Adeela Warley: VUCA is the new normal

Emerging trends look set to challenge how charities engage with supporters, writes the new chief executive of CharityComms

Adeela Warley
Adeela Warley

Our world is becoming more VUCA - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. This is a challenging context for charities to operate in.

We no longer hold the monopoly on doing good - ethical shopping, crowdfunding and social media campaigns empower people to act for themselves. Trust in charities is volatile, there's a lack of funding for long-term investment and fake news is on the rise. It's safe to say, the future is foggy.

We'll also be saying goodbye to Dorothy Donor soon and will have to rely more on millennials, who have vastly different expectations of charities than baby boomers. These are just some of the emerging trends that are set to challenge how we engage with supporters.

If charities want to continue successfully engaging supporters, we need a new proposition for the sector. We need to answer the question "why engage with us?"

Our latest best-practice guide produced with Eden Stanley, Whatever Next? Public Engagement in 2022, explores the key trends shaping supporters, the media and the wider world. It considers the potential impact on charities and how we can respond.

We need to think about how we use our data, because smarter segmentation will help us engage and build better relationships with supporters - something they will increasingly expect.

We also need to tap into the younger generation's enthusiasm for campaigning. Trust, innovation and smart use of data will be key areas for charities to tackle, hone and master if we want to continue to thrive in the future.

Adeela Warley is chief executive of CharityComms

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