In this series, we take a look at the current news impacting the nonprofit sector, specifically fundraising. Our intention is not to be reactive, but to be proactive in our analysis of the news and consider how fundraising and philanthropic efforts can improve outcomes and adapt to meet the times.
This week: Potent New Fundraising Tools Shouldn’t Be Abandoned When the Covid Crisis Ends, Advancement Shops Go Digital, and Corporate Philanthropy Becomes a Renewed Focus for Leadership Companies.
Potent New Fundraising Tools Shouldn’t Be Abandoned When the Covid Crisis Ends (Via Chronicle of Philanthropy)
The COVID-19 pandemic has irrevocably changed how nonprofits operate. Out of necessity, we were forced to come up with new approaches for doing our work and accomplishing our goals, with unexpected benefits. Today, as we think about what lies ahead in 2021, we need to recognize that changes we once viewed as temporary responses to the pandemic may ultimately transform how we do our work — specifically how we use technology to cultivate donors.
Analysis: The innovation that came from the pandemic has turned fundraising on its head. But ultimately, if a strategy that was brought about by COVID works, why stop? Leaders should make sure that their teams are using everything in their arsenal to keep up organizational momentum.
Advancement Shops Go Digital (Via Inside Higher Ed)
College fundraising officers, who long relied on in-person meetups and events to cultivate relationships with donors and solicit money, were forced to rethink their strategies. Travel was out of the question -- because of the health risks the pandemic posed and because departmental travel budgets were the first to go as colleges tightened their belts last spring. On-campus events where alumni could gather were canceled. Donor meetings had to take place over the phone or via video call.
Analysis: As we think about new fundraising strategies, the shift to digital communications at the onset of the pandemic was a huge transition for many teams. However, teams that leaned into technology like Big Sister Association of Greater Boston found themselves having similar success.
In 2020, philanthropic donations by major donors saw an almost 7 percent increase on a year-to-date basis. As companies direct more of their money to external charitable causes, internally decision-makers are assessing how the companies' philanthropic efforts tie into their values, corporate responsibilities, and sustainability strategies.
Analysis: With business leaders thinking about how their philanthropy impacts their business, fundraisers should be right there with them. Communicating with donors about what their gift would mean for the organization and the progress they would be responsible for is not something they can arrive at on their own.
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