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Versatility helps non-profits find success with pandemic fundraising

Versatility helps non-profits find success with pandemic fundraising


OneCause, a leader in online and event fundraising, has released findings from its annual survey of non-profit professionals, The Fundraising Outlook: 2021 Insights & Planning for Post-Pandemic Engagement. Findings provide insights into some of the year’s biggest challenges, where non-profits are finding success and the outlook for 2022 fundraising.

“Planning for the unknown continues to plague the non-profit sector, but our findings suggest the power of innovation and new fundraising formats is helping more non-profits reach their goals,” said Steve Johns, Chief Executive Officer for OneCause. “This year charitable organisations have made great strides in fundraising efficiency with improvements in online giving, new strategies for in-person events and growth in hybrid. The versatility in fundraising formats is laying the foundation for post-pandemic giving experiences. As non-profits prepare for 2022, they must remain agile in their strategies, embracing seamless giving experiences and providing options for supporters to engage how and where they feel most comfortable.”

Key findings include:

  • Non-profits are becoming more successful with their pandemic fundraising. Success rates across all types of fundraising are improving, especially with online giving campaigns and events. Almost half of those surveyed generated 20% or more of their annual operating budget from their event and online fundraising efforts.
  • Fundraising events are back in a big way for most non-profits. A total of 90% organisations held at least one fundraising event in 2021 with 79% meeting or surpassing their event fundraising goals. The number of organisations surpassing their goals (28%) has more than doubled in the past year.
  • Hybrid event experiences grew by three times over the past year, with 57% of non-profits engaging both online and in-person supporters at their events. A mix of in-person and virtual event experiences will continue in 2022, with 69% planning at least one in-person only event, 50% hybrid and 31% virtual only.
  • Online and event fundraising are helping non-profits expand their donor base. Approximately 27% of non-profits are reaching more first-time donors and 16% are seeing growth in re-engaged lapsed donors. Only 18% report a decrease in retention rates.
  • Planning around the pandemic continues to be a top challenge for non-profits. Other top challenges impacting non-profits this year include donor engagement, donor fatigue and maintaining year-over-year fundraising growth (especially with recurring giving).
  • More than a third of non-profits plans to create new hybrid experiences to continue engaging virtual supporters post-pandemic. Only 75% will be back to in-person events by spring 2022. About a quarter of those surveyed have no plans to incorporate virtual supporters in their events at this time.
  • Non-profits are increasing technology budgets to support a variety of giving experiences. Just 33% of non-profits increased their technology budget in 2021, while only 3% reported a decrease. Smaller organisations are more likely to continue increasing technology investments in 2022.
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