A new era of fundraising is upon us, and both campaigns and donors have evolved.
The sea change has come about for a variety of reasons. Donors today are more sophisticated and are making more complex and blended gifts. Old money has given way to more first-generation wealth among donors, and this new breed often thinks differently about their philanthropy. The competition for philanthropic largesse is intense and is sometimes more akin to a competitive sport. Getting donors’ attention—and holding it—can be a contest of its own among the fittest and better financed. There are now even more vehicles and novel approaches to communicating the story and making the case for support (and that’s on top of all the other messaging noise vying for attention), and donors no longer sit back and wait for information to be pushed out to them. They can access real-time news and alerts on social media and gather information on their own. Fundraising has a greater dependence on larger gifts, and campaigns are now more often comprehensive in nature, with longer planning phases, shorter public phases, and minimal public launches. And on top of all that, many fundraisers are increasingly keen to see their organizations come up with big, bold ideas that attract transformational gifts.
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