What will be the fundraising watchword of 2017?

(via Charity Choice)

James Wainwright, individual giving and membership manager, Epilepsy Action:

“Trust”

In 2017, more than ever before, as fundraisers we must first win people’s trust before we can win their support.

Looking at a typical supporter’s experience of giving to charity, trust is key, every step of the way. When we first come into contact with a charity, we’re unlikely to support that charity if we don’t share its vision of a better world. We have to trust that they’ve identified a viable solution to a genuine problem if we’re to take the relationship any further. That established, we must then trust in that charity’s ability to achieve the things that will make that vision a reality.

At this point, we might reasonably want to find out more. We might even make a donation! Either way, trust is again to the fore. Will the charity keep my personal data safe and only contact me in the way I’ve asked? Will they spend my donation wisely, and only on things that really will make a difference to the problem we both want to beat? Despite the bad press, for the vast majority of charities, the answer to those questions is yes. In 2017, we need to get better at telling the world that.

Valerie Morton, fundraiser and consultant:

“Confusion”

We all know that regulations are tightening on data protection, but it is very difficult getting definite statements on what we should be doing. We are hearing from donors that they do not want inappropriate contact, and yet when we do our best to analyse information so that supporters receive communications that are appropriate for their circumstances (such as wealth screening) we get told that this in itself is inappropriate. 

We develop innovative corporate partnerships, and then get criticised when they generate income to support our beneficiaries. So, in 2017, trustees and charity managers will be spending a great deal of time weighing up the risks relating to all aspects of fundraising. 

Hopefully this will result in a year when all charities are following best practice and relationships between donors and causes continue to improve, but alongside this I believe fundraisers will be mindful of the next story to break in the press, and wonder whether they can do anything right. I just hope we can showcase excellent fundraising and prove that being a fundraiser is the best career in the world.

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