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Fundraising trends to watch this year

By February 22, 2024Steier Tips

It’s a new year, and while the basic formula for fundraising may seem the same, in many ways the landscape for organizations that rely on generous donations is new terrain. Though the latest news for inflation is more hopeful, there is still some uncertainty about whether that will hold steady or if it is a short relief. New technology is also something fundraisers will need to know more about as new capital campaigns are considered by many organizations.

These factors and others contribute to fundraising trends in 2024:

Establishing donor trust: Between inflation and greater pressure for charitable organizations to serve growing communities in need, the ask may be bigger than ever for some. Establishing and anchoring trust with your donors will be front and center for organizations attempting to grow or even maintain programs.  Education about needs through effective communication is central to any capital effort. Whether it is to renovate existing structures, build a new facility or retire a debt, donors need to be informed with the best information available. Strategizing and executing effective communication to signal prioritized trust and creating a knowledgeable motivated donor base are important elements of a successful campaign.

Artificial intelligence, again!: Last year, we speculated whether artificial intelligence was just a flash in the pan. It’s safe to say that during 2023, AI has grown at break-neck speed. Across industries, continued innovation creatively integrates and implements strong AI practices to streamline and strengthen initiatives.

In the fundraising space, it will be more important than ever to remain authentic to the mission to make the appeal attractive to donors. This doesn’t mean that AI is off limits, though. Programs like ChatGPT can serve as an idea generator for various aspects of your campaign, but the reality is that virtual entities cannot replace the human element when executing a campaign. The best use of AI within capital campaigns will always be to assist the effort, not replace it.  This won’t be the last you hear about fundraising and AI in 2024.

Online and cashless options for giving: The pandemic moved many churches, schools and other nonprofit organizations to an online giving platform. The cashless economy continues to grow since that time. While most people simply are not carrying as much cash with them or making purchases in cash as previous years, organizations wishing to fundraise need to continue to update technology for online donations and other means to meet donors with accessible resources to give effectively. For younger donors, religious organizations are a lower philanthropic priority. Those same people operate a cashless lifestyle, if religious organizations want to meet Gen Z where it is, they must be able to accept donations in a variety of ways.

Are you thinking about a capital campaign in 2024? Do you have questions about how to build donor trust with mounting needs, how to effectively integrate AI or cashless options for giving in a campaign? Please contact me and we can discuss your fundraising needs.