Six Fundraising Trends to Keep an Eye On in 2023

January 13, 2023

As the world continually changes, the fundraising landscape continuously evolves along with it. With inflation and rising prices hitting all-time highs, increasing donations has become even more vital for organizations, yet nonprofits' capacity to raise funds has grown much more difficult. But, if the last few years have taught us anything about philanthropy and uncertainty, it is that nonprofit’s work is more critical than ever and donors are more eager than ever to make a difference.

Despite any challenges, philanthropy overall continues to grow. According to a CCS Fundraising Report, 6 out of 10 charitable sectors saw an increase in giving from 2020 to 2021. And last year, in the midst of an economic downturn, $3.1 billion dollars was raised in the U.S. alone on Giving Tuesday! So how can your organization navigate an uncertain outlook while still receiving donations to support your cause? We've put together a list of six fundraising trends to help inform your 2023 fundraising strategy for the next year and set your sights on your most successful year yet.

1. Trust & Transparency are KEY

With the cost of living increasing, many donors are feeling the pinch, and they may be less likely to give generously if they feel like their money won’t go as far as it used to. According to a recent study, as many as 97% of donors attribute knowing the impact of their gift as a major deciding factor. This is why connecting with your community while embracing transparency by providing impact metrics and leading with your values are all essential to attracting donors.

2. Strategy is Critical for Ongoing Growth

From increasing donations to team building, having a strategic framework for your yearly goals across all areas is critical to the success of your organization. To start, we encourage you to have a meeting with your team, board members and other stakeholders to reflect on last year’s strategies, examine areas of opportunity, and begin to strategically plan for the year ahead. The following questions may help you get in the right frame of mind:

  • Where does our organization currently stand? What strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and even threats can we see? (A simple SWOT analysis can go a long way - Download a template here.)
  • What are the top 3 priorities for the first two quarters of the year?
  • With the current global landscape, where do you see your organization’s opportunity for growth?

Being strategic is by no means a linear process. Especially in such uncertain times, we must plan strategically from a realistic perspective and allow ourselves to adapt along the way to the new realities that arise.

3. Offer Flexible Online Giving Options

The easier it is to donate, particularly during that initial cultivation phase - the more likely you are to persuade supporters to donate to your cause. In order to attract new donors, it’s essential to create a seamless online donation experience that requires little to no friction in the process. According to the Blackbaud Institute, 28% of all donations were made online in 2021 and are expected to grow even more this year, which means you’re missing out on a huge fundraising opportunity by not offering an online donation option.

Thankfully, Pledge’s Donation Forms are easy to embed to any nonprofit’s page, allowing donors to submit payments directly on your website. You can even accept Apple or Google Pay, or crypto donations. And as the first platform to cover credit card fees, 100% of every donation made goes to your nonprofit.

4. Focus on Donor Retention

This is THE year to prioritize creating a donor stewardship plan and not just for the major donors, either! A recent study found that as many as 70% of donors only give once to an organization, meaning that nonprofits are often left with a negative return on their initial investment in acquiring first-time donors. However, for those that do make a second donation - the return rate increases by 3x!

In order to get donors to come back here are two simple things your nonprofit can do that are guaranteed to have a positive impact on retention:

  • Thank your donors quickly after they make a donation
  • Remind them of the impact they are making - the more specific, the better!

5. The Comeback of In-Person Fundraising

People are craving connection and community, and what better way to bring people together than through an engaging in-person fundraising event? From sporting events to themed galas, and more, there are plenty of ways to fundraise safely in-person today while still leveraging the perks of virtual fundraising. Opting to create hybrid events is an effective way to reach beyond one’s geographical location, while also offering the option to connect in-person.

6. Boost Efficiencies with Effective Fundraising Technology

Fundraising technology has not only made it easier than ever for people to donate to causes they care about, it also alleviates staffing and resourcing constraints by optimizing both donation processing and reporting. With the current economic landscape, selecting the right platform that speaks to your nonprofit’s needs is critical to hitting your fundraising goals for the year. For instance, Pledge provides automated tax receipt & donation processing in addition to real-time donor data & insights directly within your nonprofit’s Impact Hub, allowing you and your team to focus on what matters most… making an impact!

Are you ready to strive even higher & maximize your impact in 2023? In these unpredictable times, fundraising technology will undoubtedly be crucial to your nonprofit's success and ability to adapt. And at Pledge, we have everything you need to ensure your fundraising will be a success in the new year & beyond. Start fundraising with us today to make an even greater impact tomorrow.