PlanForTomorrow shutterstock_361123334I hear this a lot: “The Board is questioning the amount of time we’re spending on new fundraising techniques.” But here’s the interesting thing…

Sometimes the criticism is for spending too much time on new techniques; other times it’s for not spending enough time on new approaches. Yet there is always criticism if this year’s fundraising goals are not being met.

So how should development professionals balance today’s and tomorrow’s fundraising needs?

For many of our nonprofit clients, we recommend a “structured spending” approach:

  • Approximately 60% of your time and resources should be directed to techniques that have proven to work (while always fine-tuning these efforts).
  • 20% of your resources should be spent on techniques that are showing real promise for your organization or other NPOs.
  • 20% should be put against techniques that can represent a step-change in terms of your results and donor engagement.

Since the majority of donations still come through direct mail, this channel must be carefully managed. To optimize direct mail performance in 2017, it is critical to deploy the most progressive data targeting, creative, and personalization techniques. Our clients are succeeding by…

But fundraisers can’t stop here. Development professionals need to consider, experiment with, and / or utilize crowdfunding, peer-to-peer, progressive data service offerings, etc. That’s why Innovairre has been pioneering and delivering the latest solutions to serve nonprofits better — for today and tomorrow:

  • We spent a couple of years building a holistic software platform that enables nonprofits to easily integrate all operations, techniques, and channels into one, non-siloed environment.
  • We have incorporated crowdfunding, peer-to-peer, and volunteer management into our platform.
  • We have invented new mobile solutions.
  • We’re delivering personalized video.
  • We are helping improve social media engagement and multichannel integration.
  • And more.

So what is the right path to follow for nonprofits in search of funds? Find the balance between today’s and tomorrow’s fundraising techniques. This balance will be different for every NPO, but every organization has a responsibility to leverage proven techniques and experiment with evolving solutions.

Don McKenzie is President & Chief Growth Officer of Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. Contact us at, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.