You’ve likely seen countless 2024 fundraising forecasts over the past few weeks. 

This is not a laundry list of the same old regurgitated predictions.  

Why not? Because the truth is, most fundraisers and nonprofit leaders are still trying to assess the post-pandemic world and their organization’s role in it. The “new normal” has yet to be fully defined.  

The Fed may or may not lower rates to help allay inflation fears. This will be an unprecedented election year. So, to prognosticate with any certainty could well be a fool’s errand. 

That said, there are trends, challenges, and opportunities that should be top of mind for nonprofit leaders and fundraisers. 

Donor Trends 

Consumer confidence is high, which is usually good for fundraising. However, pessimism over the economy looms as prices also remain high. Gen Z is driving splurging, but for most organizations, that demographic represents a tiny percentage of the donor base. 

Overall, declines in individual giving have continued. Today, less than half of Americans give to charitable organizations, as opposed to two-thirds just 20 years ago. When they do, more are giving through Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) than ever before.  

DAFs have grown steadily since 2009 and doubled in the last five years. This is an important trend and audience. These donors are thoughtful and strategic—they are looking to give in a meaningful way and respond to consistent, transparent stewardship.   

Marketing Metrics

Nonprofits should continue to seek opportunities to benchmark key marketing and fundraising metrics against orgs with similar missions or markets, keeping in mind that results from the past three years will be largely skewed by pandemic response. 

Above all else, leaders need to invest in tools and people to distill actionable information from their own data to make strong decisions about the present and future. 

Digital Integration

If your organization is not raising at least 25% of individual giving online, then you need to assess how it would benefit from a top-down push to meet that threshold. For those who have achieved this mark, push harder!  

Channel mix is continuing to evolve. Make it a cross-departmental priority to establish and expand your presence on emerging channels like Programmatic Advertising, Connected TV, and Texting to engage new demographics. 

Where are your donors? How can you best reach them there? 

It’s important to connect the dots for full-funnel engagement. Focus on building multichannel donor journeys that positively impact the donor experience across both marketing and fundraising efforts.  

Technology and Policy Disruption 

Yeah, that generative A.I. thing isn’t going away. So now is the time to investigate how nonprofits can evolve for this new technology so that it can help rather than hurt.  

Like every new technology that has come along, there are risks and fears associated with them. Don’t jump in without doing due diligence, but don’t wait until it’s too late to think about the role AI can play in creating a better experience for donors and constituents. 

Social media continues to evolve, or devolve, depending on your perspective. Think about what platforms you want your brand associated with and how that will impact your donor base.  

Leaders must also get up to speed on new privacy laws and trends in third-party data policies. As giants like Google phase out third-party cookies, marketers and fundraisers must create first-party data-capturing opportunities to educate themselves on donor preferences and behavior.  

Impact and Awareness 

Amidst all the distractions and disruptions, it is paramount for nonprofit leaders and their staff to continue to demonstrate impact, create awareness of mission successes, and build an engaging experience for donors and constituents. 

There are many rewards of this work, including stronger retention, sustainer conversion, and new donor acquisition. 

Words matter. A picture is worth a thousand words. And video is worth thousands of pictures together! This is not the time to be shy about telling the world about the good work the organization does and how it does it. Use digital and social platforms to tell your story and the amazing stories of those most directly impacted by your mission. 

So in the End?  

The best forecast any of us can count on is there will be more uncertainty ahead. Begin your internal process now to address the items above to avoid missed opportunities or risk falling further behind. 

As a sector, we have overcome big challenges before. Discipline and diligence will go a long way towards building future success. 

Let NextGen Help

Want to discuss how NextGen can serve as your strategic partner and generate more revenue to support your mission? We’re here for all your fundraising and marketing needs. Contact us today to learn more.