Where Fundraising Will Be in 2020


Blogger Gayle Roberts is hosting a giving carnival with the theme "predicting the future of fundraising." I'm sort of outside the rules here, the carnival instructs us to write about fundraising 10 years into the future, but I've taken creative license and have instead chosen 2020.

Cut to 2020. Half of us are still women (no third sex will have emerged, though some odd stuff will have come out of the same researchers who gave us Dolly). As a result, philanthropy will be much more integrated into life and less on the fringe. Anyone not involved will only be so because of economic limitations. Giving circles will be declining after a peak in 2015 when due to the private and exclusive nature of these groups, funds coming out of these groups will have been estimated at $419m annually (as of 2013 research).

Individual philanthropy will have seen a 10% increase across all sectors between now and then. Fundraisers will be working in a culture that’s half about catering to the morals and values of the Boomer generation (now retired and a large segment of individual donations) and half about reaching the odd expectations of Gen Z which will have geographic pockets of extreme narcissism and more than 10 mobile device platforms to cater to. Fundraising to this younger audience will be about positioning giving as something they’ll do for themselves rather than for an organization or cause.

Direct mail solicitation will arrive partly on paper (made from government mandated minimum of 65% recycled content) and partly on a new material derived from recycled plastic. This new material will have been introduced by a woman entrepreneur in 2011. She will have gotten the inspiration to make paper from recycled plastics from her landscaping business.

2012 will mark the introduction of new technology that allows email to be delivered to an audio file (only high net worth individuals will be able to purchase the service delivered via audiophile) which will be offered in messaging technology like a podcast. Fundraisers will be struggling to keep appeal messaging to sound byte length to accommodate.

In 2009, the obesity will have hit critical mass and the health and fitness movement will have stepped in to the rescue with a global campaign similar to Sit and Be Fit that allows people to be simultaneously active and productive. The non-profit sector will have jumped onto this bandwagon such to the degree that volunteer opportunities will be commonly marketed as "self-help" opportunities.

The biggest change will be in the banking sector. All financial institutions will be struggling to keep up with several new movements. Every banking transaction will end with the opportunity for customers to make a donation. At the end of every transaction, banks will offer the opportunity to make an electronic donation to “featured” non-profits. Non-profits will pay financial institutions to be marketed as featured organizations. Kiosks will also all have Web browsers where people can instead choose any non-profit organization to receive their donation.

Because of the prevalence of philanthropy, ATMs will appear as works of art customized to new indoor (retail and restaurant environments). Individual artists will be working directly with financial institutions to license their creations and then install them indoors.

This little girl will instead be a member of whatever generation will follow Z and in this picture, she’ll be saying something like “How am I supposed to find the touch screen, Mommy!?!”

Read the giving carnaval roundup of 22 posts on the future of fundraising!
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