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7 Trends in 7 Minutes: 2023 Nonprofit Trends

September 26, 2022
7 minutes

The name of this article is "7 trends in 7 minutes", and we have taken this challenge very seriously—your writer has set a timer and will be concluding the writing and editing process after 420 seconds. Send your thoughts and prayers for these ferociously fast fingers!

At NextAfter's 2022 NIO event, Funraise's fantastic Fundraising Strategist, Dani Lockard, is back to bring you a quick tip: Our top 7 fundraising trends for 2023. If you've never seen Dani, watch the video and prepare for her sparkle—she brings vivacity and energy that you just can't get by reading our rad writing.

And with that intro, here are our top nonprofit trends to keep an eye on in 2023:

1. Digital wallets

Who wants to dig through their wallet or purse these days? Or... pockets or brassiere or sleeves (if you're a magician). Really, no one has time for that. Ergo, the digital wallet. Here's why digital wallets are a top fundraising trend for 2023:

  • Donors these days expect a giving experience that’s similar to the way they buy and shop online, meaning modern payment methods and digital wallet payments like Apple Pay, Venmo, PayPal and GooglePay are de rigueur.
  • Meme and social media culture assure us that we're not the only ones guilty of abandoning (and ultimately forgetting about) an online shopping cart because we don’t have a credit card in our hot little hands and the online retailer doesn’t accept a digital wallet. While this is great for our shopping habits, it's not great for your donor experience.

In fact, did you know the average one-time donation is nearly 1.5X more when nonprofits offer ACH, PayPal, and digital wallet payments? Yep, and the Apple Pay stats from a previous test are even better:

  • 160% increase in the average donation amount for Apple Pay
  • With 26% of iPhone-owning donors giving with Apple Pay

2. Crypto

So, let’s talk crypto for a minute! For those who haven’t invested in crypto, it may seem farfetched or volatile, but when we look at the trajectory of cryptocurrency donations over the years, it’s phenomenal. In fact, as we look at the rate of nonprofit adoption, innovations in fundraising, and crypto mainstreaming, The Giving Block’s prediction that “crypto has the potential to become the most powerful philanthropic force on the planet” doesn’t seem that far-fetched.

Aaaand as persuasive as we can be, The Giving Block’s numbers may sway you more than our recommendation, so here they are!

  • Total donation volume increased almost 1600% from 2020 to 2021 and average donation size increased 236% in the same time.
  • The total donation volume on The Giving Block in 2021 was $69,644,535, an increase of 1,558% from 2020.
  • The average crypto donation size on The Giving Block in 2021 was $10,455, an increase of 236% from the previous year.

3. Leveraging LinkedIn

This one’s specifically for you, nonprofit leaders! Y'all are the experts on your mission and the problems that your organization is solving. It’s important to establish yourself as a thought leader amongst not only your colleagues, but current and potential donors.

There isn’t a dedicated forum where nonprofit leaders of all stripes can start a conversation around their organization, but those that are doing so on LinkedIn are not only building a network of like-minded leaders, but also finding a way to share their voice to a host of working professionals, who coincidentally make up a large portion of potential donors.

Oh, and make sure to follow Funraise and our CEO, Justin Wheeler on LinkedIn!

4. E-Commercification of donations

What *can't* you get online these days? (As we're typing, we realize that the answer is a manicure. You can't get a manicure online.) The US Department of Commerce shows that US e-commerce sales have been growing steadily for over a decade, with significant growth in the last two years. Factor in a global pandemic, gas prices going through the roof, and inflation, and people are buying everything online.

Nonprofits can take note from the for-profit space on how to optimize online giving through tools that:

  • Upgrade one-time donors to recurring donors
  • Flag abandoned cart donors
  • Pinpoint donor position through location-based AI
  • And go back to our first trend… digital wallets!

5. Hybrid events

Now that in-person events are back in full swing, we’ve seen too many organizations throw virtual events to the wayside. However, organizations that keep a virtual component as part of their in-person event strategies are able to make their one-night event last months.

In fact, the Boys Scouts of America - Heart of America council streamed a virtual event using a Funraise campaign page. Cut to a year later, and they’re still driving traffic—and donations!—to the recorded event on this page. They’re not limited by seating capacity or timebound in-person events, a strategy which has netted them hundreds of dollars in donations they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

They also get bonus points for tying peer-to-peer into the strategy for this event, which increases new donor web traffic in addition to donations.

Need more proof that creative hybrid events are trending? Check out Thorn's sweet event microsite hosting founder Ashton Kutcher's collab with Peloton and a slew of famous friends.

A screenshot of Ashton Kutcher with the title "Help Ashton Defend Children"

6. Giving Experience

Modern donors have different—and higher—expectations for the digital donation experience than ever before. For example, the mindset around recurring donations is forever changed by subscription boxes.

Think about it! It makes sense; today's marketplace is full of subscription boxes: make up, coffee, clothing or meal kits, and even boxes for pets. Taking your prompt from subscription services, how can your nonprofit continue to provide value to recurring donors? Here are some ideas:

  • Regular updates on programs and initiatives
  • VIP experiences or limited-edition swag
  • Personalized relationship-building conversations
  • Monthly donations that are something to look forward to instead of a forgettable expense

You also can and should be mitigating donor churn due to expiring credit card with recurring giving. Amazon and Netflix do this automatically—and we’ve got fundraising tools that can do this too.

7. SMS comms

Text communications are trending for three big reasons:

  1. SMS is highly effective: Text has a 95% open rate, compared to 18% for email.
  2. SMS is multi-purpose: Nonprofits don’t just use text to give or to make asks, they’re also using it as a channel for relationship building.
  3. SMS has a lot of potential: We’ve seen folks send a behind-the-scenes photo to recurring donors as a thank you. Or a personalized message when a donation is made in memory of someone. Even voice memos with a quick thank you are trending these days.

2023 is on its way to being a trend-setting year for nonprofits. Digital wallets, e-commerce, and technology are all going to be big factors in fundraising innovations to come.

(Whew, we made it with 3 seconds to spare. Excuse us while we go reward ourselves with a manicure.)

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