Predictions for 2020 : Five trends we must address

  1. Mark Zukerberg’s libra may have bitten the dust as its value dropped off a cliff last year, and its relaunch may not even happen in 2020 or may, if you are an optimist.

One day, however, a key global organisation will get a bitcoin type currency off the ground and all our fundraising will change its characteristics but, and here’s the rub, the fundamentals will stay exactly the same – humans giving to help humans (or the planet). Maybe 2020 maybe not, but let’s think it through and prepare ahead of time because it will be a huge step.

And talking of the planet, isn’t it likely that the climate crisis will attract both a plethora of new organisations and serious funds. What is your organisation’s climate crisis policy? As Greta said to the World Economic Forum, “Our house is on fire.”

2. Legacies – the Baby-boomers are dying much sooner than expected  and leaving unprecedented legacies where these have not been mopped up by care-home costs . Over and again we see clients that don’t have a legacy campaign that is anyway near to being up to the task and the possibilities. Let’s make 2020 the year we get that whole process running smoothly. Yes, I know it’s hard to predict and hard to evaluate but only in the short term. In the medium and long-term the results are clear – do very little and very little happens but do nothing and nothing happens at all…

3. Brexit hasn’t done with us yet. Later this year we will be up against a hard Brexit and tough negotiations which will mean donors will lack confidence in the future, especially businesses, and will hold back from being as generous as they would have been. This could see a serious dip in our incomes – have you budgeted for this?

Key dates:

June: On this date we should have a summit with the EU to check on progress – if anything substantial.

July 1st:  We should have a fishing rights treaty, which personally I think highly unlikely as its very contentious.

November 26: The EU Parliament has to see the agreed deal if it is to be signed off by the end of the year. On past performance that is so not going to happen.

December 31: The cliff edge when we fall off and then face the WTO rules which have turned out to be awful for business compared to those we currently enjoy with the EU etc.

So, I think that’s a lot of uncertainty and may well affect donations as well as business confidence, UK trade, wages, donations etc.

4. Personal contacts with sensitive info attached will need to be found and eliminated at work in 2020. Yes, they have crept back into our files again now that GDPR is behind us. It is so tempting to keep a bit of personal info on our contacts, just for a while but then to forget about them and breach the codes of practice.

So, it seems we may have to conduct searches across charity’s IT systems before a complaint comes in and we are in trouble deep. I expect there is an app for that…

5. The rich get f…… richer: no surprise there, but is our major donor programme up to the multi-millionaire level? Thought not, but why not? They are human and bleed like the rest of us, so they are susceptible to us fundraisers – aren’t they?

Come on go for it!

John Baguley    

Chair International Fundraising Consultancy