We’re more than halfway through 2023, and it’s been a doozy: record inflation, a looming recession, and a highly competitive charitable environment… it’s enough to make any fundraiser’s eye twitch. But as recent years have shown us, nonprofits are resilient and donors continue to give where they believe their dollars matters most.
From data-centric campaigns and hyper-personalization to peer-to-peer fundraising and user generated content, here are our predictions for nonprofit fundraising trends for the duration of the year and into 2024.
Better data = stronger campaigns
Nonprofits are getting really good at collecting primary data from opt-in permissions, survey and petition responses, donor affiliation data, and beyond. With all this data readily available, organizations are developing new and more consistent ways to make informed and impactful fundraising decisions.
Digging into the data and fine-tuning audience segments through internal sources and modeling creates more effective campaigns in terms of both lower costs and higher response rates. Instead of “spray and pray” methods, fundraisers will continue to identify better prospects and deliver stronger messaging on proven channels.
All this data also makes it easier to truly personalize communications with prospects and supporters. The data tells a story about donors’ interests, how they prefer to be reached, where and when they make donations, and what platforms they spend their time on. It creates a 360° view of the donor that organizations can use to create detailed, personalized campaigns that deepen donor relationships and improve donation rates.
Another advantage of highly personalized communications is avoiding the dreaded unsubscribe. Recently, email providers like Apple and Google started slapping an “Unsubscribe?” banner across the top of inboxes for what they deem to be promotional emails. For nonprofits who want to avoid promo purgatory, we’ll see even more personalization efforts to minimize the likelihood of audience unsubscribes.
More donation options
Donors want options when it comes to how they donate. In recent years, this has looked like expanding monthly giving programs, adding payment options like Apple Pay or Venmo, and including text-to-give campaigns. However, with millennials preparing to take the reins, we’ll start seeing organizations think about future gifts as much as immediate gifts.
EMBRACING LEGACY GIVING
Baby Boomers are retiring in droves, and many are looking to the future and considering what they will be leaving behind. For many of these Boomers, legacy planning is in full-swing and being able to dedicate funds toward a worthy nonprofit has many benefits, both to the donor and the nonprofit. We’ll certainly be seeing more nonprofits outwardly advertising their legacy giving program as they set up different giving avenues and advantages.
ACCEPTING DONOR ADVISED FUNDS
Another increasingly popular donation option is giving through Donor Advised Funds (DAFs). These are funds that are set up with the specific intent of granting investments to nonprofits. Organizations will work to increase the likelihood of receiving these grants by continuing to deepen connections with donors and planting the seed that DAFs are an excellent tax-saving method that supports charities in need.
Emphasis on community
Community building is essential to nonprofits of all sizes, but especially to those who aren’t household names (yet!). What your supporters say and share about your organization goes further than any advertisement ever could. Organizations are doubling down on creating communities of not just supporters, but true advocates who are delighted to champion the mission and help raise funds.
ENCOURAGING PEER-TO-PEER FUNDRAISING
Organizations continue to ride the wave of peer-to-peer fundraising and with so many options available, it’s a great ride to be on! Peer-to-peer fundraising works wonders in large part because donors are more likely to respond to an ask from someone they personally know, like a neighbor, a coworker, or a relative. Organizations will encourage peer-to-peer fundraising by suggesting themselves to be the recipient of birthday charity drives made popular on Facebook as well as seasonal campaigns such as GivingTuesday and major holidays.
UTILIZING USER GENERATED CONTENT (UGC)
Nonprofits are taking advantage of the power of user generated content (UGC) starring their supporters to create high impact campaigns. UGC has been especially great for the ecommerce industry, and nonprofits can employ similar tactics to create near-instant trust among prospects.
HOSTING FUNDRAISING EVENTS
Let’s not forget about in-person events! We’ll see an increase in fundraising events and drives hosted in conjunction with bigger community events. These are an excellent way to connect with your neighbors and gather sign-ups for volunteer opportunities, email list, and donations. Be sure to have credit card readers readily available during events to capture donors’ enthusiasm on the spot!
Looking for more information to navigate the rest of 2023 and beyond?
The strongest nonprofits rely on a network of partners for support. These partners bring a variety of knowledge and experience to the table and create more opportunities for organizations to fulfill their mission. Having someone in your corner that can help set your organization apart from the competition while maintaining your integrity is essential. A great fundraising partner helps uncover themes and messaging that are easy to miss in the day-to-day grind of operating a nonprofit.
That’s where fundraising partners like The Lukens Company come in. We help show your impact and create compelling reasons why your organization deserves funding. We create data-backed campaigns that are personalized by segment and by channel. Plus, our award-winning creative brings it all together in an eye-catching style that donors can’t help but connect with.
While we don’t have a Magic Eight Ball lying around, we do have a pretty good idea of what the future holds for nonprofit fundraising (thanks to 35+ years in the biz!). If you’re looking for a fundraising partner to help navigate 2023 and beyond, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.