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  Category: Articles » Business » Marketing & Promotion » Article

The Changing Face of Fundraising

By Tuesday knight

The expression "The more things change, the more they stay the same" might apply to people, governments and world economics, but it has no bearing on the intricate world of fundraising. What worked yesterday simply cannot and will not work today, because fundraising success is in line with the ability to communicate. In order to raise funds, organizations must get their message across to their target demographics efficiently and effectively, and by a means that is reflective of the current state of communication. Long gone are the days when mailers, phone calls and fundraising "drives" held any level of effectiveness. More people than ever use the internet as a means of communication, avoid unknown phone numbers through caller ID and can spot anything that doesn't closely resemble a bill or birthday card and send it to the cylindrical file post haste. In short, reaching out to others is not the same as it once was. It's not that people are unable or unwilling to contribute, but often that they are simply not exposed to an organizations efforts.

Whether trying to reach alumni, organization members or the general population, effective fundraising is both cognizant of the changes in communication protocol and streamlined for maximum efficiency. If a not for profit or charitable organization is raising funds, obviously, budgetary concerns are relatively high. Fundraising efforts need to be targeted and tailored for the intended audience.

The primary way in which not for profit and charitable organizations have been able to increase efficiency in recent years has been through the use of fundraising software. Fundraising software applications allow organizations to affordably view, analyze and reconstruct their fundraising efforts in order to maximize effectiveness. The ability to see what efforts have yielded the most positive results, track previous donors and donation trends and set reminders for future fundraising endeavors has had no small impact on the success of not for profit and charitable organizations in the last several years. Applications such as Sage's Fundraising 100 have allowed large scale organizations to manage their campaigns on a more finite level, giving greater control to administrators and staff members.

While the methodology of fundraising has certainly changed, one thing always remains the same. In order to raise necessary funds, organizations must speak to their targeted demographics' sensibilities before those targeted will ever be charitable.
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