today. As our culture changes our nonprofits need to respond or worry about being left behind. Here are a couple of my musings about the future.

  • There will be very little one-way marketing. Direct mail, telephone fundraising, and thank you letters will all be done electronically in such a way that the donor can have a conversation with the organization.
  • Boards will have a technology or social media committee. No longer will the marketing committee on the board have the job of bringing the website up to standard and then move onto other projects. The technology committee will spend time making sure that your organization has good reviews on Guidestar, Razoo, and Network for Good. This committee will be constantly promoting you to various blogs and online forums.
  • Volunteers can be of help all over the world with or without the organizations knowledge using remote access, online advocacy, and through client and donor referrals.
  • Many of your every day annual fund donors will lead personal campaigns amongst their friends, using social networks. These campaigns will result in larger cumulative gifts than many of your major donors.
  • Paper event invitations will be a thing of the past as everything will be emailed, posted to Facebook, and tweeted about on Twitter.

Those are a few of my musings about the future. Do you have any of your own you’d like to share, leave a comment.


5 Responses to Musings on the Future of Fundraising

  1. Mark Brooks says:

    I love Social Media tools! I also love the thought of trying new things to raise donors and dollars. Having said that I think it is way too early to make assumptions about the effectiveness of this venue on raising dollars. I have been in this field for over ten years so I think I have some experience from which to speak. While Social Media holds some potential as of yet it is lagging far behind in effectiveness. This could change but we are still many years from that becoming a reality. As fast as this medium changes it is difficult to project what it might look like in the future. My advice to clients is to investigate and experiment with this new tool but not to abandon the tried and true. At the end of the day 80% to 90% of a church and often of a non-profits donations come from large donors. Those types of donors respond much better to more personalized attention than any other. For Social Media the book is still out.

  2. Jason Dick says:

    Mark, thanks for your comment. I think that we are still at the early stages of social media fundraising and some of the early tools like the causes application have been a little disappointing in how much they have actually motivated people to give. I think social media in a nutshell is two way marketing or conversational marketing. This seems to be more than just a trend but a new direction. I think we will see direct mail continue to decline and social media & online fundraising continue to grow. There are already organizations that raise hundred of thousands of dollars using social media.

  3. […] We’re Reading, Week of 9/21 From A Small Change… Musings on the Future of Fundraising Jason at A Small Change writes about the changing landscape of fundraising and his predictions for […]

  4. Dan says:

    I think this has big implications for those of us who raise money, not as the larger organization, but as individuals affected by an issue. For example, my daughter has cystic fibrosis…therefore I raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I think that, in the future, fundraising will be pushed further down to us as social media becomes even more powerful. We need to be prepared for this. Just my thoughts!

  5. Mazarine says:

    Dear Jason,

    Thank you so much for creating your blog. I love reading it! And this post is especially intriguing. Where is fundraising going? I agree, fundraising is going to be less and less a one way conversation, and more and more people are going to be looking for ways to have a dialogue.

    I could use the benefit of your opinion on my latest post at I’m talking about social by social,
    and the best nonprofit social media links… would love to hear your



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