For many nonprofits, the end of the fiscal year is rapidly approaching, which usually means putting your head down and getting to the finish. However, this year is a little different. Why are fundraising experts urging nonprofit leaders to look up and forward, past the finish line?
The Forbes Nonprofit Council recently published an article “Five Emerging Nonprofit Trends in 2021” which examines the different ways that recent history has fundamentally changed how nonprofits move forward. Most of the emerging trends that the nonprofit council identifies were symptoms of how we fundamentally approach our jobs. However, the last, and most important, trend that the council addresses is centered around the idea of “futureproofing.”
So, what is “futureproofing?” This whole idea of changing everything to accommodate life during a pandemic is not the answer.
“This isn’t about just reacting and managing the changes forced on us by the pandemic. Rather, it is about what some are labeling as “futureproofing” — anticipating and preparing for the massive environmental, political and social shifts that are looming already on the horizon.”
Sure, in the midst of the pandemic we had to adapt to a different way of living and working, but futureproofing is about what we will encounter beyond the pandemic. And right now, “we are still too close to recent events to truly understand the magnitude and long-term impacts, we know our experiences will echo for generations to come.”
As a nonprofit leader, you ought to be in the present moment while also thinking deeply about the future. You ought to be searching for innovative solutions to ensure a sustainable long-term existence. While COVID shifted priorities for many nonprofits as well as donors, certainly a shift back to normalcy would spur further change to ensure a seamless transition.
Ask yourself: Will our current group of donors be able to continuously fund this organization into the future? Will this current team of fundraisers be able to forge enough relationships with prospects to ensure a profuse donor pipeline?
Is our current fundraising strategy agile enough to remain effective through whatever the future throws at us?
Even the largest organizations find themselves without an answer to that question. However, there are steps you can take to stay ahead of whatever is next. Gravyty’s artificial intelligence (AI) tools are one way that many nonprofits have done just that. By using AI-powered fundraiser enablement tools to transform the way fundraising works, Pace University expanded its workforce by 4x, without making any additional hires, and increased the average gift size by 15%.
Being able to balance long-term and short-term goals is on every nonprofit leader's mind. Sure, we all have our 90-day plans, but what happens on day 91? A guide you might find helpful is Day 91: Parallel Planning for Next Fiscal Year - just one part of our Fundraising Master Class. Start today, and prepare your team for day 91 and beyond.