Home – 3 Trends Nonprofits Can Use to Boost Fundraising Effectiveness

3 Trends Nonprofits Can Use to Boost Fundraising Effectiveness

Posted on 02-28-2018 by Lindsey Lambert

The first quarter of the year is a time for reflection and resolutions—and that applies to organizations as well as individuals. Not surprisingly, experts in fundraising and nonprofits have taken the process to heart by providing their own insights into past trends and changes we could see in the future. Here are five trends you should consider when making your resolutions for 2018.

Past, Present & Future Converge in Donor Engagement

  1. Political uncertainty was a force to be reckoned with in 2017. While this led to a rise in social activism—and rage donating became a ‘thing’—this year could see donations dip due to the political climate. Take tax reform. Analysts predict that some of the provisions in the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could reduce charitable giving by 4.6 percent or more a year. The doubling of estate and gift tax exemptions, for example, means that some wealthy donors may find it less desirable—or, for that matter, necessary—to use deductible donations to nonprofits as a tax reduction strategy. Deduction limits on state and local income taxes, including property taxes, could also have a dampening effect of charitable giving due to higher tax burdens.  Forewarned is forearmed, however, so nonprofits can campaign accordingly. IRS-reported donations account for less than 60 percent of total charitable donations, so it will be important to have campaigns that target the non-itemizers, such as younger donors with less disposable income. And, it will be equally important to strengthen relationships with existing high-value donors and corporate collaborators to help stave off any losses. 
  2. Targeted marketing designed for each generation. Millennials have been on nonprofits’ radar since the generation overtook Baby Boomers in sheer numbers a few years ago. But older generations still donate more—in money and time—than their younger cohorts because, let’s face it, they have more of both to give.  In a year that could see declines in giving, it’s critical that nonprofit organizations tailor their giving campaigns to meet the expectations of every generation. For the older generations, that means maintaining direct mail or email touches, while adopting digital channels to reach younger audiences, including digital payment options. The use of checks is declining, perhaps not among the Matures and Baby Boomers, but certainly among Gen-X and Millennials. In addition to traditional paperless payment methods like electronic checks and credit cards, nonprofits should consider newer digital payment methods like Paypal or Apple Pay. Plus, ‘click to donate’ convenience allows organizations to win ‘in the moment’ with donors that act on impulse and helps nonprofits expand their donor database over time.
  3. Data science gains ground. In certain industries, data scientists have been in high demand for years, but that hasn’t been the case for nonprofits. But considering the proven power of data science— in the retail industry, for example—nonprofits are ready to get on board. With data analytics, nonprofits can spot trends that could translate into opportunities and leverage prospect and donor data to drive greater engagement. The biggest challenge may be the short supply of data scientists, but nonprofits can also take advantage of tools that incorporate built-in analytics dashboards to get a jumpstart on insight.

Are there any trends that you’re keeping an eye on for 2018?  We’d love to know.


Explore this topic further

  1. Read more posts on connecting with high-value donors on our blog.
  2. Experience the advantages of a comprehensive fundraising database. Arrange a demo of Nexis® for Development Professionals today.
  3. Share this article with your friends and colleagues on LinkedIn to continue the conversation

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close