They should consider how to take advantage of virtual communities, interest-based communities and cultural communities as well as traditional geographic communities, he told the convention yesterday.
A new approach would mean a new way of working, said Elischer. Instead of the traditional committee structure that involved meeting regularly to gather donations, modern community fundraising could be managed by key people representing their groups and organising as little as one fundraising event for each group per year.
"They don't have to meet on a regular basis, and they could be any age group," he said. "Silver surfers might be members of a gardening community or a bridge club."
Elischer said he hoped his idea could supplement traditional fundraising through community groups and transform the fortunes of community fundraising, which he said has suffered because of a shift away from the traditional idea of community.