Fundraising Trends to Watch in 2022 (+ Tips to Leverage Them)

Tobi Nifesi • Dec 22, 2021
An image illustrating the number 2022

2021 was tipped to be the year of recovery for the nonprofit sector as it continued to navigate the challenges of the pandemic, a global economic crisis, and the increased demand for services. 

Faced with these unforeseen events, nonprofits continued to embrace new technologies, tools, and fundraising trends to connect with and cultivate better relationships with donors. These efforts resulted in increased engagement and more interactions with donors and stakeholders. 

As such, nonprofits are going into the next year armed with more data and knowledge about their donors and supporters than ever before. 

In 2022, nonprofit leaders and professionals will need to thoughtfully harness the power of the data they already have and be proactive with the insights they gather. They will have to rethink their approach to developing quality, personalized donor relationships and cultivate an agile organizational culture that is ready to thrive in rapidly changing environments.

Let’s explore some of the nonprofit fundraising trends that we can expect in 2022.

Guide to 2022 Fundraising Trends

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Download this comprehensive fundraising trends guide to discover how these lessons will become the building blocks for more resilience, agility, and sustained success in the nonprofit sector.

1. Renewed Focus on Donor-Centrism

Despite recent economic, environmental, and humanitarian crises, donors have continued to significantly support nonprofits’ missions over the past couple of years. 

Online giving in 2020 increased by 20% year over year, and overall giving and the total number of donors grew by a record 10% and 6%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2021. 

To sustain this level of engagement, nonprofits need to be resolutely committed to their donors. Going into 2021, fundraisers will need to consider ways to show donors that they value their relationships now and in the future.

Gone are the days of donors contributing to organizations that they just happened to stumble on while watching a commercial or one they saw on a billboard while driving down the freeway. Today, donors have access to tools to keep them informed about the causes and issues they care deeply about.  

In many cases, they have been directly or indirectly affected by these issues and have an idea of the work that needs to be done to resolve them. Even more, they know where to go to learn more about the organizations that are making considerable progress to impact change. As a fundraiser, your responsibility is to state your nonprofit’s case to these donors.

Donors aren’t interested in the next best nonprofit; they want to have long-term, personal relationships with the nonprofits that can make an actual change or contribute significantly to the conversations that matter. 

How to Redefine and Improve Your Donor Relationships in 2022

  • Create a strategy for your nonprofit’s recurring giving program
  • Optimize your donation forms to include options for donors to become recurring givers and to opt-out of sharing sensitive information
  • Customize donations forms to collect essential personal information and subscriptions. 
  • Segment your donor data and use email drips to ensure donors automatically receive relevant information and updates 
  • Develop more opportunities for donors to actively participate in your fundraising campaigns, e.g., virtual volunteering programs, peer-to-peer fundraising events, etc. 
  • Double-check the cybersecurity capabilities of your nonprofit CRM and data collection tool. 
  • Consider investing in a nonprofit tool that can gather key insights about your donors. 
Chart showing upward growth in key KPIs

Forecast Your 2022 Fundraising Revenue

Use this calculator to accurately forecast major gifts, grant funding from foundations, government, and corporations, as well as individual and recurring donations, and more.

2. Organizational Agility Remains Key to Fundraising Success

As the nonprofit sector continues to recover from the impact of a global pandemic, organizations need to continue maintaining agile practices. Fundraisers need to keep diversifying their strategies and revenue stream so their organizations can become stable in the long run.  

Aaron De Smet, a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, defines agility as the “ability of an organization to renew itself, adapt, change quickly, and succeed in a rapidly changing, ambiguous, turbulent environment.”

The keyword in De Smet’s definition is ‘renew,’ and the renewal process is what nonprofit organizations need to be prepared for at any moment. 

If your organization continues to expect the unexpected, equips itself with the right tools, diversify strategies and revenues, and empowers its team to function well in any environment, then it will have a fighting chance against external challenges and threats in 2022. 

Organizational agility is a top-to-bottom strategy that requires the participation of everyone in the nonprofit. This is more than just a fundraising trend, it’s a strategy that organizations need to put in place to ensure their long-term sustainability. Nonprofit leaders, board members, and executives need to make sure their team and organizational culture remain nimble and open to change at any given moment. 

Team members need to be aligned on and reminded about the organization’s goals from time to time. Everyone needs to be plugged in to ensure nothing slips through the cracks so the organization can be proactive about unpredictable and unforeseen challenges. 

How to Become an Agile Nonprofit Organization in 2022

  • Conduct donor surveys or use fundraising intelligence tools to gather insights about donors’ preferred giving options, fundraising event types, and charitable giving vehicles. 
  • Ensure your online donation forms has multiple, accessible, easy-to-use payment options
  • Make sure your hybrid fundraising events are accessible for those attending online and in-person.
  • Invest in a fundraising event management tool that integrates with your current nonprofit CRM.

3. The Need to Empower and Diversify Teams

Over the past two years, employees across several sectors have experienced a shift in how they work. Remote and hybrid working environments have changed how workers communicate with each other and manage their tasks. Organizations rely more on technology to keep their teams engaged and productive. 

This trend isn’t going away anytime soon, with 43% of employees expecting their companies to offer remote work after the pandemic. As such, nonprofit organizations have to consider ways to make remote and hybrid work more effective and efficient for their employees. 

In 2022, organizations will need to ensure their nonprofit team has access to essential wellness, mindfulness, and skills development resources. These resources will be key to team members’ success as they continue to navigate and settle into new types of working environments. 

More so, there needs to be a greater emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion in nonprofit workplaces. The communities that nonprofits serve need to be better represented in nonprofit executive meetings and board rooms. Nonprofit leaders should keep educating themselves to be emotionally intelligent so they can foster a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture.

By making renewed efforts to empower and diversify teams and workplaces, nonprofit organizations can attract, retain and develop the talent they need to meet their fundraising goals in 2022.

How to Empower and Diversify Your Team

  • Renew your organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by revisiting your HR policies and setting new diversity goals. 
  • Empower your nonprofit team by providing wellness tools, mindfulness training, and skill development opportunities. 
  • Consider investing in AI-powered fundraising intelligence tools that can support the work your nonprofit fundraising team does.

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Nonprofits have faced significant challenges in recent years, and as a result, the sector has learned some important lessons that will prove even more valuable in 2022. 

As organizations turned to digital fundraising tools to meet increased demand for services and acquire new donors, they gathered more data. More than before, nonprofits are more knowledgeable about their donors’ interests, giving behavior, donation history, affinity to specific causes, and capacity to give

Access to such a wealth of information means that nonprofits can focus on personalizing donor experiences to retain more donors, improve the quality and lifespan of donor relationships and ensure that donors’ concerns about data privacy and security are dealt with in 2022.  

On an operational level, nonprofits can improve the effectiveness of their fundraising efforts by becoming agile organizations. Fundraisers can now offer more flexible giving options to donors and run accessible hybrid fundraising events successfully. These nimble fundraising strategies, tips, and trends will help nonprofits adapt and thrive during periods of uncertainty. 

Internally, organizations now understand the importance of being inclusive and having diverse voices in the room when making decisions. As more nonprofits bring on board members and leaders from diverse backgrounds, they can empower their team members by providing mental health services, wellness resources, better compensation, and other operational support tools and technologies. 

In 2022, these lessons, tips, and fundraising trends will be the building blocks for more resilience, agility, and sustained success in the nonprofit sector.