What fundraisers are thinking and how they are planning for the year ahead
By Gail Picco orginally published on the AFP Canada blog.
As 2020 approaches, many fundraisers are assessing what has—and hasn’t—worked for them in the past, even as they cope with the external dynamics buffeting the sector today and consider the emerging critique of the structure of philanthropy itself. From sector-wide issues to program planning for their own organizations, fundraisers across the country are heading into 2020 with their eyes wide open to the challenges and plans to meet those challenges or, at least, understand them better.
“What does it mean to disrupt our sector,” asks Rickesh Lakhani, CFRE, executive director of a community-based organization working with children and youth in Toronto. “Whatever is happening now—whether it’s inclusion, harassment or lack of innovation—needs a critical eye. I’ve been looking at Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas and thinking about how people can be incentivized to break down the structure of the power imbalance.”
Juniper Locilento, MPNL, CFRE, chief development director of a national organization of community food centres, agrees. “After spending time in 2019 with the work of Rob Reich and Anand Giridharadas, I’m more oriented than ever before towards social change philanthropy and I’m thinking critically about the balance of power in philanthropy and demonstrating that my organization will strengthen democracy rather than plutocracy,” she says. Read more »
This year’s AFP Congress is a rallying cry for fundraisers to take a step back, recharge, discover new ways of thinking, support each other, and collaborate in elevating the profession.
In this blog entry, the volunteers behind Congress share their perspective on what it means to ‘Raise The Work’ in 2019. Please share your own thoughts in the comments below!
“I think we need to get better at celebrating ourselves. Not everyone gets to fund social good with their day job. That meaningful impact is a benefit of our career choice and we shouldn’t be shy or equivocate about that fact. We should own it.”
– Scott Jeffries, Director of Media & Data Services, Stephen Thomas Ltd
AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee Chair
Tell the World
“Some may view our sector as small or lacking innovation. But we know better. Fundraisers see the results of innovation everyday in the life-changing impact we have on the communities we serve. Fundraisers change the world in a big way – let’s make sure the world knows it.”
– Molly DeHaan, Manager of Annual Giving, Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation
AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee
“To me raising the work means understanding the challenges faced by your colleagues. Because when you get out of your ‘silo’ in this way, you can discover new ways of working together so that you’re not just serving your own goals but perhaps helping other departments more readily achieve their goals too.”
– Jennifer Meriano, Mid-Level Giving, Canadian Red Cross
AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee
Read more »
Thank you to our members who participated in our annual Day in the Ridings (DITR) initiative! Our members’ efforts were key in creating awareness of the role and value of professional fundraising to our federal government.
Over the past two years, 140 AFP members met with 164 MPs, Ministers, and government officials in 338 ridings across Canada to bring forward our “case” for AFP’s role in public policy development and asked elected officials to support three important policy priorities:
- A home in government for the charitable sector;
- an ongoing investment in data collection on the charitable sector; and
- consideration of tax exemption for gifts of private shares and real estate.
Thanks to this work, AFP’s message about the value of professional fundraising and the importance of an enabling environment for charities has spread across the country and across party lines. Read more »
By Kayleigh Alexandra
Image source: pexels
Anyone involved in running a nonprofit organization will understand that one of the greatest challenges they face is raising money. Simply asking people to cut you another check won’t suffice – just like negotiating a business deal, there are many ways to engage your donors without resorting to endless pleas. It’s all about playing the long game.
Entrepreneurs form long-term partnerships with investors, and you can do the same when it comes to fundraising for your nonprofit. Here are six unusual fundraising ideas that are surefire ways of compelling more people to donate.
Related: 5 Tips to Plan Your Best Holiday Campaign
The advent of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have made it possible for nonprofit organizations to put themselves out there and attract people with a vested interest in their work. You can set up a page that introduces who you are, what you’re doing, and include pictures and examples of your campaign’s achievements so far.
Fundraising has become increasingly digitized, which makes crowdfunding an effective way for charities to have their causes funded by thousands of potential donors online. All you need is a well put-together campaign page. It’s not always easy, and it can be hard to stand out. Here are some useful tips to help you meet your target.
Another great option is to use a t-shirt crowdfunding campaign, which lets you reward donors with custom t-shirts – the perfect way to attract new donors and to offer them something in return.
Read more »
By Penelope Burk originally posted on Burk’s Blog.
Ah…my annual indulgence that I eagerly share with you. Please enjoy this selection of comments from donors who have already taken part in the 2018 Burk Donor Survey. Included are a number of comments about giving during natural disasters, which is one of our survey’s special themes this year.
As always, my special thanks to dozens of not-for-profits who are reaching out to their donors in April and May to invite them to participate in The Burk Donor Survey. These wonderful organizations are united by their belief that evidence from donors should inform decisions about fundraising. And, of course, my deepest gratitude goes to those thousands of donors who, for a little while, have put their busy lives on hold in order to talk about what philanthropy means to them and how their giving is changing in a world full of challenges and opportunities. Read more »
As I bounce back from vacation and start preparing for the year ahead, I’m struck by the changing environment the fundraiser of today faces. While each organization is different and a lot of the fundraising fundamentals still hold true, a review of the trends can give today’s fundraiser something to ponder and bring back to their organization. Here are three such trends that I’ve been chewing over lately.
While story telling is as old as fundraising, it’s the way we tell stories that now keeps fundraisers on our toes. In 2018, as technology gets both cheaper and easier to use, the best story tellers will be live streaming, blogging, and using virtual reality. One of the most powerful ways to connect to a donor is to get them “into the field” to see the work first hand. While this may be easier to do when building a hospital wing in a donor’s home town, it is possible to create a powerful experience for a donor who you can’t get there in person. Take at look at Clouds Over Sidra, a short virtual reality documentary following a 12-year-old Syrian refugee (you can view it here: https://with.in/watch/clouds-over-sidra/). This incredible VR experience raised 70% more than expected at $3.8 billion. While this size and scale may be out of reach for most organizations, this technology is not.
The second trend that I find fascinating is collaborative fundraising. With trust in our sector continuing to wane, and the cost to attract a new donor higher than ever, perhaps it is time to consider working with other organizations. Benefits include cost savings, broader reach, and increased credibility. While the challenges are real, and it may take creative and potentially difficult conversations to get started, the possibilities are huge. Check out this series on the subject: https://ssir.org/advancing_the_art_of_collaboration
Finally, innovation in the sector, whether we like it or not, is having an impact on our donors, our organizations, and our fundraising. Donors are wealthier, younger, and more sophisticated. This new group of donors is looking for new solutions – including innovation and creativity in how their money is used and invested We have to rise to the challenge and meet our donors where they are. Some may view this trend as a threat to our sector, a sector which has operated in a largely transactional way with our donors giving them few opportunities to participate in our charitable work. I, however, think it can be a real opportunity. With donors looking to deploy not only their philanthropic dollars but also their invested dollars, as well as seeking a deeper connection to their philanthropic work, organizations will have to be nimble, invest in building our own sophistication, and be able to partner strategically.
I’m excited to be reviewing the innovations in our sector and seeing which ones fit for the work I’m doing. I encourage all fundraisers out there to do the same.
About the Author
Elissa Beckett, MBA, CFRE, builds philanthropic solutions for donors at Tides Canada and is an instructor at Ryerson University where she teaches Entrepreneurial Fundraising, a course that looks a partnerships, trends, and entrepreneurialism in the non-profit sector. The course is offered in class and online through Ryerson’s Chang School of Continuing Education.
Connect with Elissa on LinkedIn