As a fundraising professional, do you ever wonder what’s coming next in the nonprofit industry? Curious how economic and cultural changes affect the giving landscape? We’ve put together ten new nonprofit trends that show where the future of fundraising is heading. Read on to learn how you can make the most of this fundraising year by taking advantage of these nonprofit trends.
New to fundraising? Check out this blog post that explains how nonprofits make money.
The first of our nonprofit trends is the rise of digital wallets. Digital wallets are poised to change fundraising in a pretty drastic way. Our smartphones and other digital devices make it easier than ever to store credit card information and use it with the press of a button while still keeping important details safe and secure.
As digital wallets have become more commonplace, the number of donors making gifts via check has decreased. Meanwhile, credit card donations are on the rise. Visa’s Payment Panel found that in 2020 credit card payments were up 10% while check payments decreased by 20%. This makes it even more important to have online fundraising available at your nonprofit. Many donors will prefer to give right on your website via their digital wallet as opposed to mailing in a physical check.
Digital wallets also mean there’s a need for more flexible payment options. Online donation forms, Venmo, and the ability to give cryptocurrency are options nonprofits should consider to stay ahead of the pack.
Online donation forms make it easy to give via digital wallet because most forms can be autofilled by a donor’s computer.
Being able to receive donations via Venmo, a money-sending app, is another great way to use a donor’s digital wallet to your advantage. They can give via a stored credit card directly through the secure Venmo app, and can even share their reason for donating with you when they send you cash via their bank account or credit card.
As investors dabble more with crypto, there will be more and more people who will want to use their cryptocurrency philanthropically. Set your nonprofit up for success by accepting crypto donations.
Social media for nonprofits
The second of our nonprofit trends is not necessarily new by any means, but nonprofits have more of a need to engage in social media now more than ever before. TikTok is a growing social media platform that is the preferred social site for Generation Z. Labeled “philanthrokids,” Generation Z is one generation that is poised to make a difference in the world.
Nonprofits have noticed this and are starting to make use of the video sharing platform to reach its 700 million active monthly users in order to fundraise. While Generation Z may not have the largest wallet of the different generations, they’re experts at banding together to support causes that matter. Through microdonations on the platform, nonprofits have made significant revenue to support their causes.
TikTok is not the only venue nonprofits should be on, of course, as Facebook is still the largest social media site, but it is proving to be an effective platform for nonprofits who want to engage with Gen Z donors.
Another trend that shouldn’t be new to your nonprofit is personalization. That said, it’s become more important than ever to personalize your donor experience for those who give to your nonprofit. It’s not enough to only include a donors’ name in your email communications. Instead, donors want to feel like you know what motivates them to give to your nonprofit.
Our recommendation is to dig deep into your donor data and find out what motivates your donors to give. Reach out to donors based on their interests with your organization for best results. Reference their past support when reaching out and ask them to give to the same program or similar programs as the ones they’ve supported previously.
You can use donation data from your fundraising platform and pull other unique insights from your fundraising CRM to curate a donor experience that is tailormade for your donors.
Memberships with benefits
Our forth nonprofit trend is that we’re moving toward a subscription service-based culture in which many users pay monthly for streaming, meal delivery services, and tons of other resources that make their lives easier. How can this translate to your nonprofit? With a monthly membership for donors.
That said, this concept works best for nonprofits that can offer benefits for monthly member donations. When you create a membership, you have to consider what you can offer prospective members. If you’re a performing arts nonprofit, consider providing complimentary tickets to performances for your monthly members. For other nonprofits, consider what unique value you can add to a monthly subscription to your nonprofit.
This next nonprofit trend is all about changing how we communicate with donors. No one wants to help a nonprofit reach their fundraising goal without a clear indication for why that’s important. Instead, there needs to be a problem that needs solving, and donations must be the key to providing that solution.
According to our Generational Giving Report, Generations Y and Z are motivated by a sense of social responsibility. They don’t just give out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they are motivated by the need to make the world a better place. Moreover, they want to be part of the change-making process, either by volunteering or through donating.
But what is problem-oriented messaging and how does it work?
