My Top Ten 2021 Fundraising Predictions

January 4, 2021 | Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA

Predictions are worth the weight of the paper they are printed on, and since this is an email….

Nonetheless, here are my “Top Ten Fundraising” predictions as we head into this New Year.

  1. Cash flow monitoring and budget forecasting will be a life saver.
    As economic pressures mount, closely monitoring your revenue and expenses will be essential.

  1. Finding new sources of revenue will be a top priority in fundraising planning.
    New donors and new funders will be needed. Do you know where to look? Fundraising planning must be deeper and more nuanced. It’s not just about feasibility studies anymore, but development audits, predicative modeling and forecasts, and interests in advanced prospect research will skyrocket.

  1. Too many nonprofit professionals will take the wrong job because of high unemployment.
    It’s important that you make a good choice when taking a new job. Do you fit into that agency?

  1. Government Grants will boom since we’re about to restore sanity to the Federal government.
    If government contracting is a fit for your nonprofit, this is the time to go deeper and expand.

  1. Major Donors and Mega Donors will give even more.
    MacKenzie Scott’s recent $4.2 Billion gifts to 384 nonprofits will seem smallish for what’s to come.

  1. Monthly Giving, or Sustainer Clubs, will continue to grow and be wise for you to promote.
    It’s our version of what financial advisor’s call “dollar cost averaging,” and for your donors who give under $1,000 inviting them to join your monthly giving club is essential to your donor retention strategy. Invite them to sign-up.

  1. Knowing which of your donor’s use a DAF (Donor Advised Fund) to make their gift will be all the talk at the fundraising water cooler.
    DAF’s were up 35% last year and they will surpass that mark next year. Not all American’s have experienced hard times, and the DAF holders represent that “let them eat cake” crowd.

  1. The “Brain Drain” of nonprofit talent will continue because our sector’s professional development, coaching and mentoring are so poor.
    We have to invest more in our staff.

  1. Institutional Funders (foundations) will continue the changes they made during the pandemic with a greater focus on Racial Justice, general support funding, and flexibility with reporting and deadlines.
    Call me an optimist, but the changes we saw last year will stick.

  1. Laurence’s books will become so popular that they will make the New York Times best seller list.
    See, I warned you about predictions!

Happy New Year!
What are your predictions? Please share them on our blog.

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