The need for the long-term redevelopment of ATITD has long been acknowledged, both to bring new features to existing players and to make ATITD attractive and competitive to the new players necessary to keep the game financially viable long-term. The question of how to fund that, or if it is even possible, is an open one.
According to the wiki, in response to the idea of a Kickstarter to fund the future of ATITD, Pluribus stated in a Fireside chat (2016-03-14 00:13:52):
A successful kickstarter requires more than just desire and clicking the “Start a Kickstarter” button… When I consider that fully 1/3 of the players who have quit and answered the exit poll have stated financial reasons for quiting, I am not convinced that there is good chance of funding an engine redevelopment.
Dresdor has begun drafting ideas for a Kickstarter on the wiki.