Fundraising Trends of 2021 – Part One: Digital, Digital, Digital!

2021 will be all about finding your donors where they are spending their time – online! Online giving has been growing by 10% year on year in Canada and we are seeing that those organizations who are creating unique strategies for their digital and mobile channels are maximizing their opportunity to acquire new donors and engage their current supporters. If you haven’t already, here are the digital strategies we think you should incorporate into you annual planning for 2021.

Maximizing Video Content

Creating compelling video content is one of the most effective ways to acquire new donors. In 2021, 82% of online traffic is projected to come from video. In a recent survey, Google stated that 79% of donors reported that online video ads were the most useful online media marketing tool for them.

Videos allow you tell a story with maximum emotion and few limitations. If your content is restricted or privacy sensitive, consider using animation to tell your story. If you have dynamic staff who are comfortable in front of the camera, use them to create content to give donors a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your organization.

Don’t limit your video content to Facebook and Instagram, video makes ideal email content. Consider creating personalized video content for your next donor stewardship email campaign by creating targeted videos for each donor segment.

Social is a Science

Facebook, Instagram, and now TikTok all have charitable giving features within their platforms that make fundraising easier for you and your donor.

Social media can now give you fun and interactive ways to engage your donors while also getting to know them. Instagram stories, polls, and other interactive features that are offered can help you better get to know your audience.

Due to the low cost of social media advertising, organizations should be looking to these applications as their key source of lead generation in 2021. By using petitions, ads, and one-time gift requests, your organization can generate leads at scale that can then be converted to monthly giving and eventually flow into your legacy pipeline.

Virtual Events are Here to Stay

The cancellation of many in-person events in 2020 forced many organizations to quickly pivot to online for their annual fundraising events. In addition to the uncertainty around planning large scale fundraising events, 2020 has proven that virtual fundraising events done well can be as, if not more effective, than their in-person counterparts.

When planning your virtual event for 2021 keep your mission as the center focus! It’s tempting to try and recreate in-person components like paddle raises and auctions, but donors want to know who you are and why they should support you. Creating engaging video content that celebrates your story will give donors a reason to support you well after the event is over.

In order to maximize fundraising around your event, ensure you are utilizing digital fundraising channels. Peer-to-peer fundraising pages provide opportunities to engage your board and volunteers in the fundraising. Using mobile as your primary donation channel makes donating as simple as possible for your viewers. It uses a tool every viewer already has in their hand, while ensuring they are not being redirected away from your streaming event.

2021 will present significant challenges for fundraisers and marketers, but also considerable opportunities. If you’re looking for ways to maximize your fundraising for 2021, contact us for a free assessment of your annual plan.