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Fundraising trends

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Charitable fundraising is changing.

A growing number of charities are working to engage diverse donors in personal ways, and to integrate a range of diverse fundraising programs.

With the population undergoing dramatic shifts, charities are looking for ways to connect with donors whose approach to their wealth and giving may differ based on age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other factors

Charities also are integrating their fundraising programs, ranging from annual funds and major gifts to capital campaigns and planned giving.

Nonprofits’ goals in working to make their fundraising programs seamless are to offer donors and fundraising staff a broader and more engaging menu of giving options, and to gear their organizations to position donors to make larger gifts culminating in a planned gift through a will or estate plan.

These changes are prompting nonprofits to invest time and resources to train their staff, board members and volunteer leaders to better understand and work more effectively with their donors through the organizations’ entire range of fundraising programs.

Charities also are taking a more business-like approach to their fundraising in response to rising interest on the part of donors and funding organizations to be more involved in causes they support and to see results that can be measured.

So charities are integrating fundraising into their planning and operations.

They also are working more closely with donors and funders to better understand their interests and involve them in helping to understand the needs of the organizations they fund and to help shape those organizations’ strategy and programs.

And they are developing metrics to show donors and funding organizations the impact their support is having on the people the charities serve.

Ultimately, fundraising continues to turn on relationships, and the evolving shift to a more integrated and personal approach to diverse donors builds on traditional fundraising principles that are tried and true.

But the new approaches depart from the past because they are more integrated and can take advantage of technologies that make it easier to collect, understand, segment and share data about donors, and communicate with them.

Colleges, universities, professional organizations and technical-assistance programs also are offering training and research to charitable fundraisers, helping them strengthen their skills in an increasingly competitive charitable marketplace.

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