AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

BlogNonprofits Must Prepare for Shifting Landscape in Fundraising

Subscribe to AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

Nonprofit event photography.

Nonprofits Must Prepare for Shifting Landscape in Fundraising

Nonprofit event photography.Nonprofits have faced a great many fundraising challenges over the years — from general misperceptions of their business acumen to the upheaval of historical events, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Change is the only constant we can count on, of course, and the challenges keep coming. Insights and advice from our fundraising consultants can help nonprofits prepare.

Top 3 Challenges Today for Nonprofit Fundraising

  1. 1. Digital Disruption

    The introduction and evolution of digital tools have a significant and fast-moving impact on all aspects of our world, including nonprofits. Remember the early days of social media?

    The question now is how to wisely incorporate philanthropic analytics not only into fundraising initiatives but interactions with donors and prospects.

    And yet to be fully understood is how artificial intelligence (AI) will affect the current fundraising model. The AI content and image tools already in use come with pros and cons, and all the strategic and ethical applications are a work in progress.

  2. 2. Decreasing Volunteerism

    There are two factors of concern here — fewer numbers of volunteers and volunteers with less time to give.

    A U.S. Census Bureau and AmeriCorps survey found that volunteerism dropped by 7 percentage points between 2019 and 2021. The survey attributes the decrease to the pandemic.

    What’s more, the pandemic’s survival strategies — work from home, shop from home, deliveries to our doorsteps — continue to have a lingering effect. It’s easier than ever to just stay home. The pandemic also altered people’s perspectives. They’re more cautious about how they spend their time and who they share it with.

    The additional wrinkle is the changing needs of volunteers. For years nonprofits have relied on longtime volunteers who are passionate about the organization and its mission. Today, volunteerism is shifting to something more “transactional.” People may be more open to volunteering for specific tasks with a start and finish that fits their schedule.

  3. 3. Your Community Doesn’t Know You

    For a successful capital campaign, nonprofits could learn a thing or two from marketing — namely, tell your brand story and tell it often.

    A strategic communication plan that consistently tells the story of the organization, its mission and how it makes a difference helps build trust, not only with potential volunteers but also with potential donors.

    Outreach matters, too. Meeting regularly with community leaders and sharing with them what your organization is doing, combined with communicating your story to the community, builds a solid foundation for a capital campaign or other fundraising efforts.

For more insight and advice on these topics, listen to our podcast “The Evolution of Fundraising.” This episode features two of our expert fundraising consultants: Jennifer Rubel, director of fundraising, and Tim Torgerson, senior fundraising advisor.

Need help raising funds for your nonprofit? Kickstart your next capital campaign or endowment campaign by downloading our Fundraising Campaign Checklist or by contacting an AMPERAGE fundraising adviser at 319.268.9151.

Written by:

As Director of Fundraising at AMPERAGE, Jennifer leads a team of experienced fundraising consultants offering expertise in fundraising campaign management, prospect identification and cultivation, campaign communications and donor stewardship. With more than 20 years in the fundraising and marketing industry, she is a true professional when it comes to consulting on a successful campaign, providing recommendations and solutions and helping clients achieve high-dollar fundraising goals. Jennifer’s communication skills and measurable results keep enthusiasm and support high until campaigns reach a successful finish. She also excels in effectively conducting feasibility studies, coordinating case statements and marketing materials, managing solicitation, leading volunteer training sessions and more. Prior to AMPERAGE, Jennifer served as the campaign manager at the University of Iowa Foundation. During her tenure there, Jennifer played an instrumental role in reaching two universitywide campaign goals of $1 billion and $1.7 billion. Jennifer also served as the director of advancement at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport. Her background gives her expertise in conducting feasibility studies, campaign execution, prospect identification, solicitation management and donor solicitations. Jennifer has worked on capital campaigns for museums, libraries, conservation organizations, public/private partnerships and more. In support of these campaigns, she has evaluated prospects; trained campaign volunteers; coordinated the creation of videos, case statements and campaign collateral materials; helped develop campaign messaging; and led fundraising software training. She has served on the board of directors for Quad Cities Planning Giving Council and Bethany for Children and Families.