Find out how today’s top nonprofits will be fundraising in 2024 to retain key staff, sustain important programming, maintain their presence in the community, and make a real impact!
According to nonprofit fundraising reports, online giving, which has been growing incrementally over the last two decades, grew by 140% from 2018 to 2021. In the time since, digital fundraising has continued to reign supreme, and it shows no signs of slowing down. All signs indicate that online giving will continue to be a primary source of fundraising for small (less than $1M), medium ($1-10M), and large ($10M+) nonprofit organizations alike. That same data shows that in 2021 28% of online donations were made from mobile devices, making it more important than ever to optimize nonprofit websites for the mobile experience.
Action item: Prioritize mobile user experience to better facilitate online giving.
According to Forbes, “[By] attracting new people to support charities in new ways, digital-first peer-to-peer fundraising is making a bigger and bigger contribution to the coffers of American nonprofit organizations. Over $154 million was generated for charity in 2021 by ‘digitalcentric’ peer-to-peer fundraising, a 30% increase over 2020, according to data.”
Two years ago, the nonprofit world ushered in the boon of peer-to-peer fundraising and now organizations like the American Cancer Society have capitalized greatly on these initiatives, generating a reported $19.5M in charitable contributions from Facebook challenges alone in 2021.
Peer-to-peer fundraising may have been born out of the pandemic’s digital push, but it is continuing to enjoy popularity because it can readily leverage loyal supporters to do the fundraising work on behalf of the organizations they support. As a result, a strong social media presence is going to continue to be important for nonprofits to cultivate and maintain to provide the basis for these peer-to-peer efforts.
Action item: Utilize social media to fundraise, making use of timely peer-to-peer fundraising initiatives.
While in-person events are certainly happening again, virtual events have not disappeared. In fact, they have successfully continued right alongside them in tandem. Of course, by offering only virtual fundraisers organizations can spend less to generate donations, allowing them to be better stewards of their resources. However, the days of virtual-only fundraisers have passed. Why? The pandemic reminded people how much they value physically being around other like-minded individuals. So, while virtual fundraising functions can save an organization both time and money, they will not replace in-person events entirely unless a need arises again to minimize person-to-person contact.
Instead, many organizations will opt for a hybrid fundraising model – offering an online option for the in-person events they are hosting. Creating virtual events to supplement in-person fundraisers is a great way to provide flexibility for donors who want to make their contributions in a way that is convenient for them whether they can physically attend the event or not. In this way, virtual events let organizations leverage the popularity of digital giving to increase their return on investment for major fundraising events.
Action item: Offer an online version of fundraising events that provides an analogous experience for donors that prefer to or must attend remotely.
Unlike the rise in digital giving or peer-to-peer fundraising, sustainer programs have always been an integral component in effective nonprofit fundraising. Regular giving initiatives are an important part of ensuring that the organization has regular, ongoing cash inflows that they can depend on to grow.
By converting one-time givers into regular givers, nonprofits can significantly increase the lifetime value of a donor. In fact, research shows that the average recurring donor gives 42% more annually than a one-time donor. And while this increase in giving is reason enough to implement a formal sustained giving program, there are two more reasons to convince donors to make regular contributions. First, recurring donations have a lower acquisition cost; and secondly, recurring donors are easier to retain. One-time donors have a less than 20% retention rate, while recurring donors have a greater than 80% retention rate.
In a timeless article for The Nonprofit Quarterly, Dr. Adrian Sargeant calculates this impact explaining, “A 10 percent improvement in attrition can yield up to a 200 percent increase in projected value, as with lower attrition significantly more donors upgrade their giving, give in multiple ways, recommend others, and, ultimately, perhaps, pledge a planned gift to the organization.”
Action item: Utilize giving reports and donation tracking to remind and encourage donors to continue their giving. Align these efforts with giving channels to provide an easy way for donors to engage with the organization and continue their giving.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tie-ins show no signs of slowing down as DEI and sustainability continue to be important strategic priorities for companies. Organizations that can leverage these corporate priorities to generate additional funds can benefit from the large donations and increased support that accompany corporate partnerships.
However, an increase in donations is not the only benefit that nonprofits can expect to receive. Corporate partnerships can also improve brand recognition, lead to an increase in volunteers and supporters, create a wider community impact, and help to improve staff retention. Whether a corporate partnership is just a one-time event sponsorship or a regular ongoing agreement, nonprofits can benefit financially and operationally from this kind of relationship.
Keep in mind though, corporate partnerships should not be used as a last-ditch effort to fundraise when your traditional methods have fallen short with private donors. Corporations would rather work with well-established, stable organizations that will represent them well in return for their financial investment, so integrate these kinds of partnerships into your overall fundraising strategy from the beginning.
Action item: Proactively seek out corporate partnerships before you need them.
While small nonprofits are likely not equipped to be able to handle cryptocurrency donations, the practice is becoming more popular at larger organizations. Some are even speculating that it could be the future of fundraising as it becomes more widely adopted over the next decade. In the conversation around accepting cryptocurrency gifts one analyst even equated nonprofits that do not accept cryptocurrency gifts to cash-only businesses.
How does it work? When nonprofits accept altcoins (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether) donors transfer their cryptocurrency from their own digital wallet to an organization’s digital wallet and then a crypto processing company converts the cryptocurrency gift into U.S. dollars to deposit it into the nonprofit’s bank account as cash. The process is roughly akin to how a credit card processing company transfers funds from a donor to an organization when a donation is made via credit card.
Action item: Start talking to the board about cryptocurrency gifts now to get them comfortable with the idea of accepting crypto donations in the future.
When you need strong nonprofit leadership around funding, we can help! We have a team of highly experienced nonprofit leaders ready to fill an interim role, as well as consult on strategic challenges, and offer board advisory services. We also offer nonprofit executive recruiting to help you find your next long-time leader. Join the vast group of social enterprises across Washington, Oregon, and Colorado that have worked with us to fulfill their organizational missions. Contact us today to find out more!
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