Over the past few years, the world of philanthropy has been heavily impacted by the global pandemic at first and then high levels of inflation, reaching nearly 8.8% in 2022. This has pushed many nonprofits to change their strategies in order to adapt to new circumstances, leading to an increased reliance on technology, more virtual events than ever before, record-breaking digital fundraising efforts, and more unrestricted options for charitable donations. In 2023, these nonprofit fundraising trends are expected to continue and even become much more prominent as we see trust-based philanthropy become a standard practice and Gen Z (Generation Z) enter the donor base for the first time.
Technology will play an even more significant role as virtual events, digital fundraising efforts, and online payment processing becomes the norm. Nonprofits must be able to use data without compromising privacy to understand their donors better and more accurately target their outreach. Trust-based philanthropy is also becoming increasingly popular due to its flexibility when it comes to donor requirements. This allows organizations to make decisions on how they want to use the money they receive with fewer restrictions from outside sources. Finally, Gen Z will enter the picture as a new source of donations for many nonprofits. This generation has been heavily focused on giving back since childhood and is now beginning to find its footing in the world of philanthropy with unique ideas and innovative approaches that could revolutionize the charitable giving field. Overall, 2023 is expected to be an exciting year for the world of philanthropy, with many new and innovative trends emerging.
Here are some of the top grantmaking and philanthropy trends to watch out for in 2023 and beyond:
Philanthropy Evolves with Trust
As the world adjusts to living with a global pandemic and high inflation, trust-based philanthropy is growing in prominence. For many organizations, unrestricted and long-term grants offer much-needed financial support that enables them to set more resilient foundations for the future. In light of the increasing inflation and economic hardship that has come with the pandemic, coupling this flexible approach with multi-year funding creates a virtual safety net for society’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged members. Indeed, as crisis budgets threaten traditional philanthropic commitment, we ought to prioritize trust-based partnerships and embrace new hybrid solutions for urgent community needs. Our combined efforts will bring hope to thousands on the brink of despair in these uncertain times — helping ensure their long-term success despite changing conditions around them.
Trust-based philanthropy is an incredibly valuable shift in the way that nonprofits work, which strives to improve how philanthropists do business by promoting transparency and collaboration. Of course, it is essential to remember that these relationships are symbiotic, meaning that they must be reciprocal. The cultivation of trust goes both ways between donors and nonprofits and involves active listening, respect for boundaries, and above all else, a commitment to open communication. As much as philanthropists need to trust the organizations that they work with, nonprofits also must have a sense of security when it comes to their relationship with their supporter base. When trust is mutually established, beautiful things can happen – more effective and efficient funding can be used for the most pressing needs in communities, and powerful collaborations could form between major donors and beneficiaries alike.
Donor stewardship is at the heart of trust-based giving as well as corporate giving and an excellent opportunity for raising organizations to reap its rewards. To ensure that they can continue to grow relationships with their donors, focusing on donor stewardship should be a high priority. Conscious relationship-building remains vital if donor intentions are to be better understood and respected – more organizations need to put in the effort to maintain donor retention and genuinely show appreciation for those who have provided invaluable support. Donor stewardship is one way for fundraising events to go that extra mile, and prioritizing paid appreciation has the potential for long-term gains. It’s clear that given the remarkable opportunities available, continuing to prioritize donor stewardship is essential.
Leverage Technology for Virtual Events
Many organizations have returned to in-person events, yet virtual and hybrid events remain popular due to their wide range of advantages. They reduce time wasted on travel while allowing people to attend from remote locations, broadening the number of potential attendees and reaching people who would otherwise be unable to participate. Furthermore, virtual and hybrid events often come with lower financial costs than hosting an event in person, enabling organizations to save money for other activities. Virtual and hybrid events also provide access to digital tools that make managing the event simpler than ever before – audience surveys, registration forms, live polls, and Q&As – making these types of events increasingly attractive for fundraisers and more likely to stay around in the future.
Leveraging technology for virtual events can be one of the most effective ways for a nonprofit organization to extend its reach. By hosting remote and online giving, webinars, conferences, and other gatherings through technological means, nonprofits can access more people, regardless of their geographic location. This conveniently allows a larger audience to participate without having to account for travel costs or entrusting their attendance on public transportation or roads. With this extended reach comes responsibility as well; it is important that organizations are able to utilize social media, video conferencing platforms, crowdfunding sites, and digital marketing strategies in order to effectively give attention to event details and attract the right people. Through these virtual events, there is an opportunity to increase brand exposure and recognition throughout different communities in creative ways. Making sure that relevant information can be found easily online is vital in trying to garner greater interest from potentially interested parties and thus making the most out of these kinds of technological opportunities.
