#96 | How responsive will fundraising have to be in light of the changing face of philanthropy?

The fundraising practices that most of us have grown accustom to assume a relatively homogeneous group of donors. I would say this is in large part because of mass marketing’s influence in leading us to conclude that every appeal for support will resonate with everyone regardless of who they happen to be and where they find themselves in the world. In many ways, these assumptions allow us to further assume that our fundraising efforts can be efficient, highly-predictable, and ensure our sense of control. The entire fundraising profession has, to a great extent, been expected to deliver on these outcomes for several decades.

That may no longer work. Liz’s insights beg the question of how responsive will fundraising have to be in light of the changing face of philanthropy? The hard reality is that, in order for fundraising to be most responsive in today's rapidly changing world, we must recognize that everyone may not want an invitation to our galas and golf tournaments; and they may not find Giving Tuesday or our year-end appeal as compelling as we once thought. My conversation with Liz affirms my conviction that the lunch table rather than arms-length fundraising tactics remains the most effective cultivation tool and professional development tool that the fundraising profession has.

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