Fundraising with an eye to the future

In nonprofit fundraising, the constant pressure to raise more with fewer resources can be so all consuming that we forget to step back and look at future trends. To help us break out of that, we recently had fundraising futurist Trista Harris at The Nonprofit Academy.

Having run an endowment through the toughest economic time since the Great Depression, she knows what it is like to lead and fundraise under incredible pressure. In the midst of that, she realized that corporations and governments were using future trends in their regular planning.

But nonprofits weren’t. They were looking at the past and present. But not at the future.

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So she committed to fixing that. And I believe our sector is better because of her work.

5 Trends to Watch in 2019 – Updated

Check out her list of “5 Future Trends for Fundraisers to Watch.” This is a mid-year update of her trends to watch in 2019. All five are helpful. For existence, look at #4.

4) New Expectations- Donors will be more likely to ask if your internal actions meet your mission. If you are working on ending global poverty for women, do you have wage disparities by sex in your organization? If you are working on economic capabilities in communities of color, do the vendors you select for office supplies and construction projects match your mission? Make sure the inside realities of your organization, match the external mission.

Like all of her five, this is important for nonprofits to consider. Not only are donors expecting us to walk our talk, but our staffs are too. A recent study by Deliotte found that almost half of Millenials were thinking of their job in the next 2 years leaving. The reason? Not money but values. They weren’t seeing the equity and social justice they believe in being modeled in the places where they worked.

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So if we want to retain both donors and staff members, we really will have to “Make sure the inside realities of your organization, match the external mission.”

Read all 5 Trends

You can read all “5 Future Trends for Fundraisers to Watch” on her blog at -watch”. She cites changing giving habits of donors and corporations, donor expectations of personalization, and how you use your invested assets.

If you want to learn how to incorporate a “futurist” framework into your fundraising planning, watch Trista’s “Becoming a Future Focused Fundraiser” training in The Nonprofit Academy at:

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