More about fundraising in 2020

Here’s a question that’s been making the rounds: How will donors be different in 2020 and how will they be the same? I have some ideas:



  • In 2020, the oldest Baby Boomers will be turning 74. For most organizations, this means Boomers will start dominating the file. But the older generation will still be well represented. That’s a bit of a reality check for those who see total transformation of the way we raise funds. As long as pre-boomers are with us in numbers, the way we’ve been engaging donors is at least partly the right way. But the Boomers will be a significantly larger part of the donor population every year.
  • Online giving will no doubt have matured into a much more important channel. Specialized social networking sites will proliferate, and some of them will be great places to raise funds — because that will be their purpose. The way we interface with the Net will be better and richer and easier.
  • Donors will have a lot more choices. There will be more nonprofit organizations vying for the attention and gifts of our donors. A lot of them will by hyper-local. Or super-specialized. Or ultra-targeted at very specific groups of donors — demographic, psychographic, professional, hobbies, and more. These extra-relevant and targeted fundraisers will be tough to compete with.
  • It will be so easy for people to get information that nonprofits will struggle to be interesting. Almost anything you say will elicit “been there, done that.”

(More 2020 thoughts here and here.)


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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