The Bi-Polar Future of Fundraising

There are two fundraising models that are heading in opposite directions.

The traditional model is that you invest in new donor acquisition and then work to build a long-term relationship with those donors who, in turn, will faithfully support your cause.

The emerging paradigm is a point-of-sale model, where an organization realizes all of its LTV with the donor’s first gift and no possibility of an ongoing relationship.

One model is relational. One model is transactional. I see the industry struggling to “convert” transactional donors into the relational model. My sense is that this could be an expensive and futile effort.

Rather, I believe the better approach may be to create distinct strategies optimizing each of these two very different fundraising approaches.

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