# Fundraising In The Future
The future of fundraising is already here, and it is about as simple as acknowledging that donors are important now more than ever. The answer depends, first of all, on funders getting smarter about building deeper, meaningful relationships with their donors, offering them more tangible benefits and hands-on involvement.
Fundraisers will have to get smarter in order to develop lasting relationships with donors. In the future, engagement and relationships with donors will have a higher value. Because technology is going to be so influential on the way that fundraising is done, there is going to be a greater demand to cultivate a personal relationship with donors, even when behind a screen. In the future, fundraisers are going to need to become even more protective of donors information, given the little amount of privacy that is available on the internet already.
In the future, donors are likely to be more likely to give via mobile, which will also create an increased need for creating a value-added experience for donors who are met in person by a fundraiser. Just as the trends we are seeing in FinTech bringing higher-quality tools to smaller organizations, managing repeat donors with fundraising technologies will enable any non-profit organization to receive more donations online. The increase in QR code use to promote donation pages and share information will also be a way for nonprofits to convert their physical mailings and move donors into an online system, allowing simpler tracking across the board.
Technology will offer better ways for organizations to tell their stories to donors.
Technology has been an incredible help for charities and their fundraising. Today, there are many tools and platforms available to automate our communications, track donors engagement activities more efficiently, and help us determine what segments of our database are most likely to renew, become large-gift donors in the future, or be one-and-done donors. Many working in philanthropy think bringing on board new technology tools will optimize fundraising, boost gifts, broaden donor pools, and lower costs.
Improvements to tools such as surveys, as well as critical steps such as listing management, are only the start of what we are going to see happen to the future of philanthropy and fundraising. In the coming years, these combinations of data, communities, and smart technologies will fundamentally change fundraising as we know it, making interactions among staff, volunteers, and donors more personal, more smart, and more efficient than ever. The growing amount of data and the predictive capabilities of AI will allow donors to make more impactful donation decisions going forward. Personally, I believe artificial intelligence, much like social media analytics, has the ability to give fund-raisers insight faster and in more effective ways, as well as give prospective donors quick, simple experiences.
Using tools such as analytics and predictive modeling can increase ROI, since you are sending mail to the right audiences, save money, as you are not sending printed pieces to people that are unlikely to renew their support, and help you to raise more money in general. Organizations who invest in using their data intelligently will increase their retention rate.
Invest in technology to make fundraising more efficient and efficient. A well-developed fundraising strategy will take advantage of past successes and opportunities to help your organization grow year over year. Ultimately, a well-rounded fundraising strategy will help your organization raise more money and access longer-term support.
Right now, funders must be focused on retention, increasing the value donors place on their giving, and engaging supporters through a series of more sophisticated paths of involvement. Not only must fundraisers look for distance-based, creative ways to connect with donors, but they must make conscious efforts to broaden the diversity of their donor pipeline. Charities must place themselves in a intersection between inspiration and solutions, that is how their fundraising becomes a 24/7 campaign.
As a result, charities who are able to respond, are the most efficient, and are the most inspirational, will be in direct contact with donors who want to turn the tide. Some fund-raisers, however, will become better at understanding donors motivations to give, and responding to those in a creative way. Most fundraisers, of course, will not make this jump, and thus the majority of donors will continue to feel as uninspired about charities and the people who work for them as they do today.
Even if I personally can simply brush my disappointment in the massive solicitations on Giving Tuesday, a lot of donors wont. If a lot of those younger folks dipped their toes in the registry waters and saw that being philanthropic meant being treated like a piggy bank (waiting to be broken) or having to deal with invasive solicitations that were not appropriate, we would sour giving to them entirely. In fact, you can bet that for many donors, sending 4-6 emails with increasing urgency sounds is going to create very negative associations of the IKAR, and they will never think of donating to them (no matter how effective).
In the hope of encouraging optimism, I added a few practical things to the sidebar of the chart, which funders could begin doing right away in order to forge a more meaningful relationship with their donors, in order to make donors happier, and thus to prevent a wholesale defection down the road. Donors having their money abused and abused, and being reported on by the press, is a problem facing legitimate fundraisers today, and one they will likely have to keep surmounting going forward. If we have major fundraiser shortages now, particularly among younger professionals, the future of the nonprofit fundraising profession, and of philanthropic long-term income, is in serious jeopardy.
When you have a fundraising idea that has broad appeal, crowdfunding tech platforms and messaging apps are becoming a popular way to reach younger donors and their networks. Donors can make contributions with a few taps of a phone, and they are amplifying their influence through peer-to-peer fundraising platforms that seamlessly integrate with social media accounts. Smart fund-raisers will realize that successful communications are less about what they want to say and more about what donors are willing to listen to, and how the fund-raiser can craft it in an intelligent way.