Simplify the Donation Process with E-Wallets
Whether you are shopping online or donating, there are amazing tools for modern convenience, allowing us to make instant payments from the comfort of our own homes. With online payment fees being so low or even non-existent, it’s understandable why more and more people are embracing this easy way to spend money. But what happens when you are suddenly stuck at checkout with no credit card? This can be an incredibly frustrating situation and really halt you in your tracks. That is why it’s essential now more than ever to set up digital wallets like Apple Pay and Venmo. These digital wallets allow you to securely store payment methods like bank accounts, debit and credit cards—all stored securely and safely in one place. So the next time you’re ready to check out, rest assured that all you need is a few clicks of a button instead of a physical card.
If you’re not offering easy digitized payment options like Apple Pay, PayPal, and others to your donors on your website, social media, and more, you could be missing out! Research has shown that the average donation made with digital wallets is nearly 1.5x higher than those without. That sort of leap only comes sometimes and is easy to obtain- so why not take advantage? Streamlining the donation process is a great way to encourage conversions; all it takes is utilizing digital wallet options. So when you ask yourself, ‘Do I need to get up to find my credit card or keep it in the cart for later?’, remember that setting up digital wallet payments could have a real and impactful payoff regarding donations received!
Increase Donor Engagement with Text Messaging
The dawn of virtual events and digital fundraising has unlocked a world of creative possibilities for nonprofit organizations. And the use of text messaging as a donor communications and stewardship tool is no exception. Text messaging is an invaluable resource that provides timely responses, audience segmentation, increased engagement, enhanced donation experiences, and more. In addition, the built-in flexibility of texting makes it effortless to tailor donor feedback in an effort to increase donations and achieve organizational goals. Organizations should take advantage of text messaging’s efficient nature and capitalize on its potential to both revitalize donor relationships with current donors and cultivate new ones.
Text messages are a powerful communication tool for nonprofit organizations seeking to engage and inspire their audiences. They have an impressive open rate of 95%, far surpassing the 18% of email, and there are many creative ways to use them. Through text messages, nonprofits can deliver impact stories, send thank you messages that have a personal touch, or even voice memos directly from leadership. This offers organizations an easier way to reach people who may need to consume their traditional media. The possibilities with text messaging seem endless and can offer your supporters a more profound experience and connection with the cause, making it worth considering putting more focus and effort into this simple communication format.
Gen-Z is Taking Over the Philanthropic World
As the youngest and most diverse voting block, Gen Z has invoked an impressive presence in philanthropy, changing the face of political conflict resolution and encouraging more youth-oriented outreach from nonprofit organizations. Their youthful energy stems from a desire for justice, including eradicating poverty and climate change – two issues affecting those all around the globe. With this powerful motivation to tackle such crucial pillars, Gen Z is primed to bring hope and purpose to a new era of helping underprivileged, disenfranchised populations and spurring sustainable development. By learning from their predecessors while taking a fresh approach to what they achieved, Gen Z will carry the torch of making lasting impressions in the humanitarian sphere that stands apart.
Gen Z is a revolution, ushering in a new wave of diversity and technological prowess. This unique group of people has already made up more than 20% of the U.S. population, proving how important they are to the country’s future. As digital natives, this generational cohort has an unmatched affinity for and ability with technology, allowing them to collaborate and communicate across vast global audiences like never before. They are actual creators, taking advantage of advanced internet tools not available to prior generations. Gen Z is sure to shape the future in a multitude of ways— economically, socially, and politically— paving the way for society to become exponentially more connected due to its sheer power of influence and continued collaboration.
Engaging Gen-Zers in meaningful and impactful philanthropy is the key to ensuring a vibrant future for nonprofits. For decades, it has been demonstrated that when young people feel connected to a cause or organization, they are more likely to become loyal supporters. However, organizations must recognize that this generation holds varying interests and preferences as well as an increased understanding of collective action. Gen-Zers also value cultural relevance and technology, eager to use any means available to express their social-mindedness. By making an effort to understand Gen-Zer motivations and preferences better, organizations will position themselves to capture their attention now and build both loyalty and long-term support later on. This intentional engagement with this influential group could pay dividends for years.
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