- Identify a problem that needs to be addressed
- Express that the reader is needed to solve the problem
- Then explain how their donation, volunteered time, etc. will help solve the problem
This method focuses on present day problems that prospective donors can solve with you rather than focusing on what your nonprofit has done in the past to earn more donations now.
Another of our nonprofit trends is Corporate giving. Giving by corporations was up slightly in 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This led the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to predict that in 2022 corporate giving will increase by 6.4%. They cited the performance of the stock market as a driver of this growth.
In addition to more corporations setting aside dollars for donations, matching gift program popularity is on the rise. This means employee behavior influences corporate dollars. Now is a great time to add a matching gifts integration to your online donation form and encourage donors to see if their gifts can be matched by their employers.
Text fundraising is another key fundraising feature that many savvy nonprofits are adding to their toolbelts. Why? A big factor is that mobile messages have an open rate of around 98%. That means that your messages are seen when you send a donor or prospective donor a text message.
Whether you’re directing donors to your website to make a gift or can accept donations directly via text message, it’s imperative that you’re offering a mobile-optimized experience to donors. Why? More than half of nonprofit website visitors are coming from a mobile device and mobile-responsive donation pages yield 34% more donations. This shows that donors are using their phones to make gifts. Tapping into text fundraising is a no-brainer when you consider how donors are using their phones already to make gifts to your nonprofit. You can expand on that cell phone usage by sending appeals via text to your donors.
The difficult part, however, is getting their phone number and consent to send text messages. That’s why it’s imperative to convince your donors to opt in to messages from your nonprofit.
Fundraising videos are a favorite of the upcoming nonprofit trends. We already talked about how nonprofits using TikTok have found success through the use of video content to promote their causes to younger donors. That said, nonprofit videos aren’t just for reaching Gen Z donors. More than half of the people who watch a nonprofit video go on to donate afterward. This means that audiences are responding positively to nonprofit videos, especially those that highlight a problem and ask for donations to solve the problem.
The best part about incorporating video into your nonprofit marketing strategy is that you don’t have to be an expert video editor to produce high quality content. Video production software makes it easy to create stunning video without any technical skills.
BombBomb helps create personalized, stunning email videos that you can send to donors.
Promo.com offers an extensive library of footage for videos so that you can make a polished video for social media and other sources.
Camtasia makes it easy to turn your raw footage and voice over recordings into a video you can make yourself with their simple video editing tools.
Hybrid fundraising events
Fundraising events are going hybrid! Hybrid events rose in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic because they offered virtual participation to those who can’t participate at in-person events but still wanted to attend. Increasing accessibility has led to increased revenue for nonprofits. That increased revenue has encouraged many nonprofits to keep virtual participation on the table even as they bring in-person events back.
Many nonprofits encourage virtual participation at fundraising events be it online bidding at an auction, livestreaming a crowded gala fundraiser, or participating in a virtual scavenger hunt.
Want help creating your own hybrid version of a popular in-person event? Download our Hybrid Event Planner for helpful tips and tricks to hosting hybrid events.
Required minimum distributions
People could forgo Required Minimum Donations because of CARES Act. As that provision of the act expires, retirees who were able to go without making a required minimum distribution will now be required to take the distribution again. With the required minimum distributions being back has come an increase in giving qualified charitable distributions (QCDs).
This means that retirees are making donations with their minimum distributions. To get in on this nonprofit trend, it’s important to discuss planned giving with your donors. Many may not know that a qualified charitable donation is an option that may provide tax savings to them in retirement.
This trend is believed to continue, so continue to push planned giving and have conversations with donors who will be retiring soon to secure QCDs. We recommend partnering with financial advisors for client referrals. This can be a great way to receive a lot of support from those who are looking to both do good and receive important tax benefits from their donations.
These 10 new nonprofit trends will help you raise more money this year and beyond. For more suggestions for growing your fundraising check out the following resources:
- How to Assess Your Nonprofit Tech for 2022 in 4 Steps
- Donation Software for Nonprofits | Essential Tools for 2022
- Get the Fundraising Fundamentals eBook
Ready to accept online donations as part of your fundraising strategy? Give us a try.