2022 was a huge year for the nonprofit community, as warfare, COVID aftereffects, natural disasters, and other humanitarian issues shook the world. On the bright side, donor engagement has sharply increased in recent years as more people are prioritizing philanthropy. Let’s look at some interesting fundraising trends for 2023 that could make a big splash.
Personalized Outreach is a Must-Have
Generic outreach methods might work once, but they never work a second time. No loyal donors want to get the same old messaging from fundraising organizations. They want to see some personalized details and feel like an appreciated contributor. That means fundraising organizations need to know their donors well – names, interests, values, etc.
The key to ensuring personalized outreach is frequently updating donor databases. Nonprofits can take a few simple steps to stay up to date, such as being active on social media, asking people to fill out forms and gathering other types of feedback from their target demographics.
Most donors have tighter budgets than usual these days, so fundraising marketers need to work extra hard to make personal connections with their audience.
In-Person Events Make a Return
Many nonprofits were wary about hosting in-person events in 2021 and 2022, but this attitude will all but disappear in 2023. People are itching to get back into regular social settings, with no masks or social distancing required. Fundraising organizations can significantly boost their engagement by scheduling in-person events and encouraging guests to get out of the house.
At-risk demographics such as the elderly might still have social anxiety about attending busy events, but that’s where personalized messaging comes in. Nonprofits need to demonstrate their awareness about COVID anxiety. That means they should still provide other ways of participating in live events for those who would rather attend virtually.
Fundraising in the Great Outdoors
More specifically, outdoor events will be all the rage in 2023 once the weather warms up. The average American spent just 8% of their time outside before the pandemic, and that number decreased in 2020-22. Nonprofits can help people develop healthier lifestyles and spend more time outdoors – while contributing to a worthy cause – with these activities:
- Car wash
- Walk or run
- Scavenger hunt
- Sporting event
Organizations can also host fundraisers to raise money for new outdoor recreational spaces, such as playgrounds and basketball courts. These events will make a lasting impression on the community and help in developing the next generations. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with parent-teacher associations and learn more about the community’s values.
Gaming for a Cause
Live gaming is another type of event that could gain momentum in 2023. Live streaming video games have become a huge hit in the last few years, presenting a unique fundraising opportunity. Nonprofits can simply partner with different gaming celebrities, and they will plug donation buttons into their live streams for all viewers to see.
This arrangement seems almost too good to be true. It gives organizations unprecedented access to millions of people with minimal promotional effort. A few partnerships in the gaming community can go a long way.
These online gaming events should have balance, though. Organizations must be careful not to encourage too much screen time, especially when catering to a younger audience. It’s ok to play video games, as long as you have a balanced lifestyle at home and do other healthy activities. Nonprofits should make this message clear in their promotions.
Providing Many Donation Options
Back in the day, all donations were cash or checks. Today, the donation situation is much more complicated. Some people have digital wallets and store almost all of their funds online. Organizations need to provide as many donation options as possible to accommodate everyone’s preferences.
These platforms are must-haves for 2023:
- Website donation page
- Mail-in donations
- Finance apps like PayPal and Venmo
- External donation websites like GoFundMe and Change.org
- In-person collections during the event
Offering multiple avenues for buying and donating makes a fundraiser appear more legitimate and well-coordinated. It also demonstrates that the organizers take the event’s cause seriously, persuading more people to contribute.
Emphasis on Donor Retention
Donor retention is the most important factor for a nonprofit organization’s continued success. According to a study called the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, first-time donors stick around just 20% of the time while repeat donors are 60% more likely to make a long-term commitment. Plus, repeat donors often give the most generous contributions because they can afford it.
So, what makes donor retention so uniquely important for 2023? It’s no secret that the economy is struggling, which makes it harder to get new donors onboard. Loyal supporters project to make a larger percentage of the donations than usual, which makes donor retention that much more important.
Big Things In Store for 2023
It’s usually cliche to say that the current year is the most important year yet, but it might actually be true for 2023. People’s priorities are changing, COVID-19 is loosening its grip and economic conditions remain unstable. It’s an unprecedented time in many ways, so it’s safe to say that big things are in store for fundraising organizations in 2023.