The Fundraising Trends That Are Taking Off in 2018

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With the busy fall fundraising season about to commence - it’s an ideal time for Canadian charities to take stock of new trends in the fundraising sector.  

Below, we’ve outlined three emerging trends that effective nonprofits are pivoting towards. 

Strikingly, these trends include small changes in the use of resources and new tools that can translate into major boosts in donor engagement. 

1. Increased Use of Digital Solutions

Workers at nonprofits are squeezed for time - and prospect research is especially draining. However, many organisations are making use of digital solutions to lighten the load. 

In July, James Plunkett of UK nonprofit Citizens Advice outlined how newly adopted digital tools and databases are offering a path to real time-saving, and ultimately help staff by slotting in alongside traditional engagement. "You invest in digital to make all your services better, because ultimately it’s about people.”

Nonprofits using digital solutions to help with fundraising can rely on a faster, more efficient way to identify ideal partners, as well as organizations similar to themselves that are landing donations.

Tools like Fundtracker Pro can help fundraisers cut through this workload, giving front-line staff more time to successfully engage donors. 

2. Better Supporting the Donor Journey

The complete donor experience is increasingly referred to as a "journey". Fundraisers that examine how previous journeys began will be better informed on how to portion out the resources needed to support successful future donations.

“A lot of the work we do focuses on creating user experiences and designing supporter journeys that engage people across advocacy and fundraising campaigns” stated Eugene Flynn, digital strategist with NGO 54 Degrees at the beginning of the year. 

“The data that large organisations have gathered on their supporters [can be used] to learn and predict what actions and asks are going to be most relevant to supporters, and elicit the best responses” notes Flynn. 

An effective fundraising tool helps identify the previous donation patterns of a donor in a simple and informative manner - proving an invaluable help in supporting the donor life-cycle.

 3. Recruiting Millennials While Retaining Older Donors

The way that Canadians give is changing. 

The “Millennial” swing towards online giving is only increasing. This generation of donors is more likely to give to a modernized, digital-savvy organisation that is committed to efficiency. 

Meanwhile, a report just released this summer by Indiana University cements the concept that individuals who establish a pattern of making charitable donations before retirement are just as inclined to keep giving post-retirement. 

This means that those organisations who want to engage both emerging donors, and retain established ones will be facilitated through the intelligence provided by effective prospect research tools.

A organization will do well to continue to engage with its champion donors, while considering ways to track the new generation of donors through digital means. 

So what does this have to do with Ajah?

These trends indicate that Canadian fundraisers can benefit considerably from: 

  • Choosing the right prospect research solution that actively eases the prospect research workload.  
  • Assessing the data patterns behind individual donor journeys to better support those journeys. 
  • Tracking emerging and long-term individual donors on an ongoing basis.  

Here at Ajah, we’ve worked hard to incorporate these important points into the design and latest updates of our core products, FundTracker Pro and Benefactor

These two solutions will help any Canadian fundraiser better grasp the trends outlined above, having been specially designed help meet the needs of the nonprofit sector. 

For more on how Canadian charities can best position themselves in the current donor environment, download our free Funder Research Guide or simply sign up for a free demo of these tools.  

And as ever, happy fundraising!

Raena Marder - Customer Success Lead / Team Ajah