Our Digital Fundraising Predictions for 2022
The past two years have been a time of constant change and upheaval for many nonprofits, especially around their peer-to-peer fundraising events. But as nonprofits have grappled with the challenges presented by the pandemic, they have also found a number of opportunities specifically in the realm of new digital fundraising solutions that have not only helped them to weather the storm but reach new audiences as a result.
Text/SMS will be the “it” channel for communications in 2022. Industry experts predict that text marketing will increase by 40% in 2022. To be clear, email is not dead – it works hand in hand with texting – but unlike email, texting is a two-way communication channel.
In order to be successful in incorporating SMS into your organization’s communication plan, you’ll need to understand the texting capability of your organization, familiarize yourself with privacy and permission regulations around collecting and using mobile numbers, and provide the appropriate resources and training to support your staff on the other end of the phone.
And when it comes to the event experience, “hybrid” is it for 2022! A hybrid event supports both in-person and virtual experiences and includes cross-over elements that the entire community can enjoy. Not everyone will be comfortable returning to in-person experiences, especially if they work in the cause and cure space, so having this option is key to retention.
AI tools will help us to better identify, segment and communicate with donors, participants, volunteers and prospects by using predictive data workflows to create user journeys, not just within the program or channel they currently engage with. but across the organization. The end result will be increased retention and lifetime value of our donors.
Additionally, nonprofits will realize cost savings by reducing manual tasks for employees, thereby allowing them to reallocate their human resources to new or more productive activities! The more you can release staff from time-consuming data tasks, the more time you can invest in building and nurturing authentic relationships with donors. Just as we’ve become accustomed to Alexa and Siri to keep us on time and on task in our personal lives, we’ll all benefit from helpful reminders at work to help us stay organized and proactive in our everchanging and overextended professional lives.
Expect a convergence of augmented reality (AR) and commerce. Snapchat is one of a number of platforms that lets users virtually try on apparel, make-up, jewelry and other items through augmented reality. As technology companies race to develop the next stage of commerce, innovative nonprofits will have an opportunity to translate AR commerce into new streams of revenue. Nonprofits should consider innovating on the traditional models of selling their own branded merchandise or symbolic gifts of donation (think Heifer International’s gift catalog) by creating new donation experiences through AR.
Voice-assisted technology has become ubiquitous — this tech is now embedded in most mobile devices and many of our cars and homes. According to Statista, forty-five percent of U.S. millennials use voice assistance when shopping online, and 24% of Americans 18 and older (around 60 million people) own a smart speaker. Whether through leveraging voice search, developing their own skills or content, or collaborating with corporate partners for co-marketing engagements, nonprofits have numerous opportunities to engage existing donors and reach new supporters through voice technology.
Podcasts have arrived as a mainstream medium — in 2020, there were more than 30 million podcast episodes, and according to Edison Research, 39% of men and 36% of women age 12 and over listen to podcasts monthly. So look for forward-thinking nonprofits to involve podcasts in their fundraising campaigns, just as they have in other media like print, out-of-home, radio and web.
Peloton is probably the best-known example of combining the digital and the real world into a “phygital” world. But many of the above predictions are also real-world examples of this concept.
Phygital is no longer a pandemic response, rather it is a way of life and something every fundraising organization should be thinking about as they plan for 2022 and beyond.
Onward to 2022!
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