By: Dwayne Ashley, CEO, and Sylvia White, EVP, Bridge Philanthropic Consulting, LLC.
As we have embarked upon a New Year of Fundraising in our sector, the BPC team has looked at what we learned over the past few years, especially in 2023, and the trends we see emerging in 2024. As always, we are sharing them with our audiences to guide your planning for an exciting and challenging year.
In the evolving landscape of nonprofit fundraising, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for organizations to achieve their goals and make a lasting social impact. In this article, we will delve into 10 fundraising trends that are set to dominate the sector this year.
- Nonprofit Collaboration: Amplifying Impact through Partnership
Collaboration between nonprofits is becoming increasingly vital in the pursuit of social change. In 2024, we will witness a surge in strategic partnerships to tackle entrenched issues and build the necessary infrastructure to support the social sector. Nonprofits will join forces to address challenges such as human rights violations, climate change, and educational disparities. This collaborative approach will foster innovation and accelerate progress towards shared goals.
“There is an urgency around so many issues… We need to innovate the sector—and fast.” – Kyle Zimmer, First Book
- Growing Role of Community-Based Organizations: Building Trust and Advocacy
In a polarized socio-political climate, community-based organizations will play a pivotal role as trusted messengers within our sector. These organizations will strengthen their capacity for advocacy, ensuring that community members are well-informed and their interests are uplifted and heard. Community-based organizations will drive positive change by actively engaging with local communities and fostering a sense of belonging and ownership among stakeholders.
“Community-based organizations will continue to play a key role as trusted messengers within civil society.” – George Hsieh, Community Resource Exchange
- Integrative Thinking: Holistic Solutions for Complex Challenges
Addressing complex societal issues requires integrative thinking that combines intuition, reason, and imagination. Nonprofits focusing on human services, equity in education, and environmental justice will adopt holistic approaches that bring together diverse systems and stakeholders. This type of thinking enables nonprofits to develop comprehensive strategies, deploy effective tactics, and evaluate their impact. By embracing integrative thinking, nonprofits can create sustainable solutions that address the root causes of social issues.
“We must think through solutions integrating intuition, reason, and imagination to develop and deploy strategies… that successfully bring together various systems and players.” – Jennifer Friend, Project Hope Alliance
- Consultants: Leveraging External Expertise for Success
The use of consultants as subject matter experts will be a dominant trend in the nonprofit sector in 2024. Nonprofits are increasingly turning to consultants for specialized knowledge and guidance. This trend allows organizations to access expertise on-demand, benefiting from consultants’ flexibility and depth of knowledge. We, as consultants, offer valuable insights, helping our clients to optimize their operations, implement effective strategies, and navigate complex fundraising landscapes.
“The trend that will dominate the nonprofit sector in 2024 is the use of consultants as subject matter experts.” – Kimberly Lewis, Goodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc.
- Artificial Intelligence: Enhancing Efficiency and Impact
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will profoundly impact nonprofit fundraising in 2024. AI-powered tools and technologies will help nonprofits identify and implement strategies to amplify their efforts and increase their impact. From predictive analytics for donor segmentation to AI-driven chatbots for personalized donor interactions, nonprofit organizations will harness AI to streamline operations, improve fundraising outcomes, and create meaningful relationships with their supporters.
“The use of AI, along with people who can hopefully help nonprofits find and implement the best tools to amplify their efforts and impact, will dominate in 2024.” – Romi Lassally, Ready to Succeed
- Digital Marketing: Harnessing the Power of Online Platforms
In 2024, nonprofits will recognize the power and cost savings of digital marketing. Organizations will invest in gaining a better understanding of programmatic advertising, geofencing, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and social media paid advertising. With consumers spending significant time online, nonprofits must connect and engage with their target audience through digital channels. Partnering with trusted digital marketing agencies will help nonprofits effectively reach and inspire potential donors.
“I believe the power and cost savings of digital marketing will dominate in 2024.” – Nancy Padberg, Catholic Education Arizona
- Digital Fundraisers and Initiatives: Expanding Reach and Engagement
Digital fundraisers and initiatives will take center stage in 2024, enabling nonprofits to involve their entire supporter community regardless of geographical boundaries. Nonprofits that conceptualize creative ways to grow their mission in the virtual space will see greater success. Leveraging digital platforms, nonprofits can engage donors through virtual events, crowdfunding campaigns, and online giving platforms. These initiatives will allow nonprofits to expand their reach, enhance donor engagement, and create a sense of community among supporters.
“I believe digital fundraisers and initiatives are the path forward and will dominate the nonprofit sector in 2024.” – Amber Barbach, The Glioblastoma Research Organization
- Innovation: Embracing Change for Mission Advancement
Innovation will be critical for nonprofits in 2024. Nonprofits will no longer be able to rely solely on traditional methods and strategies. Organizations will lean into innovation, technology, and forward-thinking partnerships to achieve their mission and drive impact. This includes embracing innovative fundraising models, exploring new avenues of revenue generation, and leveraging technology to enhance operational efficiency. Nonprofits that embrace innovation will be better equipped to navigate challenges and seize opportunities.
“As we move into 2024, innovation across all areas of a nonprofit’s work will be critical and more prevalent.” – Jennifer Thompson, Hope Loves Company
- More Focus on Grassroots Funding and Advocacy-Based Work
In 2024, state and national elections will dominate the nonprofit sector, leading to a deeper focus on grassroots movement funding and advocacy-based philanthropic work. Nonprofits will allocate resources to support grassroots initiatives, amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. Additionally, funding for nonprofit media organizations will increase, enabling diverse narratives and stories to be shared without a profit-centric bias. Grassroots funding and advocacy-based work will empower nonprofits to drive systemic change and address social inequities.
“State and national elections will dominate the nonprofit sector in 2024, creating a deeper focus on grassroots movement funding and advocacy-based philanthropic work.” – Christina Engel, Magic Cabinet
- Trust-Based Giving: Fostering Flexibility and Collaboration
Trust-based giving will continue to grow in 2024, enabling nonprofits to be more flexible and innovative in leveraging funds for maximum impact. Philanthropic partners will increasingly consider this model of support, recognizing that nonprofits need autonomy and trust to address complex societal challenges effectively. Trust-based giving prioritizes collaboration, transparency, and shared learning, fostering stronger relationships between nonprofits and their donors.
“Trust-based giving will continue to grow, allowing nonprofits to be more flexible and innovative in how they leverage money to increase impact.” – Jamee Rodgers, Urban Neighborhood Initiative.
As 2024 unfolds, nonprofit organizations must embrace these fundraising trends to stay relevant, innovative, and impactful. By fostering collaboration, leveraging technology, and adapting to emerging challenges, nonprofits can confidently navigate the ever-changing landscape of fundraising. Our dedicated professionals believe that by focusing on social impact, inclusivity, and sustainability, nonprofits will create lasting change and make a tangible difference in the lives of the communities they serve.