There will be no fundraiser jobs by 2040, consultant Nick Mason says

At the Institute of Fundraising convention, the former head of fundraising strategy and development at the RNIB says that donors will manage their own charitable portfolios by then

Nick Mason
Nick Mason

Fundraisers will be out of jobs in 25 years’ time as donors take control of their own charitable giving portfolios, according to Nick Mason, former head of fundraising strategy and development at the RNIB.

Mason, who works as a fundraising consultant after leaving the sight-loss charity earlier this year and stood as a Conservative candidate in the general election, spoke to Third Sector at the Institute of Fundraising convention in London on Wednesday after a panel discussion about the fundraising approaches predicted to be popular in the year 2040.

He said that people would manage their charitable giving by using a type of TripAdvisor for charities or a charitable version of the investment management website, which would help them decide what to do with their time and assets.

Speaking on the panel, he said: "Instead of us thinking that we manage our donors in isolation, they are going to be the ones managing their charitable portfolios and charitable relationships, and we need to realise that that’s going to change the dynamic completely. No more B2C; it’ll be C2B."

Responding to Mason, the fundraising and strategic communications consultant Matthew Sherrington said from the audience: "I’d love the idea to be true, but it requires charitable giving and engagement to be central to people’s lives in a way that it is not. People want to think good and do good, but we all know that our supporters’ engagement with us is a peripheral activity and I can’t see that changing."

Mason told Third Sector afterwards that there were also likely to be fewer charity employees in other roles and donors would rely less on charities as the intermediaries to connect them with the causes they care about.

He said that a huge number of problems currently being solved by charities would not be issues in 25 years’ time.

This, he said, would make people shift their expenditure to the cause areas that would be the most problematic then, such as the environment and sustainability.

"Friends of the Earth, for example, will be seen as representing a huge issue, which is no longer just driven by the current cohorts of people who support the charity," he said. "Everybody will think that sustainability is a part of their role."

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