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Fundraising Forecasts for 2016…a head scratcher

man scratching head


This is the time of year when I take stock to reflect and project about new advancement trends and developments, and what seems to be gaining steam to make a splash in the coming year. 2015 was a quiet year for innovation and 2016 looks no different.
The past five years or so brought many innovations and landmark developments.

On-line giving driven by social media came into its own and is now flattening out, driving some advancement shops to more closely scrutinize their investment in this strategy.

Crowd Source Giving has come of age and is an increasingly popular way to secure start up funds for projects and organizations, but it is not a sustainable source of support.

Social Investing has not really gotten off the ground. This model requires an open minded and entrepreneurial government partner to make work, and government is not trending in that direction

Text-to-Give is a nice event-linked strategy to add to your arsenal of annual giving tools, but it will never be a game changer.

Mega Campaigns
are everywhere now… Your campaign goal is only $1 billion?

Billionaire Giving Pledge
is getting traction and will represent real money half a generation from now. Thankfully, it represents another way to build a culture of philanthropy in our nation.
Even with all the past innovation in our field, I look ahead and see the need to dig deeper into the basics if you want to build an advancement platform that will sustain your organization.

There is no substitute for doing the core work of our trade:

1. Keeping your case(s) for support fresh, compelling and relevant to your constituencies.


2. Building your donor base of annual contributors.


3. Creating a “pipeline” of people and organizations capable of higher level giving.


4. Establishing strong relationships on behalf of your organization with donors and stakeholders.


5. Asking for and securing gifts.


6. Stewarding your donors and stakeholders so they feel good about supporting your organization.

Ultimately, everything we do supports these objectives that are key to your organization’s sustainability.


Frankly, I am fine with what appears to me to be a coming year with no novel mouse traps to deflect our attention from the nuts and bolts, must dos of a successful advancement program.


For more information about Copley Raff and its spectrum of consulting services, please see Follow CRI on Twitter @copleyraff. For those in healthcare visit

The next
PLAN-MGO sessions is April 8-11, 2016 in Boston. 

(To receive Copley Raff’s exclusive tool to help you determine how much to ask for a multi-year pledge from your major donors, write to with your request. This tool has been validated by more than 200 advancement officers and is the only tool of its kind available.)