Today we’re going to dive into interpreting these trends and share 10 recommendations for moving forward.
Given the economic and political uncertainty that lies ahead, here are a few tips:
- Temper expectations of growth at year-end.
- Plan appropriately before launching any capital/major giving campaign.
- Pay close attention to the potential political and economic shocks that could still be in front of us, the most significant of which could be the November elections.
- If you rely on direct mail as a primary revenue source, expect contraction in your donor file as donors age. Younger generations do not respond to mail the same way older generations did.
- Create immersive experiences for your millennial donors. Millennials want to see themselves as a part of solving social problems versus peripheral to the organization. The traditional drivers of charitable support are not as relevant to younger consumers.
- Ensure alignment between your organization and your constituents. This includes aligning messaging with a robust case for support, verifying donor centric language is in place, mapping and implementing intended donor journeys, and conducting and aligning campaigns to extensive analysis into donor insights and demographics. Pay close attention to current donors.
- Maximize year-end communication. Do not view the election cycle as negating the value of donor messaging.
- Embrace new technologies to identify and reach prospective supporters, as well as upgrading current supporters.
- Invest in developing planned giving programs offering an array of options.
- Invite donors to “insider” views of the organization; co-create solutions with their active engagement.
- Invest in new and different strategies to engage younger donors (i.e. mobile technology), and do a better job of cultivating and converting existing non-donor relationships.
- Consider strategies for engaging multi-cultural populations in both mission and fundraising strategize.
It’s not enough to approach your fundraising strategy with industry best practices. You must be aware of the unique set of circumstances impacting your donors and your organization. By paying attention to national and world news and trends in demographics and technology, you will be able to pivot and make the best decisions to guide your organization into 2017.