Josh Birkholz, principal at Bentz Whaley Flessner, recently wrote an interesting article articulating our firm’s vision and predictions for platform fundraising.
Here is a short excerpt.
“Today, it feels similar to the early 1980s of prospect research and the early 2000s of analytics. However, the scattered, under invested new reality is the world of platform fundraising. Sure, we have a person in annual giving who runs giving days. Our marketing department tracks impressions. Our fundraisers use LinkedIn to secure discovery calls. But for most programs, the digital world is seen as a supplemental channel to manage declines in unrestricted revenue from phone and direct mail.
Eric Kinariwala, in Forbes (May 2018) said 7,000 bricks and mortar stores closed by the end of 2017. He went on to say, “Storefronts aren’t folding because people are buying less—they’re doing so because people are buying differently.”
The trend of commerce to the digital space is not news to anyone. But what about high-touch fields like service? When Amazon launched its Geek Squad competitor in technical support, Best Buy saw a loss of $1 billion in value. Stockholders saw the writing on the wall.
Facebook, the ubiquitous connector and purveyor of mass data segmentation, has set its sights on fundraising. I would be surprised if you didn’t see someone raising money on your feed the last time you checked your smartphone. I get it, the last thing you need is someone telling you what you already know. All the other industries are changing because of digital platforms. If you think the scale of digital disruption will be limited to an annual giving channel, I’m afraid you might be missing the biggest wave to hit our own industry. So how do we catch the wave?”