Lately, my crystal ball is waking me up ... with unnerving predictions.------
Fundraisers will demand their civil right to succeed ... and second-guessing will be exposed as the evolutionary reversal it is. Ignorant bosses will either become educated (thanks to you, the fundraiser) or obsolete.
The people with the best thank you's, welcome package, and accomplishment reporting programs will "win." And you [average charity I've encountered in the US] are probably missing at least 2 out of those 3. Your thank you is perfunctory and often stale by the time it arrives. Your welcome package doesn't exist. And your "accomplishment reporting" tends to be all about how great the organization is ... while steadfastly ignoring how great the donor is. Which is why, I betcha, you're raising just a fraction of what you really could raise.
"Local nonprofits" will evolve into their own exquisite, high-flying specialty within the fundraising industry. Of course, Kim Klein has been plowing this field productively for years. So she's the iconic star. But on the donor communications side, there's a lot more that can be done. I've seen more than one small nonprofit with a very small prospect base raise $50,000 in a few weeks with the right piece of house-written direct mail. Yes, it required a bit (about 3 hours) of training. But was it worth it? Oh, yes!
An ability to market charitable bequests successfully will become a requisite for high-achieving fundraisers.
Most members of America's "Greatest Generation," now rapidly passing from this good earth, did not and will not leave a charitable gift in their wills, thanks in large part to our nation's notoriously lackluster skills at promoting bequests.
Shame on us. We deprived an entire generation of eternal meaning, because we were bad at something so basic. We also deprived our organizations of amazing amounts of philanthropy, now going, going, gone.
The next generation, Baby Boomers, is entering its bell lap. So...will America's Boomers pass without leaving much in the way of charitable bequests, as happened with their parents? That's pretty much up to America's fundraisers.
Oh, did I mention? Marketing charitable bequests is unbelievably easy to do, requiring almost no extra time and effort. If I were a boss hiring a fundraiser, here's one topic I'd be sure to cover: "Tell me about your success to date at attracting bequests for your organization."
Visit Tom Ahern at www.aherncomm.com