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Fundraising trends to look out for in 2022

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what does 2022 have in store for us all?

Don’t know the answer? We don’t blame you. If the last year has shown us anything, it’s that things can change, quickly. We have vaccines and boosters, but with new variants popping up, our battle with this virus appears to still be a force to be contended with. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan, but it does make the process a little harder. So, what will fundraising look like in 2022? Sadly, we don’t have a magic mirror. But we do have experience working with nonprofits, and this year, we think we’ll see the sector:

Say hello to digital fundraising

With infection rates still all over the place, one thing we can be sure about is that digital fundraising is here to stay. From digital campaigns to online shopping and virtual events, it’s great news for all the technology purists out there. COVID-19 has opened a new virtual fundraising world, and with recent fundraising trends showing even the most reluctant of nonprofits the wonders that digital holds, we think this is one trend that’s here to stay.

Create new space for hybrid events

Just because nonprofits have embraced the world of online giving doesn’t mean personal contact is redundant. Human beings are social creatures, and after months of lockdown you can be forgiven for craving some personal contact. Digital fundraising has opened a lot of doors, but it would be short-sighted to close the others. It is not the new normal, it is part of the new normal, and we think that as we move forward, we’ll start seeing more hybrid fundraising events. It’s the best of both worlds. Taking the connections and live experience of in-person events and adding a virtual element—one that invites and engages a broader, digital audience.

Renew its focus on supporter experience

One of the true silver linings of COVID-19 are the extra mile nonprofits have gone to support their donors and beneficiaries. And, we want this year to see an even greater focus on cultivating donor relationships. Whether it’s a well-timed thank you, handwritten note, random act of kindness, virtual meet-up, or digital ‘check-in’, COVID-19 has helped nonprofits humanize and understand their donors. More than just data, the more fundraisers talk to the people behind the gifts, the better—and more durable—their donor relationships will become.

Get (or stay) social

Okay, so technically it’s a type of digital fundraising, but social media warrants its own entry. Why? Because social media is about so much more than just the ask. It isn’t just a channel to cross in your next fundraising campaign. It’s about conversation and engagement, and experience. The truth is, with so many parts of people’s lives locked down, social media is a must for nonprofits. It is a way to build your community, to share stories, photos, videos, and messages with people everywhere. It’s a way to engage, to get people involved, and build relationships with your donors. That doesn’t mean you have to be on every single platform. Go where your supporters are. Not quite sure what to say? Our tips to maximize social media fundraising is a great place to start.

Embrace Artificial intelligence (AI)

Delivering a good supporter experience takes time. And time is a resource most fundraisers are more than a little short of. Could Artificial Intelligence be part of the answer? It might sound a bit space-age, but actually AI is more common than you might think. Take chatbots, for instance. Chatbots are automated software that can be trained (programmed) to understand questions and perform simple tasks. Just like a person. Whether yours is there to answer questions, poll supporters, share information, or tell stories, chatbots offer nonprofits a new way to engage supporters and drive donations. But that doesn’t mean you put an end to human communications. Artificial intelligence could be the digital fundraising tool you need to enhance it.

Keep up with cashless donations

From online giving to contactless payments, cashless donations have been on our radar for a while. Quick and convenient, it’s easy to see why the consumer world has gone this way. With COVID-19 bringing fears of cash-based transmission and shining a magnifying glass on digital fundraising techniques, cashless technology makes donating easier than ever before (provided it’s used well, of course). That’s why we think cashless giving is a trend that’s here to stay.

Go back to basics with direct mail

And finally. It might feel a little old-fashioned compared to the technological wonders of digital fundraising, chatbots and cashless giving, but direct mail still has a role to play. We have been locked down for months, and yes, we’re excited to see the postman. It’s even more exciting if he has mail! Giving people a much-needed break from screens and social media, the tactile, physical, and personal nature of direct mail makes it the perfect fundraising tool for lockdown times. It doesn’t need to be flashy. A well-written letter landing in the right mailbox, at the right time, might be just what you—and your donors—need.

We know it isn’t easy to turn theory into action. But despite all the challenges nonprofits have faced, we have watched organizations turn digital corners and make creative moves in a way that hasn’t been seen before. We can’t promise you an easier year, but we know you’ve got what it takes to find your way through to navigate the landscape, reshape, and rebuild your fundraising for the better. And we’re here to help. Our team is always working to stay ahead of the digital fundraising game—making sure our software gives you everything you need to ride the coronacoaster and start building back better. Contact us to set up your personalized demo of thankQ CRM today to see how thankQ can help your fundraising efforts!