Letting Go, Leaning On, and Looking Ahead


As we prepare to begin a new year, celebrating the end of a disastrous year on so many levels, there are certainly things we’ve learned. Without a doubt, fundraising is forever different. Here are some musings on transforming after 2020.

Letting Go
This was the year that forced us to figure out what we could and couldn’t let go. The way we’ve always fundraised, for example, no longer worked in an all remote, all virtual world.  Before 2020, virtual galas and online fundraising events—let alone 1:1 donor video meetings—wasn’t even considered possible. Fast forward to today, many nonprofits have adapted and innovated and even raised more money.

When you begin to map out your fundraising plans in 2021, reflect for a moment on what you learned this year.  What no longer serves your fundraising strategies. Maybe it’s letting go expectations about face-to-face meetings, or events, or the channel of donor communications to best use (hint: it’s not just one).  Let 2021 be your year to let go of the “old” way of fundraising.

Letting go of “the way we’ve always fundraised” can be really hard. Not sure where to start? Contact us to learn how we can guide your fundraising of tomorrow.

Leaning On
One of the few silver linings this year were friends and peers whom I leaned on and learned from. Whether it was musing about how fundraising will change post-Corona, diving into first of its kind research about the importance of development plans to increased donor retention and revenue, or sharing perspectives on how to integrate fundraising and marketing into a seamless donor engagement strategy, this year I leaned on really cool and whip smart friends to dig into interesting work that will help fearless fundraisers like you.

Check out the Fundraising Toolkit for resources on development planning, building a major gifts program, empowering your board to fundraise, and many other tips you can implement now.

Looking Ahead
There really feels like a growing sense of optimism for 2021. While none of us are not quite out of the woods yet, if we’ve learned anything this year is that the tried and true fundraising strategies of intentional planning, consistent donor communications, and emphasis on relationship building not check collecting stood the test of turbulence.

Our COVID-19 Recovery Kickoff will help fundraisers and nonprofit leaders like you figure out how to rebuild in a post-2020 world. 

Transformation does not require large scale changes. Small, incremental adjustments in your fundraising next year can help you chart a new path for donor retention and sustained revenue growth. You’ve got this, fundraising friend.

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