The Philanthropic Planning Process(es)
Clear Thinking on Diversity and Anomie

Predicting The Future of Fundraising: Philanthropic Advisors to a Field of Interest

As a contribution of the the Giving Carnival hosted by Gayle Roberts, I would make one prediction. In ten years the leading solicitors of major gifts and planned gifts will, as does Charles Collier, at Harvard, bill themselves as Philanthropic Advisors. As such they will put the good of the donor ahead of that of their organization and will guide the donor to constructing a giving plan, within the context of family dynamics, a vision of society, and the donor's overall financial situation. The Philanthropic Advisor will see herself as an honored member of the estate and financial planning team. Tactfully leaving special pleading for her oganization in the background, this Philanthropic Advisor will raise ten times more money than the traditional fundraiser for her organization.  But her greatest contribution will be to the donor, the donor's family, to society and to the many other organizations that benefit from her work.  Note, I said the leading gift solicitors will take this approach. They will be few in number. The majority of fundraisers will continue to compete in a red ocean of bloody gift competition, a Darwinian struggle that few can win.  The Philanthropic Advisors will work for nonprofits, but also for organizations that support a field - whether it be progressive philanthropy, medical philanthropy, social justice philanthropy, or conservative giving.  Advisors representing a field of giving will  be paid directly and indirectly by more than one nonprofit. For example, Rockwood Leadership Programs, Donors Trust, Tides, or Hudson Institute's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society might house Philanthropic Advisors to draw in dollars to a flock of mission aligned nonprofits. They might pass the hat among organizations who find the dollars flowing from the centrally positioned Philanthropic Advisor. The Advisor would serve the cause, its flock of aligned nonprofits, and the mission aligned donors and their families. Good all around.