Hot 2019 Nonprofit Fundraising Trends

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Trend #1: Shift from social to dark social and influencers

Ten years ago, no one took social media seriously –  for nonprofit organizations, making it a core part of their strategy was laughable. But times change, and it’s now the norm for organizations to rely heavily on social media. For most, it’s their main place for distributing content, raising awareness and staying engaged with their community. However, social media marketing is like any other field; it’s always evolving, and you need to stay on top of trends. Unfortunately, social engagement rates are dropping about 25% year over year, making it harder to maintain the results you  may have been used to. Some of the factors contributing to this decline include the novelty effect of social wearing off, content noise or increased competition, and privacy concerns.

However, there’s more users on social than ever, so where are all these people going – and how do they prefer to engage? The answer is that they’re moving to private channels where they can have meaningful conversations in privacy. According to BuzzSumo’s latest report, 65% of sharing and engagement is happening in what’s called ‘dark social’ (untracked, private channels such as Facebook Messenger, other private chat rooms, and email). In fact, according to WeRSM, WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger and WeChat‘s global Monthly Active Users have officially surpassed the ‘Big 4’ (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn) by over 300k users.

Influencer marketing is becoming more and more crucial as well. Building relationships with advocates who will raise awareness about your campaigns and help you connect with new donors, both on regular and dark social channels, is becoming an invaluable ingredient of success.  

What can your nonprofit do to embrace these changes in 2019?

  • You can start using shortened URLs for any fundraising campaign an on social media sharing to improve sharabilty. Short URLs are unique and easy-to-share – perfect for sharing in chat, for instance – and that will be reflected in your analytics. Here is a good article on URLs shorteners.
  • Try out chatbots as an engagement tool to start conversation with donors and share your updates – private messages have a much better rate of engagement than status updates or posts. Some chatbots are still expensive to use, but there are some affordable options, such as ManyChat.
  • Build out a list of influencers with similar audiences and interests relevant to your mission. Consider starting from a micro-influencer plan. Define as people with a smaller audience size of 1,000-50,000, micro-influencers’ engagement with their audience is very high due to the more intimate connection and greater trust that their followers feel. Here is a good article about micro-influencer marketing.

 

Trend #2: Now is the time of the storyteller.

As the online world becomes more crowded, competing for your audience’s limited attention is increasingly difficult. The success of your nonprofit’s content strategy will be defined by its quality, storytelling, and choice of distribution channels.

Compared to other industries, nonprofits, charities and impact-driven organizations have an advantage – they already have meaningful, impactful stories to share. Ongoing connection with your audience is key, and is only possible through authentic and powerful storytelling.

What can your nonprofit do to embrace these changes in 2019?

  • Keep track of all your results and successes, small or large. Share those numbers with your audience.
  • Take as many pictures and videos of your daily activities as possible. This will help you engage audience in your day-to-day activities, and feel included in the work you do.
  • Use Instagram and Facebook stories. Don’t underestimate the power of short, engaging stories on social media.
  • If you want to learn more how to be a good storyteller during your crowdfunding campaign, you can check out our Crowdfunding Success Navigator for Nonprofits– it will teach you all about the Shakespearean Arc of storytelling

 

Trend #3: Corporate sponsorship and matching dollars are more relevant than ever.

According to Entrepreneur, millennials value transparency and social impact. Forbes seconded that, commenting that 87% of Americans will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about, and that millennials are even more likely than other generations to research the issues a company supports, and the extent to which they contribute. All signs point to this trend continuing in 2019. More companies will be putting resources and time into the development of their social impact programs, opening up more possibilities for collaboration with nonprofits and charities.

What can your nonprofit do to embrace these changes in 2019?

  • Reach out to corporations with similar audiences and interests relevant to your mission
  • Run a matching dollars or sponsorship campaign.
  • You can get help from our expert on your 2019 sponsorship strategy

Trend #4: Online giving just keeps growing.

Donation estimates from both Giving USA and the Blackbaud Institute continue to show growth in online giving.Through April 2018, online giving was up more than 10.6% on a year-over-year basis.

Polishing your donor acquisition, retention and engagement strategies still remain of utmost importance. Testing various online giving strategies is critical as being innovative is key for success here.

What can your nonprofits do to embrace these changes in 2019?

  • Polish your marketing skills. When you work with crowd, it is all about raising awareness and marketing your cause to your audience.
  • Test out new crowdfunding campaign types such as DIY fundraising or micro-projects.
  • As experts in online fundraising, we are always happy to jump on a call and discuss your 2019 strategy. Book a session here.

And above all, don’t be scared! Overall, all signs demonstrate that nonprofits, charities and impact-driven organizations have a lot to look forward to this coming year. People are becoming more and more socially-aware and responsible, and increasingly, they’re demanding that businesses and corporations adapt and change right along with them.

Good luck in 2019 – we believe in you and your cause!

FundRazr team

 

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