President's Perspective Blog

Reimagining Fundraising: The 2022 Global Innovation Challenge

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Innovation is the lifeblood of any organization, any profession, and, well, frankly everything. Because everything changes. People, trends, technology, society—everything changes. Constantly.

And if we’re not changing—if we are not thinking about change, how to change, and what to change—then we’re not going to remain relevant. We’re not going to be able to create impact and serve our cause, and the people who depend on our services, as effectively as possible.

And the hard part? It’s often when we’re most successful that we need to be most sensitive and committed to change. Because that’s when we think we have everything figured out and start to sit on our laurels. That’s true for individuals, organizations and all of society.

We’ve seen so much change in fundraising and philanthropy over the past two years that the need to innovate is greater than ever. That’s why I’m so proud that AFP is participating in the Reimagining Fundraising Project.

Reimagining Fundraising was launched in 2020 when 14 international charities got together to seek solutions to their key challenges as a way to not only help themselves but the entire charitable sector. Through the project, they asked the sector to submit submissions to a list of challenges, and more than 230 ideas were ultimately submitted. The finalists, challenge results and lessons learned are all included in the 2020 Innovation Manifesto that you can find here.

COVID forced the project to skip a year in 2021, but submissions are now being accepted for 2022 until August 8.

Startups, agencies, NGOs, academic institutions, fundraisers, or individuals can register their fundraising solution, product or technology at the Reimagining Fundraising website. The global charities who founded Reimagining Fundraising have listed the challenges they want to solve, ranging from how to acquire younger donors to how to retain donors acquired in emergencies like Covid and Ukraine. Those charities will be connected with chosen, innovative proposals that can help solve those challenges, and winners will receive cash prizes and assistance from Innovation Hub.

Even if you don’t get involved and submit a proposal—and I certainly encourage you to do so if you have a great idea—the project is well worth checking out. Hopefully, it will get you thinking about ways you can innovate, and that’s the key to your organization’s long-term sustainability—and ultimately, your own long-term professional success!

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Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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