Fundraising for Nonprofits

Inspiring Gifts that Transform

Monday, March 05, 2007

The end of fundraising (as you know it) and the future of philanthropy

Attended an excellent panel presentation at the San Francisco Foundation Center recently featuring fundraising superstars Cheryl Clarke, Susan Fox, Kay Sprinkel Grace, Bob Zimmerman and Lisa Hoffman. Between the five of them, I suspect they have over 80 years of experience in this field. So I asked them to pull out their crystal balls and predict the future of fundraising and philanthropy. Here's what they said.
  1. Fundraising will leverage technology in ways we can't even imagine today.
  2. Donor-driven calls for increased efficiency will reduce the number of nonprofits.
  3. Greater public awareness of the sector will result in increased government oversight.
  4. The leadership deficit crisis will continue to grow.
  5. The need for ongoing training will increase significantly as the field continues to professionalize.
  6. Social entrepreneurs will become the drivers of new philanthropy.
  7. Corporate giving will disappear, to be replaced by various forms of cause marketing.
  8. The number of operating foundations rise.
  9. Planned giving will increase in strategic importance.
  10. The tin cup style of fundraising will be dead.



At 7:17 PM , Blogger phaas said...

Not to prognosticate that y’all are wrong but a counter thought is the number of operating foundations will decrease, as they are rendered obsolete through the creation of more web 2.0, kiva, robin hood fund style marketplaces for direct donor/social enterprise relationships. Foundation research middle men will be cut out, and funding will become much more line item (eg give me 5 grand for a truck), increasing transparency for NFPs. Capital will flow from static large gifts to established organizations to many smaller gifts to groups on the ground with limited capital access or resources for major grant writing but with great stories. Instead of corporate giving decided by a small set of individuals it will be decided by employees with voting accounts, the vast increase in numbers of organizations funded will see a blossoming of NFPs especially in developing countries and a feeding frenzy by corporate marketing types of feel good stories about the great work they are doing. Overall organizational accountability will be shown in organizational profiles, and those with the best results and marketing will win. Hyper web savy execs will relax by giving NFPs money and watching the real life results the same way they relax in second life today. It will be a brave new world for all but a few foundation folks! Man if AIDG ever lets me sleep again maybe I should code all that, unless Kiva does it for me first, you on that Matt? No offense to foundations, feel free to keep supporting us. I just thought somebody should throw out the counter view.

At 9:48 AM , Blogger Gayle said...

Hey Phaas,

Thanks so much for your comments. Appreciate you moving the dialogue along.

Actually, I don't think that you and the fundraising panel I reported on are all that divergent in opinions. Among your many oberservations, I hear you say that: 1) Technology is going to play an ever increasing role in the distribution of funds; 2) Social entrepreneurs will become the new drivers of philanthropy; and 3) Increased donor-centric giving is going to force NGOs to become more efficient and transparent.

Also, I think it was implicit when the panel stated there will be more operating foundations, this is in contrast to a decline in private and community foundations. This is not all that dissimilar from your statement that "Foundation research middle men will be cut out, and funding will become much more line item."

Would love to see the democratizing of corporate giving that you report on increase further. That would be a very good thing indeed.



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