Predictions and Resolutions

As 2017 approaches, members of the THINK team share their predictions for what 2017 will hold and their thoughts on the resolutions fundraisers should be making.



Simon: “Tried and tested fundraising activities are under pressure. It’s  already clear that charities are looking at how they can foster a culture of  innovation to develop new fundraising activity that will engage potential  and existing supporters. Nobody has a monopoly on innovation – and it¹s  certainly not the preserve of the senior team. Charities should be looking  at how to encourage and support innovation across the organisation,  recognising that younger talent is more connected to younger supporters.  New and social media, including gaming are getting ever more  sophisticated – harnessing their power for fundraising will need to be a  focus.”






Michelle Chambers: ‘2017 will see the sector normalizing new ways of  working required by the regulatory environment and focusing on  delivering a great experience to supporters, rather than being preoccupied with what can’t be done.

 Fundraising teams should resolve to allow themselves to celebrate their successes whilst learning from those things that don’t quite go to plan.  Fundraising is a great profession to be in and fundraisers should keep sight of the impact of the services delivered thanks to the voluntary income raised.”



Della “I would love to see the IOF spearhead a movement for the advancement of women in the sector, with a number of training, mentoring and development initiatives geared to helping women fundraisers reach their full potential.

 Senior managers should resolve to try to be better at supporting the professional development of teams, so that they thrive in their roles.  In particular, let’s make sure that people coming into the sector understand how to fundraise well and ethically. And all fundraisers should resolve to spend 30 minutes a week helping someone else to be a better fundraiser”.



Sue: “2017 will see personalisation and a human connection being ever more important when creating the best supporter experience.  However, this must be meaningful and authentic with the residue of the real warmth of a human touch not a fake mass market glow.

Fundraisers should resolve to take time out to connect/re-connect with the cause – visit a local centre or shadow a colleague and re-energise yourself with the motivation from seeing

the ultimate result of your work. You will also get some fantastic stories to share with your supporters.”




Grahame: ”2017 will be all about quality – quality communication  with donors; quality assurance around consent; using high quality  supplier’; engaging ‘quality donors’. The latter point is interesting –  the recent RNLI example showed that more people opted in to receive communications than RNLI forecast. These people are the ‘quality donors’ i.e. the ones that genuinely want a relationship with the charity. So, I expect charities to focus on creating deep and lasting relationships that drive maximum value with these ‘quality donors’. I also expect to see charities doing more with mid-value supporters as the potential of mid value remains largely untapped across the sector.”





Julie: “Blows to trust and confidence in charities will happen in more countries, and fundraisers around the world will be experiencing heightened concern about best practice and regulation.

 All fundraisers should make 2017 the year of a new (or renewed) focus on really understanding our donors.  Decisions that are grounded in solid insight about donor audiences will bring the best returns for beneficiaries in the long term.”





Beccy: “Fundraising Directors should resolve to mobilise community fundraisers, making sure they are equipped, skilled and focused on building deeper relationships with the supporters who are closest to your cause”.







Michelle Sorrell: “Positive images and positive storytelling to build a compelling case will become increasingly important.

  As charities grapple with the issues of data and engagement with individuals, this will generate an increase in the number of events delivered by the sector and a greater focus on community and volunteer fundraising, but also put into focus how corporate partnerships can harness broader audiences.

The pressure on the sector will remain and the recent political and socio seismic shifts which we have been witnessing with Brexit and Trump will continue as France and Germany go to the polls, as well as potentially the U.K.

Although 2016 did not see so many significant examples of selfie or ice bucket challenge, digital innovations and creativity will remain critical with a greater need for senior leadership and trustees to be more digitally savvy.”