Letter from the Director
Happy New Year! Hope all of you had a wonderful winter break. 2021 is finally here and we are all wondering what’s in store for us this new year. As much as we would like to let go of much of 2020, we should hold on to the lessons learned from the past year which led to innovation, adaptation, and resilience in many areas including fundraising in higher education.
Candid.org’s recent blog post on top fundraising trends to capitalize on in 2021 tells us that unlike previous years, it might be hard to predict what to expect in non-profit fundraising in 2021. Nevertheless, there are a few trends that we can expect to see in the coming year. The blog post mentions that virtual events will continue to happen. Virtual events eliminate geographic limitations and engage new attendees, speakers, and sponsors. They may cost less and provide better stewardship and engagement opportunities for attendees, fundraisers, and donors. Recurring donors will continue to give in 2021, most likely using online platforms. Recurring donors are considered the most loyal donors to institutions and they tend to give more over time. In 2021, non-profit and for-profit partnerships will continue to grow stronger and there will be more meaningful collaborations between non-profit and for-profit sectors. Finally, we learned to be nimble in 2020, and in 2021, organizations need to have alternative fundraising strategies to adapt to any situation that may happen in the future. Institutions should be able to quickly and effectively respond to the demands of change.
A recent publication by Grantmakers for Education – “The Big Vision for the Next Stage of Education Philanthropy,” provides some great insights on issues and priority areas for funders in education. Five themes that are identified as central to education by Grantmakers include:
Among these five themes, racial justice in education is top on the priorities list. I hope we can use this report to identify key areas of need at our institutions to create better strategies and proposals.
The new year brings us the opportunity to reflect on the past and look forward to new goals and accomplishments. I wish you all a successful and prosperous 2021. As always, please feel free to reach out us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research!
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
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