10 Quotes From Advancement Leaders About Their Fundraising Challenges in 2023 

Brian GaworVice President of ResearchDecember 1, 2022
Quote from fundraiser in Advancement Leaders Speak 2022: Where Big Gifts Start

We’ve released our latest Advancement Leaders Speak survey report, Where Big Gifts Start. Nearly 200 fundraisers participated in our survey, discussing key priorities, challenges, and goals to improve the donor experience, and boost fundraising results.

Here are 10 quotes from fundraisers that show we’re all experiencing similar challenges. 

It’s a challenging time for donor engagement: the economy and changing donor preferences mean we need to innovate. 

Here’s what fundraisers said about our key hurdles in fundraising today:

“No pipeline of potential principal gift donors, uncertain economy, high inflation, jumpy stock market.”
“Connecting 1:1 with donors in a meaningful way.”
“Not enough time in the day. We could always use more staff.” 

Gift officers of all types need better tools to engage and discover our next big givers. 

Nine out of 10 major/planned gift fundraisers want to use their time differently. Here are some things fundraisers think we can improve: 

“A lack of a cohesive plan and a hodge-podge of tools causes inefficiencies and doesn’t give us the time and energy to truly target and strategize. Data must drive strategy, but with a small team there is only so much time and it can’t be wasted.”
“No matter how much effort we put in traditional channels, donor counts continue to decline. We need to find ways to effectively expand to new, more popular channels to maintain healthy donor counts.”
“There’s a lack of institutional investments to improve the infrastructure of days long past.”
“We need to boost our ability to reach all the right prospects.”

A personalized donor experience, systems, and technology will fuel fundraising results. 

Here’s what fundraisers said when we asked what holds the most promise for the future:

“Partnerships, volunteers, emphasis on year-round donor engagement and stewardship.”
“Getting better at identifying donor interests and matching them with our priorities.”
“A new engagement-focused mindset across the entire pipeline, a concerted stewardship strategy that is more than a ‘thank you’ and free stuff.” 

Read the full report to hear what your fundraisers peers are focused on today 

Thanks once again to everyone who shared their insights in this latest survey. Download the full report today to read more.

And if you see something that matches your challenges, contact us and we will set up a time to talk. We’re ready to talk about how to improve the donor and fundraiser experience, to maximize your results. 

About the Author

Brian Gawor

Brian Gawor’s focus is research and strategy to help propel both alumni engagement and fundraising results of RNL clients. Brian has 20 years of higher education experience in student affairs, enrollment management, alumni engagement and...

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