Over the past few years, the global pandemic has deeply impacted the world of philanthropy in many ways, setting the stage for a flurry of fundraising shifts and innovations that are here to stay for the long-term. Nonprofits have pivoted to adapt to the changing landscape, and as a result we are seeing more virtual events than ever, record-breaking numbers in digital fundraising, more flexible and unrestricted donations to organizations, and so much more. In 2023, the ever-increasing reliance on technology, the shift to trust-based philanthropy, and the activation of an entirely new donor base, Generation Z (or “Gen Z”), are all going to be big factors in what’s expected to be a trend-setting year in nonprofit fundraising.  

Here are five trends to plan for in 2023:  

  1. Trust-Based Philanthropy – Trust-based philanthropy was already on the rise but has only accelerated in response to the pandemic. Foundations and other donors are embracing a more flexible and long-term approach to partnerships, offering more multi-year, unrestricted grants that allow organizations to meet their most immediate and urgent needs. According to the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, this shift in how philanthropists do business represents a “commitment to building relationships on transparency, dialogue, and mutual learning.” However, it’s important for nonprofits to remember that trust goes both ways! Donor stewardship is still an important aspect in relationship-building, and should continue to be a focus for fundraising teams especially with the increase in trust-based giving.
  2. Virtual Events – While most organizations are back in the office, virtual or hybrid events are still dominating the fundraising scene and are likely here to stay. There is something irreplaceable about in-person networking and relationship-building, but the benefits created by virtual events, such as removing geographic limitations, increasing access, and limiting travel costs, are allowing nonprofits to have a wider reach and higher participation rates. What are some ways your organization can leverage technology for virtual events?
  3. Digital Wallets – Whether you’re online shopping or online donating, you have likely experienced the dreaded situation where you reach the checkout page and realize you don’t have your credit card handy. Do you get up to find your credit card or keep it in the “cart” for later? Research has shown that the average one-time donation is nearly 1.5x more when nonprofits offer digital wallet payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and others (Funraise.org). It streamlines the donation process and makes conversions much more likely! Do your website and social media have e-wallet payment options for donors?
  4. Text Communications – Along with the rise of virtual events and digital fundraising is the use of text messaging as a donor communications and stewardship tool. Not only is it highly effective (a 95% open rate compared to 18% for email) but there are plenty of opportunities to think beyond the ask, using text messages to share impact stories, video links, personalized thank you messages, and even voice memos from leadership.
  5. The Rise of Gen-Z – During the most recent elections, the impact of Gen Z was indisputable, and this constituency will continue to have a growing influence in the philanthropic sphere. Gen Z, or young people ages 9 to 24, already make up more than 20% of the U.S. population, and are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation group our country has ever seen. Additionally, they are digital natives whose fluency with technology will continue to shape the future. Understanding the philanthropic motivations and preferences of Gen-Zers will be critical for nonprofits to stay relevant. Activating this social-minded group can pay dividends now and in the future. 

Ready to roll in 2023? Call My Philanthropy Team!  

At My Philanthropy Team (MPT), we have a team of smart, motivated, and caring individuals who are ready to help you plan and execute your fundraising goals for 2023. Ask us how we can support your organization today!  

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