Top Fundraising Trends 2021

Fundraising Trends in 2021 – What’s Trending?

Wait for it. The news on fundraising trends is still blowing our minds but studies suggest charitable giving actually went UP in 2020, by nearly 11%. And MORE good news – the number of philanthropic donors rose as well, by more than 7%. This tells us those who ARE in a position to give, are giving BIG. Time for YOU to capitalize on this great news! Here are the top 2021 fundraising trends we expect for 2021.

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Great News from the FEP

Ever heard of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project? Chances are you have if you’re in the nonprofit sector. The FEP is made up of fellow do-gooders and its goal is to help nonprofits fundraise and fill their coffers in the fastest and most effective way possible. Each quarter, the FEP releases a report comprised of data that comes directly from other nonprofits – nearly 3,000 of

Fundraising Effectiveness Projectthem. It answers the simple but important questions you need the answers to, in order to make good decisions when it comes to your budget. Who’s giving A LOT? Who’s NOT? How much are givers giving? Perhaps equally importantly, this data tells you which donors you want to target! Brand new donors are not only out there, they’re feeling extra generous these days.

Opportunities to Snag New Donors

Top Fundraising Trends 2021Right now and in the last year, lots of people are giving to organizations that they’ve never supported before. These are the donors you want to target! Develop relationships with these generous folks and keep in touch. Donor development is a huge key to your success – with in-person, hybrid/fusion, and virtual fundraising events/virtual galas

Remember that 7% increase in the NUMBER of donors we mentioned? According to the FEP, 18.5% of that 7% (are you still with us?) included BRAND NEW DONORS. So nearly one in five of those brand new donors counted in 2020, had never donated before. Since donating feels so good, we figure they’ll continue doing it. Then we can count them as REPEAT donors. 

Repeat Donors – Your Most Loyal Supporters

Many people suffered tremendously in 2020, and some are still suffering. Whether it was financial, mental, emotional, or physical, the pandemic created widespread chaos and devastation. But some lucky folks not only survived, they THRIVED. These donors are not only grateful, they’re mindful of their good fortune. They desperately want to help. What better way to put gratitude into action, than by sharing what they have with those who were adversely impacted. People do want to help their communities in a variety of ways – the FEP study proves it. Your mission is to help them help those in need, now more than ever.

Repeat Retained Donors 

2020 saw a marked increase in a group known as “repeat retained donors.” It describes folks who support you regularly, then skip a year, then return to you with open wallets. Data from the FEP found repeat retained donors accounted for nearly 14% of new donors overall.

Giving By the Numbers

It appears all donors followed the “giving more” trend. The FEP’s data found increases in ALL levels of giving; from both deep-pocketed donors and more modest ones. Smaller gifts (less than $250) increased by more than 15% compared with 2019, while larger gifts ($1,000 or more) increased by about 10.5%. We can perhaps thank the universal charitable deduction for some mid-level donations. On December 31st, there was a 28% (!!!) increase in gifts that were exactly $300 – which happens to be the maximum amount a donor can take using the deduction. Whatever the reason, we’ll take it! It bodes well for the future, although we can’t really be more than cautiously optimistic at this point. 

Long-Term Challenges

Who knows what the future holds? Who knows what challenges may arise, once things are somewhat back to normal, a “new” normal, however you want to label it. But look on the bright side! Virtual and fusion fundraising events are both expected to be and remain popular fundraising trends, even post-pandemic. We made this bold prediction a year ago, after producing several of our first successful virtual fundraising events and galas. And check this out: Google agrees with us!  

Does it surprise you to learn that MORE people gave charitable donations in 2020 than in 2019? We are excited and encouraged by this news. So let’s start planning your event, so you too can ride the giving wave. See the fundraising services we offer and reach out today for your free consultation!

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