Digital Fundraising

Top 5 Digital Fundraising Predictions for 2021

Zach Corbin
May 3, 2021

2020 felt like a sprint and a never ending time loop at the same time. The lines between personal and professional life blurred together, sometimes in hilarious ways. We became Zoom experts (well, not all of us) and then got Zoom fatigue. 

For nonprofits, it was a year of tremendous change and challenges. Traditional engagement tools like in-person events were non-options and many organizations struggled to navigate operating in the digital space.

Looking forward to 2021, it's clear that many of these changes accelerated by the pandemic are here to stay. With finite resources, nonprofit organizations need to be strategic about where they apply time and money. Going back to the way things were is not an option, so where should advancement shops direct their focus?

I took a leap and came up with my top five predictions for digital fundraising in 2021. Give it a read and let me know your thoughts!

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Prediction #4: Shifting focus from donor acquisition to donor retention 

This is a change that is long overdue. The cost to acquire a donor is more expensive than the cost to retain one, so maybe it’s no surprise that many nonprofits are reviewing stewardship plans with greater interest. 

What’s your churn rate? Now imagine that rate was 5% points lower - is that something you might be interested in?

To start reviewing, map out your stewardship strategy for different gift levels. What happens to a donor that makes a $50 gift? What messaging do they receive? How soon after making a gift do they receive those messages? What channels do those messages appear on? How often do they receive stewardship touch-points? Now do the same for donors making a $250 gift, $500 and so on.

After mapping out touch-points for varying gift levels, you should be able to identify some gaps. Is there a dedicated plan for retaining donors, or are they just receiving the same messaging as everyone else? Do they receive a thank-you and no mention the rest of the year? What about first-time donors; are they getting special recognition? 

Think about your donor’s experience and what content and engagement opportunities make sense to send them. If they thought your organization was important enough to make a gift, reinforce that belief by building a communication plan designed for retention.


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Zach Corbin
Zach Corbin works to put client ideas into action at {{firstname}}. Bringing nearly a decade of experience in digital engagement and fundraising, Zach utilizes modern marketing tactics to solve age-old fundraising problems and help clients #DoDigitalBetter.

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