Online Fundraising
July 5, 2021

5 Digital Trends in Nonprofit Fundraising

In recent times, there is a visible shift happening in fundraising: many nonprofits are embracing technology and leveraging it to build and scale their operations. And across all demographics, online giving has emerged as the most popular donation channel. This means that digital fundraising tactics should be a key aspect in your campaigns. Here are five digital fundraising trends you should consider for your NPO as you plan for future campaigns.

1. Make online fundraising fun, interesting and engaging

Online fundraising has existed for a while but witnessed rapid growth in recent times. In Canada and the U.S., 63% of donors said that they prefer to give online with a credit or debit card and among those giving virtually, online raffles and sweepstakes are a popular option with 47% of donors choosing it, making them twice as effective as a fundraising tactic when compared with more traditional and established events like auctions (24%).

Nonprofit game plan: As a nonprofit, you should explore options to raise money online. For this, fundraising software like the Ascend Sweepstakes or the Ascend 50/50 are worth exploring. Ascend Sweepstakes, for instance, can be run nationwide in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and works within all state and provincial regulatory and licensing frameworks.

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2. Tap into the power of social media

Engaging with donors where they spend most of their time is a strategic and an effective way to grab their attention. In today’s virtual world, these places are often various social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and emerging platforms such as TikTok and Clubhouse. A social community can make donors feel connected, involved and invested with your mission and aligned with your success. Added benefit: Social media enables you to reach donors beyond borders while also keeping everyone informed.

Nonprofit game plan: Double down on your social media strategy. Strengthen your social presence by proactively engaging with your target audience and posting consistently; share content that resonates with their interests. Use your blog and/or social media to showcase real stories, share important news, and talk about accomplishments and events related to your nonprofit.

Related: How to Use Social Media to Maximize Return on Investment (ROI) from Fundraisers

3. Leverage email marketing

Trailing just behind social media, email is a great tool for fundraising campaigns. Across Canada and the U.S., 33% of donors said that email is the communication tool that inspired them the most to give.

Nonprofit game plan: Categorize and segment your email lists so you can send relevant and timely emails to each group. Be sure to continue email engagement and nurture relationships even after donations are received.

Related: 8 Email Marketing Tips for Nonprofits to Inspire Giving and Attract Donors

4. Explore artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots

AI-based chatbots can help automate various tasks and can be programmed to reply to chat messages. AI-based chatbots can help quickly answer questions from potential donors and also assist with customer support, during and beyond business hours.

Nonprofit game plan: Outline all possible scenarios and questions that your community could ask. Define answers for each and program the chatbot to reply with those answers and get into a natural conversation flow when specific questions are asked.

5. Try livestream fundraising

Videos are known to drive high engagement. They are an effective way to appear more human and accessible online. Live-streaming content across social channels and gaming platforms like Twitch, provides a direct way for supporters to feel intimately connected to the impact and mission of your nonprofit. Along with being able to reach a wider audience on a global scale, the production cost is also much lower compared to in-person events. Bonus: The opportunity to repurpose this content for social media.

Nonprofit game plan: Consider webinars, online auctions, talks, panel discussions, live Q&As, and behind-the-scenes exclusives to connect with your audience.

As the world continues to evolve and adapt to a virtual setting, it’s important for nonprofits to stay up to date on the latest trends to successfully achieve their fundraising goals. Best-in-class technology combined with a strong marketing plan can help with launching a successful online fundraising campaign.

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