Digital Fundraising Learning Curve

Posted by GVT Admin on May 31, 2023 12:37:45 PM

Information for nonprofit fundraising Nonprofit fundraising has been migrating toward digital formats for 20 years. Some nonprofits have been quicker than others to adopt online fundraising, but all have been experiencing a steep learning curve. This has proved to be a daunting task for nonprofits as they find themselves scrambling to keep up with the rapid advances and permutations of digital technology. Gradually, however, new fundraising trends are emerging, and every savvy nonprofit would be wise to take note.

Omnichannel Engagement

Recent data clearly shows that donors do not want a digital-only experience to support the missions that are important to them. That means that the nonprofits who fully embrace the creativity that digital allows but maintain a bias toward omnichannel engagement (direct mail, hybrid events, video, texting, phone calls) and a focus on creating educational content to help donors feel part of the community, will be the standout organizations.

Hybrid Events

Hybrid Events

Hybrid events are here to stay, which means that the way we conduct events needs to shift to streaming them to donors who are reluctant or unable to attend in person. In other words, fund raising events must become more like sporting events watched from home. We must value the experience of viewers who tune in virtually as highly as those that attend in person.

Donor Advised Funds

Through the clever design of Donor Advised Funds, giving is directly correlated to growth in the stock market. DAFs couple trading gains with stock market growth and turbocharge giving to previously unheard-of multiples. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, total grant dollars awarded through DAFs in 2020 totaled $34.67 billion and in 2021 increased 20.6% to $47.5 billion. There’s a whole lot of charitable dollars sitting in donor-advised funds waiting for an inspiring and transformational project.

QR Codes

It may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but contactless payments through QR codes have ushered in a comeback for the tiny graphic URLs. They are now ubiquitous in restaurants, museums, bars, and event venues of all kinds. The pandemic shepherded in a new age of digital fluency and the QR code is the perfect tactic to blur the lines between offline (IRL) fundraising and the digital world.


Personalization means collecting, stewarding, and acting on data to better understand why a donor identifies with your organization in the first place. The most important thing is to shift your mindset from a situation-based motivation triggered by something the donor sees in the moment to an identity- based motivation for giving so the nonprofit helps activate a donor’s feeling of autonomy, authenticity, and connectedness to the organization.

Meeting Donors Where They Are

emailing donors The channels that donors want to engage with nonprofits are also varied and not solely digital. According to Data Axle research, email is a heavy favorite for donors, with 48% citing it as their preferred method of hearing updates and appeals from the organization. Direct mail was the (distant) second most preferred channel at 21%, followed by social media (17%), text messaging (8%) and phone calls (2%).

Everyone’s On a Learning Curve

Amazon’s Kindle transformed publishing. Apple music dematerialized recorded music. Airbnb turned the hotel business on its ear. Uber ushered out taxis. The entire digital universe has pushed the once mighty United States Postal Service to the bottom of the delivery ladder. The entire country is on a digital learning curve. Nonprofits are not alone.


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Topics: Fundraising Ideas, nonprofit funding, nonprofit management

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