Nonprofit trends for 2022 you should keep an eye on.

Dec 16, 2021

Yes, it’s that time of year again! The year-end fundraising frenzy is just about behind us. And fundraisers everywhere are thinking ahead to the new year and beyond.

And in fundraising, as in life, the only constant is change! So, keep these nonprofit trends for 2022 in mind as you build next year’s strategy!

In case you haven’t noticed, today’s world moves fast. And if you’re not thinking ahead, you might already be falling behind! The most effective fundraisers know the importance of building a strategic fundraising plan. But they also know they need to leave room to pivot.

So, consider how to take advantage of these fundraising trends for 2022 as you build your outreach strategy. But don’t be afraid to learn as you go and adjust on the fly!

Holding hybrid events allows for greater flexibility in case news around the pandemic changes.

Embrace hybrid events.

There was a lot of confusion and uncertainty surrounding nonprofit events in 2021. When it seemed like large in person events were about to come back, surges of new cases from new variants put things on hold.

It seems that the pandemic is here to stay with us in some form for the time being. Your area may have limitations on certain gatherings, so it’s important to keep up with local guidelines.

And everyone has various comfort levels when it comes to in person gatherings. So, while some of your supporters may be eager to see you again, others may still prefer the safety of attending a virtual event.

So, we expect hybrid events, with a mix of virtual and in-person activities, will continue to be a key nonprofit trend for 2022. News around the pandemic is still changing rapidly. So, planning your events to feature in person and virtual offerings is your best bet.

If gathering in person becomes difficult, you can work in additional virtual offerings. Or you can focus more on your in-person event if things are looking good!

Planning a hybrid event will help you cover all your bases and gives you the room to pivot as necessary.

WEBINAR RECORDING: The future of nonprofit events. 

Click rates are now a more accurate measure of email engagement than open rates.

Evolve your email outreach.

Nonprofit professionals will need to think differently about how donors are engaging with their email outreach going forward.

In case you missed it, Apple Mail’s privacy protection is changing the way nonprofits will need to analyze their email analytics. And with the majority of Apple users expected to adopt this new feature by February, this will be an important nonprofit trend for 2022.

The feature was rolled out as part of iOS 15 on September 20, 2021. In short, Apple Mail’s privacy protection will impact how reliable your open rates are as a measure of engagement.

Going forward, Apple Mail’s privacy protection will pre-download emails and email images to a user’s device. And pre-loading an email image pixel will cause more emails to be reported as opened by apple users, regardless of if they have actually opened and viewed the email!

So, you will probably notice a spike in your open rates over the next few months. And if you weren’t aware of this update, you may think you’re seeing better engagement!

But opens are going to be a less reliable metric of engagement with iOS 15. So, you will need to think of new ways to gauge how many of your recipients are engaging with your nonprofit’s emails.

But here’s the good news – the basics of building an engaging fundraising email have remained the same.

Remember to take time to plan and strategize your emails. You don’t want to wing it and just send something for the sake of it. Every email should have a specific goal. And that goal should be clear for the user.

And if you’re struggling, don’t just assume you can’t improve or that emails don’t work for you. Get creative and try something new. Then analyze your results and adjust. Don’t be afraid to try a different sender name, subject line, or email format!

And use A/B testing to get a better feel for what works best for your audience! You can also break your audience up into segments to reach groups of donors with messages that feel more personal and relevant.

FREE eBOOK: Fantastic fundraising emails – The complete guide for nonprofits. 

The power of peer-to-peer.

These days, nonprofit professionals are tasked to do more with less. Fundraisers wear many different hats. And you probably have you hands in several important areas of your nonprofit’s work, fundraising, and outreach.

Nonprofit professionals need to get creative when they are asked to do more with less resources. So, enlisting the help of your supporters will be an important nonprofit trend for 2022.

One way to do it is to focus more on peer-to-peer fundraising. It’s a powerful tool that’s popular with nonprofits because it helps them grow their donor base and build powerful relationships with donors.

It’s also a great way to get supporters involved and help achieve your goals without making another financial contribution themselves!

So, whether you host a peer-to-peer fundraising event, encourage your supporters to share social media posts with their friends, or create a team-based fundraising challenge, think about ways you can get your current supporters to help you with some of the heavy lifting this year!

READ MORE: Repurposing assets for your nonprofit’s social media outreach.

An outsider's perspective may be just what you need if you're not sure where to take your strategy next.

Look for outside help.

As nonprofit professionals, we often ask ourselves, “How can we make a bigger difference?” After all, you’re not in this job just for a paycheck. You work at a nonprofit because you want to make an impact.

But your organization might be able to do a lot more for the cause with some outside help!

There are many reasons why your nonprofit might seek a partner to help build and execute a fundraising program or optimize your communication strategy. And realizing you can’t do it alone may be one of the most important nonprofit trends for 2022.

Acknowledging that it is time to make a change and do something different is a huge first step. But it may be helpful to get an outside perspective to help determine what changes will truly amplify your outreach.

We all know that nonprofit professionals are often stretched thin. But there are only so many hours in the day. And your staff might not have the time to take on additional responsibilities that come when you make a big change. Or, you could be trying to achieve something that is beyond the skillset of your current team.

No matter the reason, it can be helpful to have help from a partner who has done it before. So don’t feel like you need to go it alone this year. Many fundraisers are realizing they can do more for the cause by investing in some outside help!

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FREE eBook: The building blocks of engaging fundraising communications.
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