As a result of the pandemic, the nature of fundraising has changed over the last few years.
Digital fundraising has continued to rise, but that doesn't mean that the personal touch of direct mail and in-person connections have fallen by the wayside.
2023 brings the promise of the return of in-person events, such as charity auctions and donor appreciation galas, but nonprofits must also consider more things at play.
With increased living expenses, there is a greater need for flexible giving for current and potential donors.
This blog post will discuss trends to be aware of going into 2023, the fundraising challenges nonprofits will face, and ways to offer solutions to your donors that benefit you both.
Nonprofits can no longer rely on standard continued giving practices. This model, which has worked for years, needs to change to meet the needs and desires of future donors.
Consider other fundraising opportunities, such as legacy giving, sponsorship, crowdfunding, and merchandising, as avenues to explore.
As we saw towards the tail end of 2022, in-person events are back, and with that, a return to more traditional ways of engaging with donors.
In-person events offer a greater connection with your donors that's unachievable through digital means alone. It allows you to have meaningful one-on-one interactions with donors, old and new, which builds a level of trust that's hard to achieve online.
That doesn't mean that virtual events don't have merit. Virtual events offer a variety of benefits, such as:
• Eliminating travel costs
• Increasing access
• Accommodating donors who may be more comfortable viewing from home
When planning events in 2023, consider hybrid models or break-up sessions to be later offered as webinars for those unable to attend in person.
Paper availability and shipping times are still issues, and postage rates continue to rise. That doesn't mean that print media and mail are dead mediums.
To combat increasing costs, the USPS® has programs throughout the year for qualified organizations and campaigns to help save you money.
Printers are also working diligently to devise cost-saving measures to ensure your projects come out how you want at a price that works for your organization's needs.
However: be mindful of the old way of fundraising. Many younger donors prefer to give online, while the older generation continues to utilize business reply envelopes and donation slips. Knowing who you plan to target and how they choose to donate will help reduce print and mail costs.
Just because the peak of COVID is over doesn't mean that donors aren't still feeling its effects.
Offering flexible giving options encourages giving at a time when finances may continue to be problematic.
Consider looking at fundraising platforms that easily allow donors to change their giving amount and frequency to fit their budgets.
When you first think about fundraising options, we're sure that video games didn't even cross your mind. However, maybe it should.
Gaming for Good is a concept that gained traction in 2021, where streamers on platforms like Twitch added donation buttons to their streams to raise money for a specific cause or organization. Partnering with popular streamers is a unique way to reach a new audience of potential donors.
Since the advent of social media, the number of networks and ways to engage has grown exponentially, making it difficult to know where to focus your efforts.
Depending on what demographic you're going after, here are some statistics to consider:
• The use of Facebook declines year-by-year among Gen Z (people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s), while around 82% of Baby Boomers and members of Generation X (born between 1965-1979) continue to use it almost exclusively
• The bulk of Millenials are still on Facebook but transitioning over to Instagram
• 95% of Gen Z consume video content on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram
As you plan out your marketing strategy for the year, consider the following questions:
• How often should you post?
• What content will resonate best?
• Should you partner with other people (donors, sponsors, etc.)?
No matter what you decide for your digital strategy, one area you cannot afford to ignore is email marketing.
According to Salsa, it comprises 1/3 of online fundraising revenue, and you're 6x more likely to get clicks via email versus social.
Effective CRM software, whether it's Blackbaud, SalesForce, or HubSpot, will be crucial when creating marketing campaigns that resonate with the right donors at the right time.
Examples of email campaigns include lapsed donor engagement, new donor nurturing, sustainer communications, and acquisition (if you purchase lists).
If you take nothing else away from this blog post, let this be it: trust is CRUCIAL in establishing any lasting relationship with your donors.
The fact is that many people, especially younger generations like Millenials and Gen Z, don't trust large corporations to have their best interests in mind. They want to know where their money is going and how it's impacting positive change in the world.
Transparency is key to ensuring that you can gain and keep donors trust in your organization and your work.
Our goal in 2023 is to continue to share relevant, meaningful content to help you meet or exceed your fundraising goals this year.
To stay up-to-date on what's changing in the nonprofit space, we encourage you to follow The Buzz: a LinkedIn page that focuses exclusively on nonprofit education, best practices, and tips.