Katherine Raskob says two resources for fundraisers will stand out more than any others over the next ten years:
Public trust and up-to-date tech.
Raskob is the CEO of the Fundraising Institute of Australia, and knows more than most that non-profits face the unique burden of what she calls ‘the notion to not spend any money.'
After all, donors want to see that the vast majority of their money is going directly to the charities’ beneficiaries.
Unfortunately, the response can so often be to fail to invest in tech out of the desire to appear trustworthy. In the long-term, Raskob says that’s a failing strategy.
KATHERINE RASKOB, CEO, FUNDRAISING INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA
“Many charities haven't made the required investments over the last few years. Luckily, most charities now have websites. However, the Global NGO Technology Report 2019 found that while 95% of Australian NFPs have a website, just 62% can take donations online, whereas, in the US and Canada, 85% of NFPs could take donations through their websites."
This statistic is an indicator of a lack of investment in technology, but Raskob remains optimistic that in ten years, the long-term effects of the pandemic in 2020 will actually be greater investment, especially in technology.
“Charities have found innovative ways to reach donors because of COVID-19,” she said.
Where many in the non-profit sector have got it wrong, she says, is assuming that self-investment will make themselves seem untrustworthy.
That’s why Raskob says that it’s not about making sure to spend as little as possible on upgrading tech and hiring new staff – it’s about transparency.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how much charities invest in themselves, as long as they’re clear about it publicly.
“Constant awareness about best practice, ethical methods of fundraising, and adhering to the FIA [Fundraising Institute Australia] code, will ensure that our work is absolutely to the highest standard.
“Building trust and confidence will ensure that the fundraising sector is sustainable into the future."
One of COVID-19’s silver linings for the charity sector was the shake-up it offered to charities as they look towards 2030.
For the first time in years, many were forced to move more and more into online spaces, and the glimpse it gave charities could prompt significant investment into future.
For smaller charities, up-to-date websites and the ability to receive online donations stand out as the most important steps to take.
For others, it might look like leaning into AI technology as a tool for greater, more personalised connections between charities and their donors.
Either way, investment in the future is a must. And investment in public trust is a must.
These resources will be vital for the most successful charities over the next ten years.
Read the full story
To find out more about accessing the resources you need to stay the course in 2030, download the full version of The Future of Fundraising, with contributions from industry leaders all around Australia.