Fundraising Trends for Year-End Giving 2017

year-end giving, fundraising trends 2017

For your fundraising efforts to be successful, you need to adapt to potential donors. Technology and human behavior are changing year-end giving simultaneously. It makes sense to investigate and use some of the new tools that are available so you can reach people, manage donations, and run your organization.

Are you ready for the uptick at the end of the year? Here are the top trends for 2017 that you’ll want to take into consideration now.

Increasing Mobile Use

If you haven’t noticed the growing trend toward mobile, you will undoubtedly notice this first-hand by looking at your Google Analytics or other web analytics software. Interestingly, as usage on smartphones rises for nonprofits and now accounts for approximately 20% of online giving, tablet usage has seen a sharp decline.

Mobile devices are getting smaller, more powerful, more stylish, and, importantly, less expensive. They provide us with convenience and the power of a small computer on-the-go. Whether we are talking about smartphones or wearables, people are increasingly using the internet while they’re literally on the move.

If you want to reach new donors, you need to be where they are. This means ensuring that your website cannot only be viewed on mobile devices, but provides a seamless mobile experience. Your pages should be responsive to the device and browser on which they’re being viewed, ensuring optimum font sizes, tap size targets, layout, and fast page load speeds.

People click away in seconds if they can’t find what they need, so make sure that you deliver, fast.

Not only this, but research has shown that people tend to browse non-profit sites on mobile devices and then switch to a desktop computer to make a donation. How many people who decide to donate fail to follow through because they are not comfortable doing so on a mobile device? And how many donations are lost because have the best of intention of switching over to the desktop site, but never remember to do so?

If you can make your donation form well-designed (i.e. responsive, interactive) and the checkout process is single-page and seamless, you’re likely to see an increase in donations. The time to get this ready is now. You want all your systems in place and fully tested to benefit from end-of-year giving, right?

Digital Advertising and Social Media

More and more fundraisers are using digital advertising to reach brand new potential donors. This is not least of all because Google offers significant grants to non-profits for advertising.

Google and Facebook dominate the spaces where fundraisers receive donations. Facebook, in particular, is a favorite. It continues to make it easier for non-profit organizations to communicate with their existing donors and find new donors. It’s a very effective tool for building relationships.

Note, however, that people are likely to be less engaged in 2017, so you should be on social media and you should be actively making and maintaining connections. There’s no need to limit yourself to Facebook and Google though. Twitter and Instagram are also solid social platforms that are delivering results for non-profit organizations, and many of the top fundraising and donor management platforms include social media management as well.

Last by not least, email is the largest fundraising channel for most non-profits online. Whatever you do with social media and mobile, keep growing your email list and engaging with your subscribers. This channel has shown consistent results for non-profits—and 2017 appears to be no different.

Year-End Giving

Since it was founded in 2012, people have speculated whether or not this year’s Giving Tuesday will be the last. However, it has seen incredible growth year over year since it was founded. Last year saw a 44% increase over 2015, and it doesn’t look like 2017 will be any different.

For some fundraisers, it’s the biggest day of their entire campaign over a year, if not in terms of the size of donations, then in terms of the number of donations. What’s also significant is that Giving Tuesday kicks off the end-of-year giving season.

For many, Giving Tuesday is a welcome antidote what many consider to be the greed and consumerism of Black Friday—and it gets people in the mood for doing good by helping worthwhile causes.

Thousands of companies join the Giving Tuesday campaign to share ideas and resources for maximizing donations received. You could consider matching donations received on that day, running free webinars, recruiting volunteers, or launching a new awareness campaign.

Don’t waste time speculating on whether or not this year will see the final Giving Tuesday. The statistics suggest nothing of the sort. What you need to know is that it will land on November 28th, and it’s never too early to get prepared for the potential rise in donations.

The future looks bright for non-profit organizations willing and able to adapt to new technologies and new ways of reaching potential donors. Smart fundraisers will use every tool at their disposal to build relationships and meet their donors’ needs.

So, what are you waiting for? Start focusing on your end-of-year fundraising campaign today.

Author: Kelly Campbell
Kelly Campbell is an Agency Leader Transformation Coach based in New York. The former owner of a cause marketing agency for 14 years, she helps creative leaders transform their businesses and their lives—focusing on the 5 P's: purpose, people, positioning, pipeline and profitability. She speaks at agency growth conferences across the country, has been featured in The New York Times, Woman Entrepreneur and Forbes, gets vulnerable on Medium, and is currently authoring her first book on reframing leadership. She is the host of THRIVE: Your Agency Resource, a bi-weekly video podcast sponsored by Workamajig that helps agency owners navigate personal and professional growth.

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