That’s why “charitable giving trends” is a term that’s thrown around a lot in the nonprofit sector.
And while trends might seem fleeting, it’s actually a positive thing for organizations to follow them (at least, some of them!). Plus, changing up your fundraising strategy helps keep things fun for you and your donors.
In order to keep up with the times and appeal to modern donors, nonprofits should be continuously innovating their fundraising strategies.
We’ll dive into how nonprofits are practicing each of these trends and why they’re important. By the time we’re done, hopefully your organization will be inspired to get a little trendy, too!
1. Auction and event technology
Technology developments have changed the fundraising landscape more than anything else in recent years. Specifically, the rise of event management software has made planning, executing, and tracking auctions a much more efficient process for nonprofits and their donors.
The right software can simplify event planning, provide greater convenience for donors, and streamline the logistics of your auction.
Nonprofits can now set up easy-to-use event websites that facilitate ticket purchases, offer additional donation opportunities through donation forms and fixed-price item sales, and provide registration for mobile bidding.
This technology make it easier to track and analyze event data after your fundraiser, too. You’ll be able to gain deeper insights and use these reports to make your events better in the future.
Additionally, specific technology can maximize your fundraising dollars at your auction just as easily as they can before and after it.
Fundraisers have recently been finding creative ways to spice up the classic silent auction, and using fresh technology such as mobile bidding is one of the best ways to do so.
In general, mobile bidding is a streamlined, modern approach to a traditional fundraising tactic.
The mobile bidding process works like this:
Donors view and place bids on items directly on their smartphones. If they are outbid, they will instantly receive a notification and a prompt to raise their bids. You’ll also have a way to provide donors with additional updates and communications, creating a portal for instant, active engagement with your attendees throughout the event.
Here are a few reasons why mobile bidding can be a total game-changer:
- Stronger engagement than paper bidding. While paper bidding is a pretty one-sided experience, mobile solutions make the bidding process fun and interactive. Guests will easily be able to stay on top of their bids all night without running to and from the item table.
- Streamlined checkout process. Since guests pre-register their payment methods beforehand, you can say goodbye to long checkout lines. Running traditional bid sheet checkouts is intensive work for nonprofits, but this software allows you to more quickly and accurately manage those logistics. That makes for a more positive experience for you and your supporters.
- Greater fundraising potential. With additional features such as social sharing and automated bidding, silent auctions have never been a more convenient experience for donors. Thanks to mobile bidding, your donors will find it easier to bid and bid more. On average, mobile auctions bring in triple the fundraising dollars of paper auctions, which means you could be exponentially boosting your fundraising power!
Need more details on how mobile bidding software can revolutionize your next auction? Check out BidPal’s options for mobile bidding and auction software to see how you can introduce this technology into your fundraiser.
Takeaway: As you can see, there are a number of benefits to using fundraising software to plan, execute, and analyze your charity auction. Software can streamline your event from start to finish and assist in everything from donor engagement to accurate data analysis.
2. Mobile givingSmartphones have become a staple of modern society, and they’re quickly becoming a game-changer for charitable giving as well.
Mobile giving first came into popularity back in 2010, during the Red Cross’ Haiti Earthquake relief campaign.
The campaign managed to raise $487.6 million, suggesting that text-to-give and other forms of mobile giving had the potential to raise a lot of funds. Furthermore, they had the potential to help organizations administer aid to those in need faster than they could have imagined.
In order to meet donors where they want to be met, an increasing number of nonprofits are realizing that they need to implement mobile giving in some form or another.
Text-to-give platforms make giving incredibly simple for donors, since all they have to do is send a text to the nonprofit’s established phone number and then complete their transactions on a mobile donation form.
These services are just as easy and beneficial for the organization. Not only will you be able to raise funds faster than ever, you’ll also be able to receive funds quickly. Many services offer direct deposits into your organization’s account, cutting down your turnaround time and maximizing efficiency.
Takeaway: Mobile giving — specifically text-to-give — is a trend that’s here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. It’s certainly worth trying out if your organization hasn’t gotten on board already! To learn more, check out this resource on text-to-give technology from BidPal.
3. Peer-to-peer fundraisingP2P. Crowdfunding. DIY Fundraising.
It goes by a million different names, but your organization has probably seen peer-to-peer fundraising blowing up the internet recently.
For those of you who still might not be familiar with it, here’s a quick rundown:
Peer-to-peer fundraising turns donors into fundraisers. Donors take to social media (and various other platforms) and request donations from their friends, family members, and other peers to help the nonprofit reach a fundraising goal. Peer-to-peer campaigns are often paired with a fundraising event, especially active events like walkathons and bikeathons.
So why have so many organizations been trying out peer-to-peer fundraisers for themselves?
These campaigns afford organizations with many benefits. Here are just a few:
- Cost-effective. With donors doing much of the fundraising legwork for you, organizations don’t have to expend a ton of money to raise a ton of money. While you’ll have to invest in peer-to-peer software, marketing and donor acquisition costs should be minimal.
- Expands reach. Since donors are reaching out to their networks, peer-to-peer campaigns can help organizations acquire a ton of new donors in a short amount of time. And because people are hearing about the organization through those they know and trust, P2P can solve the trust problem that nonprofits run into when convincing new donors to give.
- Builds on existing donor relationships. Since donors are essentially working on behalf of the organization, nonprofits have an excellent opportunity to deepen relationships with their existing donors. Plus, these efforts require active engagement from fundraisers, making them feel more invested in the organization’s cause and mission.
4. Heightened focus on donor retention.
Although donor acquisition is a crucial aspect of fundraising, it’s important to focus equally on maintaining donor relationships on a long-term basis as well.
In the past, when focusing mainly (or even solely) on acquiring new donors, organizations were building bases full of disengaged donors who gave only once, maybe twice, and then were never heard from again.
Obviously, these types of relationships weren’t very valuable in the long term. Nonprofits were not only losing donors who could potentially provide them with more funding, but they were also expending more resources trying to sway new donors to their causes.
That’s why, in the past year, there’s been a heightened focus on donor retention.
Instead of taking a catchall approach to acquisition, nonprofits have been developing personalized outreach strategies to build on the relationships they’ve already established with their current donors.
By taking individualized approaches to stewarding their donors, organizations can establish deeper relationships with them and effectively transform more of their one-time donors into donors who give again and again.
Recurring donors are extremely valuable. Clearly, they invest in your organization for longer than one-time donors, but it also takes fewer resources to convince existing donors to give again after their initial donation.
Trust has already been established, which means much of the work has already been done.
Takeaway: Nowadays, donors expect more personalized experiences with the nonprofits they support. If your organization doesn’t focus on building these relationships, not even the most advanced tools or the most effective strategies will save your fundraisin
Staying on top of current fundraising trends is an ongoing task, but there’s no better time than the present to analyze your approach and shake up your strategies. What can your organization do to better appeal to a modern audience?
Don’t be afraid to move with the times and get a little trendy — you might be surprised how your donors appreciate your fresh take!