Staying Fresh and Current in The Philanthropy and Fundraising World

900 500 Gabby Wallin

Written by Christine Rahill, Impact Coach and Nonprofit Consultant at Soukup Strategic Solutions.

Question: How can I stay fresh and current in the philanthropy and fundraising world? 

One of the great things about fundraising is the abundance of creativity that exists in the profession. It’s energizing to get new ideas from other peers about fundraising that we can infuse into our own organizations. 

A great way to stay fresh and current in fundraising is to join an industry or philanthropic association like your local chapter of Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP). AFP has great learning and networking opportunities, at their national conferences as well as local chapter events. These events feature vendors that specialize in the nonprofit sector, and they are great for networking and getting some fresh perspective too. 

Try to stay on top of the constantly changing fundraising and marketing technology options for nonprofits. Many software vendors offer conferences and webinars that provide opportunities to interact with the software to learn what might work best for your organization. You should also seek out educational opportunities that focus on the specific area of philanthropy you are seeking fresh ideas: major gifts, planned giving, association fundraising, etc.  

Keep in mind that the leading funders in your community often host events as well: foundations, corporations, and consultancies. These are great opportunities to meet possible funders as well as networking with your peers.  

Another way to stay fresh and current in the philanthropy world is to subscribe to the many philanthropy publications and online resources. An excellent resource is The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Many philanthropy service providers have newsletters and websites with the latest and greatest fundraising trends. You should also consider joining a LinkedIn group that’s relevant to your work, and follow all your local business publications to keep abreast of philanthropy in your community.  

Good artists copy; great artists steal.” Pablo Picasso 

It is so important (and helpful) to look at what others are doing, and find inspiration in their work that can be translated to something successful for your organization. It probably goes without saying, but a good Google search and review of other nonprofits’ websites can provide the plenty of ideas, including things like sample donation forms, donor honor roll designations, planned giving resources, and even sample ask letters if you find yourself in a creative rut. There are lots of resources at your fingertips to help keep you up to date on the latest and greatest in fundraising. Good luck!