May 30, 2023 Douglas Shaw & Associates

Excitement, dread, caution . . . the word “innovation” might bring you a myriad of feelings! Especially in 2023, when it is hard to talk about innovation without being immersed in topics like cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence (AI)—if you’re like me, these topics get confusing fast!

As I’m sure you can relate, in the fundraising world, when we think of innovation, we often imagine the latest and greatest way to connect with our donor base. We think about cutting-edge technological advancements, tactics, or strategies that make it easier for us to find more donors, communicate more effectively, and ultimately generate the funds our organizations need.

But there are times when all this innovation talk can feel overwhelming. It is easy to get excited and caught up in new ideas, only to wonder how we would even implement everything it takes to get a new idea in place . . . let alone consider the cost.

I was recently surprised by a simple lesson I learned—sometimes innovation may be simply taking the next step forward that you need to take . . . big or small.

Maybe this will be a good reminder, or a good opportunity, for you to ask the question—what is the next step you and your organization need to take? Innovation might be something as simple as implementing Apple Pay to make the giving process easier for your donors (see The Never-Ending Race to Innovate), or maybe you identify someone who can help you in your journey to better communicate the right message to the right audience (see The Details in the Data).

So as you continue in your fundraising efforts, let me encourage you with this: rather than looking for a way to keep up with the most cutting-edge technology or even a silver bullet for your fundraising strategy—and potentially feeling overwhelmed in the process—just consider what the next right step is for your organization’s fundraising journey. Innovation might be simpler than you think . . .