Whether you operate a non-profit fundraising initiative or you have plans of starting one, several trends are emerging for 2022 that are well worth being aware of. Non-profits aren’t a new concept and there are plenty of examples of wildly successful initiatives over the years, but that doesn’t mean the tools, techniques and processes stay the same. Just like with every other industry, the non-profit landscape has evolved and if fundraisers are going to be successful, they need to embrace the latest trends.
Virtual Fundraisers are Where It’s At
This first trend isn’t new; instead, it is just growing in scope and magnitude. For anyone looking to start a non-profit or a fundraising event this year, there needs to be a virtual angle involved. That doesn’t mean that in-person events are no longer acceptable; it is just that things have evolved.
During the pandemic when socializing in person wasn’t possible or safe, virtual events were the only option. People started to realize just how convenient, cost-effective, and productive virtual events could be and now there is a whole new landscape moving forward. Even if you want to hold an in-person event, it shouldn’t replace a virtual fundraiser.
There are many benefits of holding a virtual fundraiser event. For example:
- You can attract attendees from all over the world since they don’t need to attend in-person
- It is much more cost-effective than an in-person gala or event
- It is easier and faster to plan
- It allows you to tap into new donors in a more seamless manner
- It is inclusive
If anything, watch for this trend to evolve further, becoming more high-tech and more feature packed.
Embracing Social Media in Fundraising Activities
Along with virtual fundraisers, another digital trend is to embrace social media. This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise as social media has become such a huge part of most businesses’ marketing efforts. When managing a non-profit, marketing does have to occur, and some of the very practices used by for-profit companies will work for non-profits.
In terms of the best social networks to be active on, the list should include Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These are the largest, most-popular networks that will provide you with the best opportunities to find new donors.
The one tip when using social media for non-profit fundraising is to make sure you focus on engagement. Posting content isn’t enough since you will also need to respond to those commenting. The goal is to get likes, mentions, re-tweets, follows and, ideally, to start trending. Hashtags can also be very useful when crafting your social media posts.
Working with Fundraising Experts
Another trend is to call in the experts to help with the efforts. Ideas and good intentions are wonderful, and non-profits count on them, but unless you have a way to convert your big ideas into donations, then the initiative will fail to be successful.
So, what are some of the most effective ways a fundraising expert can help? For starters, they can discuss the difference between non-profit vs not for profit. The two are often believed to be the same, which isn’t the case at all. You want to be sure you’re choosing the right model for your goal.
The main difference is that non-profits raise money meant for a goal of improving the community, the world and people. A not-for-profit doesn’t always have that same goal; it just isn’t looking to make a profit.
Some of the other ways a fundraising expert can help are to provide tips and ideas of what practices have worked in the past. They may also be able to provide tech tools to set up the fundraising and a platform for hosting the initiative. They can talk to you about engagement efforts and more. It’s the insight that can prove essential.
Secure Recurring Donors
Just like with any business, it tends to cost more time and energy to find new customers, or in this case, donors, than to tap into your already existing database. This brings us to another trend, which is recurring donations. Technology has helped to make this much more seamless, as donors can set up recurring donations/payments on the frequency of their choosing and the denomination they feel comfortable with.
If this is the approach you will take, be sure to make it clear that it’s an available option. Some donors may feel more comfortable making ongoing donations rather than one large lump sum.
Don’t Be Afraid to Change Directions
This particular trend isn’t exactly a technique, rather it is a tip so that the fundraiser can stay relevant. Sometimes, even with the best efforts, the fundraiser can fall flat. It’s important to look at it with an impartial mind and look for ways to improve. Staying fluid and not being afraid to change directions can get things back on track. Just because the goals may not have been met, doesn’t mean the fundraiser has failed. It may just need some tweaking.
Texting Can Be a Great Way to Connect
The final trend is how you connect and engage with supporters. Once again, it’s a digital tool. The reality is that everyone has digital and smart devices nowadays, so embracing this fact can help your efforts to be more fruitful.
You can set up text messages to go out to the donor list as they tend to have a very high open rate. When compared to emails, text messages provide much better results in terms of being seen. You can also include a link in the text message.
If you plan on operating a non-profit initiative this year and want to set it up for success, each of these trends is worth investigating further. Ideally, you will be able to implement a few of them for the best results.