MHA | The Future of Fundraising
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The Future of Fundraising

Nicola Mason · Posted on: July 10th 2024 · read

During the pandemic, charities had to rapidly shift and adapt the way they approached fundraising, given that traditional methods centred around events and in person giving weren’t available. The sector demonstrated it’s agility, resourcefulness and inventiveness borne out of necessity at a time when demands on services were heightened and funds desperately needed. Online events were developed, and new ways found to engage supporters. Much of this online engagement has continued whilst in person events have been re-introduced. In light of this I have summarised some of the recent developments and considerations in fundraising.

Social media and digital marketing

The use of social media for fundraising expanded massively during covid when this was the main way that many charities could engage with stakeholders. This will continue with the likely switch to videos rather than narrative posts. Some charities have also been using crowdfunding sites for specific projects.

Use of technology

This encompasses a number of areas. Software is getting more sophisticated such that donations and CRM software can integrate with analytics and marketing. As with everything, AI also needs to be considered. This will give charities the ability to profile donors, personalize fundraising campaigns and use data analytics to identify potential donors. It could also be used to automate admin tasks. This will hopefully free up time so that fundraisers can spend time developing donor relationships and engaging with stakeholders.

Engagement with beneficiaries

I came across a post which asserted that charities should consider using beneficiaries as fundraisers. I think that a charity would have to be very careful if it was going down this route as it has a duty of care and must maintain adherence to its responsibilities. However, from the fundraisers I have attended, the most powerful messages have come direct from beneficiaries of the charity who are often able to portray the impact of the charity in a unique and authentic way. If you can’t do this direct, some charities are now using virtual reality technology to allow donors to virtually explore projects, observe the impact and engage with beneficiaries.

Flexible giving.

The traditional donor making a fixed monthly donation may become more difficult to recruit in the middle of a cost of living crisis. In light of this, a more flexible giving approach may be more appropriate. Childrens charity Unicef have a great example of a flexible giving scheme for their donors. Each month, the charity sends a text to supporters with a brief overview of ongoing projects and their impact, along with the option to reply ‘SKIP’ should they wish to miss the donation that month. This gives donors the flexibility to alter their donation whilst retaining contact. This also helps with donor retention. Linked to the idea of flexible giving are available apps that allow donors to easily find local charities, set up monthly donations and vary these as and when they want.

The landscape continues to be challenging with recent inflation and the cost of living crisis.

Nicola Mason  Partner

Generational change

It is considered that younger generations who are just starting to earn income are likely to want to see the impact of their donation and will be more willing to provide non-financial support in the form of volunteering. Charities will need to establish how they want to engage with this generation in order to build longer term relationships securing potential donations in the future.

General election

Inclusion of the third sector in election manifestos raises awareness and may encourage donors during this period. This may continue as changes and developments arising from the election materialise.


There is evidence that funders and donors are starting to engage more with charities that can evidence ESG credentials. This does not need to represent a huge shift in the activity of the charity and will likely include things the charity is already doing. The key will be capturing where ESG is a consideration whether this be in staff retention and development, reducing travel and printing costs or board diversity.

Hopefully this overview will give you some areas to consider.

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