Predictions for 2008

This year promises to be a very interesting year for philanthropy and non-profit organizations. With the presidential election, a very uncertain economy, rapidly changing technology, the value of the dollar dramatically down, and global warming increasing we are sure to see non-profits experience many challenges in their fundraising efforts.

I’d like to share with you this week some of my 2008 predictions for the non-profit sector.

  1. The baby boomers are reaching their sixties and non-profit organizations should be looking for greater volunteer involvement from this age group. The planned giving activity of this age group will also increase.
  2. Technology on all levels will grow . Non-profits should use there websites and e-mail to recruit volunteers to serve on boards and committees. Websites like YOUTUBE, Facebook, and blogs will become more commonplace. Organizations should place videos on these sites as a way to reach out to potential volunteers and donors.
  3. With a high probability of the economy going south non-profits should look at getting closer to their donors and key stakeholders.
  4. Volunteerism and community service will increase and the government may pass legislation that supports national service. Try to get connected with your state volunteer agencies and committees in an effort to build relationships with potential full-time volunteers.
  5. Climate change will become the single most urgent worldwide issue, surpassing hunger; and there will be greatly expanded resources for organizations that are aligning themselves with climate issues, “green” building, and other environmental efforts.
  6. As more social entrepreneurs enter the non-profit field there will be increased competition for dollars and resources. Make sure you have the best “mouse trap” and develop the best product to market that is possible.
  7. Philanthropy will become more about being engaged and less about the checkbook so find opportunities for your donors to become involved in your organization and have specific roles for them to play.
  8. Donors will be more focused and demanding as the economy declines and competition for the dollar increases. Make sure you have your “ducks in order” and build your relationships carefully.
  9. There will be an increase in children’s philanthropy and youth will be playing a greater role. This is especially true if Obama is elected president. Try to design some educational and marketing materials so kids understand your issues. Look for ways to involve youth in your organization.
  10. Online donating will increase dramatically as a result of the presidential election . This is an opportunity to collect e-mail addresses and begin to e-mail newsletters and other materials in preparation for an “ask” later on in the year.

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