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 Swank, JD, senior consultant at Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company, helps nonprofits apply statistical analytics and donor research to their fundraising efforts with an emphasis on planned gifts. She has raised nearly $250 million for mission funding during her nonprofit development career. Katherine is a retired affiliate faculty member of Regis University’s master of Global Nonprofit Management degree program, where she taught courses on wealth and philanthropy.  Along with writing for publications like Advancing Philanthropy and Philanthropy Journal, she is also a frequent presenter for industry conferences such as NACGP, AFP, APRA, and bbcon. Having grown up in a tourist destination in Colorado, Katherine has become an avid world traveler and is exploring her way through the 1,000 places to see before you die, albeit slowly.  Connect with her on Twitter @KatherineSwank.

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