image of woman making an online donation

The digital donor: Trends in fundraising behind the screen

2021 was the year of adjusting for nonprofits as the world trudged through the second year of the pandemic. Fundraising efforts continued to lean heavily on virtual events and peer-to-peer campaigns, but they also leveraged innovative and out-of-the-box tactics to reach stuck-at-home audiences. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the key trends found in recent studies and research. So if you’re looking to make the most of your fundraising efforts as we start 2022, read on!

The digital donor: Making fundraising flexible

Organizations found ways to meet their convenience-craving audiences where they were…on their phones! With the availability of digital wallets, like Apple Pay and Google Pay, facial recognition provided security for auto-populated payment information while trusted apps like Venmo and PayPal gained popularity as donation methods. In fact, 51% of donors shared they would likely donate if nonprofits provided these options. Looking forward, Classy predicts that cryptocurrency and its $3 trillion marketplace will become a prominent method of giving in the years to come. We can also expect to see more tech-driven experiences like NFT auctions emerge as a fundraising event platform.  

Leveraging recurring donations

Subscription-based services and products aren’t going anywhere. This automated, out-of-sight, out-of-mind trend lends itself to the nonprofit space as well. Double the Donation found that 45% of global donors are enrolled in a recurring giving program. Over time, recurring givers prove to be  3 – 5x more valuable than a one-time donor. Consider adding a recurring donation program to your giving options if you haven’t already! 

Adapting to policy change
This past year, Apple added new features to their product lineup to help users better control and monitor apps’ use of their data. More recently, Facebook announced the removal of Detailed Targeting for ads related to “sensitive” topics such as “causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.” Both announcements allow users to have more control over what content they are exposed to, and with good reason! While some advertisers might see this as a hindrance to reaching audiences, nonprofits can view these changes as an opportunity to develop marketing campaigns that hone in on givers who are genuinely interested in their cause, paving the way for even more donations. Lean into Facebook’s Engagement Custom Audiences to connect with people who have liked your page or engaged with your content. From there, you can build Lookalike Audiences based on your engagement to further expand your reach. 

As fundraising continues to be driven more and more by technology in the digital age, nonprofits will need to keep up with seemingly constant changes and improvements in giving platforms, policy change, and donor outreach methods. How has your organization adapted to updates we’ve seen this past year? Maybe you need help navigating the overwhelming world of web-based giving. We’re here for you, and we’d love to chat with you about exceeding your fundraising goals in 2022. 


Katelin Breitmayer Content Marketing Manager Katelin specializes in digital content creation, providing website and social media strategy support to our clients as well as our agency.

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