Focus 2011 – Key Themes for Fundraising this Year | npENGAGE

Focus 2011 – Key Themes for Fundraising this Year

By on Mar 15, 2011


Last month, the Oregon and SW Washington Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals released its third annual survey of Nonprofit Fundraising Trends from among its member organizations.  The survey asked development and leadership professionals to review their 2010 fundraising results in a variety of areas.  The report is extensive and interesting to read, yet, among everything it discussed I couldn’t help but take in the over-arching key themes from the survey and how they nicely summarize what our focus must be for 2011.  Here they are:

  • Persistence, consistency, outreach, communication, relationships, and focus.
  • Build and maintain relationships with funders and supporters; communicate with them via frequent, focused, and personalized messages.
  • Follow donor cultivation with meaningful, targeted solicitations and planned asks in specific amounts.
  •  Donor appreciation is not only as a good relationship-building practice, but also as essential to fundraising: “There is a direct correlation between the numbers of ways you can say thank you and increased contributions.”
  •  While there was a strong focus on individual donors (small and medium-sized gifts from a greater number of donors), many respondents also pointed to their need to diversify their funding sources and indicated corporate support and major donor support as key targets for 2011.
  • Groups – especially those without dedicated development staff – are looking to board, volunteer, and general staff participation in fundraising.

*Katherine Swank is a consultant for Target Analytics. You may reach her at

Katherine has over 30 years of experience in the fundraising industry as a consultant, development officer and advancement team manager. As a member of Blackbaud’s analytics consulting team for over a decade, she facilitates strategic, client-facing content for Blackbaud’s custom modeling, wealth screening, and prospect research solutions to enhance clients’ development efforts with data-driven strategies.  Before assuming this role, she served as the national director of gift planning at
the National Multiple Sclerosis Society home office. Katherine has raised over $200 million during her career. She is a past president of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, a former lawyer and also served as an affiliation faculty member at Regis University where she taught development-related courses at the master’s level for more than 10 years. She is a frequent speaker at BBCON, NACGP, Apra, AFP and other industry conferences.

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