The best way to predict the future is to invent it

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

I was tired of waiting.
When I was just a donor, I was frustrated with the letters, newsletters, and emails I received from my beloved charities. They were insulting. Off-putting. And downright offensive.
They broke my heart.
So I turned my ship in another direction.
I used my marketing expertise to invent new ways of doing things. I had no idea what they were saying in the echo-chambers of the fundraising industry. At that point, I had never read a book or attended a conference on fundraising. But I wanted to develop a new future. One that didn’t tick people off driving them to hop from charity to charity relentlessly searching for one that would treat them right.
And, as I explored this new realm, I discovered that fundraising actually is marketing, customer service and sales. What fundraisers expect from Apple is exactly what donors expect from fundraisers.
Therefore, the new concepts and technologies I invented were not really that new at all. In fact, private businesses were already using some of the technologies I invented. In the end, my invention was really just to on-ramp existing technologies into the nonprofit space.
Now, I can predict the future.
I know where the fundraising industry is headed because I’ve decided to steer it that way and here are my predictions for the future:

  • More focus on engagement; Less focus on asking
  • More stress on simplicity; Less on complexity, legalese, and fancy talk
  • More prominence is given to proving impact; Less on bragging about how awesome your organization is
  • More empowerment, access, and transparency for supporters’ who want to get involved; Less secrecy and conniving
  • More emphasis on retention and the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 Rule); Less on acquisition and dissipation
  • More tracking of your supporters’ interests, wants, needs and desires (the way Amazon and Netflix do it); Less ignorance
  • More relevant and personalized communications; Less one-size-fits-all
  • More effective outreach at greatly reduced costs; Less waste

There you go, that’s the future of fundraising. 
Now the only question is: Will you be part of it?

Related Posts

>> Introducing “ENGAGEMENT FUNDRAISING”— the Future of Nonprofit Marketing
>> How to Generate More Planned Gifts with Less Money and Reduced Resources


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