How the nonprofit industry evolved in 2023.

Dec 7, 2023

If you’re like other successful fundraisers, you’re probably looking for ways to do something different and improve your fundraising outreach. But if you’ve been taking things day-by-day, you may not be caught up with the ways the nonprofit industry evolved in 2023.

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But you’ll need to do more than maintain the status quo to improve your results and make a difference. So, it’s critical to have your finger on our industry’s pulse and be aware of some of the latest and greatest strategies other nonprofits use to raise more money and inspire their audiences.

And the good news is, it’s never too late to start! So, let’s stop thinking about checking off items from today’s to-do list and start thinking proactively about how you can take your outreach a step forward in 2024.

AI can't replace the heart and soul you pour into your nonprofit work. But it can complement and elevate it.

Embrace Artificial Intelligence.

AI has come a long way in a short amount of time. But it’s still not a replacement for a human copywriter.

As you know, crafting compelling messaging is time-consuming, especially for those with limited writing experience. But advancements in AI are helping fundraisers spend less time writing appeals and other communications.

And learning how to use ChatGPT and other learned language models to their strengths was a gamechanger for nonprofits in 2023. 

Just remember, AI can be a great tool to help expedite the drafting process. But a personal touch and understanding of your nonprofit’s mission are what truly make your appeals compelling.

Remember, AI isn’t here to replace the heart and soul you pour into your nonprofit’s work. It’s here to complement and elevate it.

READ MORE: Using AI to assist your outreach this appeal season.

Encourage donors who give regular, small dollar donations to join your monthly giving program.

Make the most of small dollar donations.  

A successful monthly giving program is the holy grail of small dollar donations. Your goal should always be turning a small, one-off donation into a lifetime of support.

This could mean increasing the average gift size of these donors over time. But your best bet may be getting them to make more of the small dollar donations they are already comfortable with.

As you know, monthly giving can help your nonprofit retain donors at a higher rate and provides a consistent cash flow.

So, consider reaching out to your small gift donors, especially those who gave more than once, and see if they would be interested in making their gift monthly. Explain the benefits of monthly giving for the donor and the organization. And be sure to let them know about any special perks, like an exclusive event, you offer for monthly donors.

READ MORE: Maximizing the value of small dollar donations.

Make sure you are prepared before bringing in a partner to help elevate your fundraising outreach.

Don’t be afraid to get some help!

You’re not in this job just for a paycheck, after all. You work at a nonprofit because you want to make the world a better place.

But the steps you need to take to advance your fundraising and rise above the noise aren’t always clear. Or maybe you don’t have the resources or bandwidth to make these changes all on your own.

More and more nonprofits are bringing in outside partners to help take their fundraising outreach to the next level. And one of the first and most important steps when collaborating with a fundraising agency is making sure your new strategic partner understands your nonprofit’s mission, its audience, and the way you talk to them in your fundraising outreach.

After all, your audience has come to expect certain things in how you talk about your work and how your messages look and feel. 

And partnering with a fundraising agency doesn’t mean you should throw away everything you’ve done before.

So, be sure to have your brand guidelines, editorial style guide, and any other rules and regulations your nonprofit must abide by on hand when you decide to get some outside help with your fundraising communications. These documents will help your partner understand where you’re at now and apply your nonprofit’s established identity to new materials for your campaign.

READ MORE: Handing off assets to your fundraising agency.

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Looking ahead to 2024.

Unless you’ve been burying your head in the ground and trying to ignore it, you’re probably aware fundraisers are having a tough time. But hiding from bad news doesn’t make it go away.

In fact, new donor and new retained donor participation dropped by 19.2 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively, year-over-year, according to the latest data from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project.

You’re doing your organization more harm than good if you ignore the latest trends and continue with business as usual. The fundraising landscape is always evolving. And you can’t expect to keep doing the same things, day after day, and raise more money.

The world will grow around you and leave you behind faster than you think! So, make sure you’re in tune with the latest strategies nonprofits are using to raise more money and make a difference.

And don’t forget to start conversations and collaborate with other nonprofit professionals to share ideas and brainstorm! After all, we’re all in this together!

Click here to talk through your approach with an amplifi development strategist!

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