Here's What's Trending for Nonprofit Fundraising in 2022

projections and predictions trends Jan 03, 2022


Here's What's Trending for Nonprofit Fundraising in 2022 

2021 seemed, for many nonprofits, déjà vu of 2020. If organizations survived two years of pandemic, they are resilient and strong! In order to survive two years of uncertainty and constant change, organizations have learned to be nimble, many while also being leaner than ever. Organizations were more creative than ever, worked hard to earn donor attention, and invested more time and resources into donor engagement than ever before. 2021 set the stage for the new standard in donor management and stewardship. Overall, maintaining and building on this new standard is the trend I see for 2022.  

With 2022 positioned as a year of maintaining the new expectations and building upon them, here are the biggest trends I see for nonprofits, especially in regard to fundraising:

  1.   Personalization: The most successful nonprofits are moving away from generic and into the personal. With marketing automation becoming more accessible and affordable, and donors being fed ultra-personalized content from for-profit and retail companies – those that do not personalize communications and outreaches for nonprofits will start to hurt. “Dear Friend of [Organization Name]” and “If you haven’t already done so” will be met with annoyance. Personalization will be key in keeping donors engaged; nonprofits that want to stay on the forefront will need to also segment donors and collect and utilize data to make their connections to the donors run deeper. What was typically done for major donors with great effort can now be done for every donor and contact, making each interaction personalized and specific – that leads to our next trend…
  2.   Mobile Giving: Along with personalized communications, donors expect (rightfully so) to be met where they are. Along this vein, donors are engaging more and more on mobile devices. Too many nonprofits have really atrocious websites that are not optimized for mobile. With restaurants, grocery stores, doctors, and even pet stores providing a seamless mobile experience, those nonprofits that do not adapt will start to be left behind. I predict we will continue to see QR codes, contactless donations, virtual experiences, and text to give soar as the focus remains on the donor experience and convenience.
  3.   Video: Nonprofits tend to be behind the curve in terms of trends. For years now, the world has been moving in the direction of bringing audio/video connections. This trend will for sure continue as donors can be enticed with visual impact but video can also be used to maintain relationships with donors and illustrate the impact of each gift, making it more likely to retain donors. Retaining donors is going to continue to be just as important as finding new ones. In terms of videos, with even amateur YouTube channels having decent quality productions, don’t think your donors will re-watch zoom events (think – “highlight reel”). Instead focus your videos on short, pithy, higher quality, and timely forms of engagement. Yes, I will tell you iPhone quality videos are okay, but spruce it up with titles and music to give it the best chance.
  4.   Direct Mail: 80% of giving still comes from direct mail appeals – snail mail works! This doesn’t mean people always mail a check, people are learning to respond to appeals by making a gift online. However, direct mail works because people’s email inboxes tend to be overwhelmed with junk. You have an opportunity to stand out and get people’s attention, and this isn’t changing any time soon. I suggest you work with a decent mail house to keep your costs low and your processing time low. This allows you to be quick to respond (#9), customize your pieces (#1), and save on postage costs with a little barcode on the envelope and an indicia instead of a stamp.
  5.   Crypto Giving: With more than 106 million people using cryptocurrencies worldwide, this isn’t going anywhere. Crypto donations are still tax-deductible. With few organizations knowing how to accept crypto donations, it will only take one major donation of crypto and some PR around that gift to make nonprofits flock to adding it to their websites. There are third parties that facilitate the donation for nonprofits, so it’s worth the effort to get signed up.

Up next week I will share three controversial predictions for 2022. Stay tuned.