Nonprofit Fundraising Trends

Nonprofit Fundraising Trends
nonprofit fundraising trends

Nonprofit Fundraising Trends

Most nonprofit fundraising trends in 2020 come down to innovations in technology, communication platforms, and artificial intelligence.

In order for nonprofits to stay up-to-date with current fundraising developments, cultural institution leaders need to change the ways they manage, communicate with, and create strategies around their donors.

From artificial intelligence and data-driven decision making to donor-advised funds, this article is going to cover the major nonprofit fundraising trends that you need to be aware of in 2020. 

Nonprofit Fundraising Trends with Donor-Advised Funds

The past decade has seen a huge surge in contributions to donor-advised funds. According to National Philanthropic Trust’s 2019 DAF report, donors contributed about $37 billion in 2018, making up 12 percent of total individual giving in the US. 2018 saw a twenty percent increase from 2017, and growing trends are expected to continue. 

So, what is a donor-advised fund, anyway? According to the NPT, a donor-advised fund is “a giving vehicle established at a public charity. It allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax deduction and then recommend grants from the fund over time.  Donors can contribute to the fund as frequently as they like, and then recommend grants to their favorite charities whenever [it] makes sense for them.” 

The most appealing feature of DAFs is the tax benefit that contributors receive when they input funds into their account. After a donor has made their contribution, they can make recommendations to the firm handling their account as to which nonprofits they should support. 

By understanding which donors utilize DAFs in order to make contributions, you can reach out to those groups in order to strengthen your relationships and build funding for the future. 

Data-Driven Nonprofit Fundraising Trends

Learning about your donors and their interests is essential to the efficacy and success of any nonprofit fundraising strategy. What this means in the 21st century is having powerful software and analytic tools that can help you gain information on what donors and visitors are interested in. 

This really comes down to two things: 1) utilizing statistics and data from outside sources to learn about current donating trends, and 2) utilizing powerful in-house software to learn about and streamline communications with your guests and donors. 

Resources like the Global Trends in Giving Report will provide your nonprofit with valuable statistics and global trends to help guide your “big-picture” fundraising strategy. Here are some Important statistics from 2018.

  • Online donations saw a 12% increase between 2017 and 2018, a trend that is expected to continue.
  • About half of the world’s donors are enrolled in monthly giving programs.
  • Online first-time donors have a higher tendency to donate again than offline first-time donors.
  • The average donor in the US is 64 years old.
  • Donors under the age of 35 are turned to donations through social media as opposed to email notifications.

CRM Fundraising Strategy

Additionally, utilizing a CRM and having your systems updated automatically will always give you the most up-to-date information on your visitors and donors. Here are some ways a CRM database and advanced ticketing software can help you bolster your fundraising strategy. 

  • Your CRM will help you manage your list of donors and guests, making communication pipelines and contact information updates all the more easier to handle.
  • A state-of-the-art CRM will provide you with valuable insights into the trends of your guests and donors. You can use this knowledge to gauge future events and donation campaigns to match their interests.
  • Utilize your database’s dashboard to look at important metrics like campaign benchmarks and donor retention.
  • An all-in-one database will work across several of your programs and softwares, automatically updating changes in one platform to another.
  • Cloud-based servers mean your data is always safe and your updates are made automatically without the hassle of on-site hardware issues.

Artificial Intelligence Nonprofit Fundraising Trends

Artificial intelligence, across almost every industry in 2020, is no longer a prospect of the future–it’s the reality of the present. 

In the cultural institution and fundraising world, AI is presenting organization leaders with several benefits. 

  • Automated databases: AI applications will help you automate several of the tasks that are placed around your databases. While we discussed the benefit of a CRM in the previous section, it’s important to note that not all database softwares utilize AI applications. Automated data cleansing will allow you to minimize routine tasks, streamline tedious processes, and focus on the more human elements of applying your data to tangible fundraising strategies.
  • Recommended gift amounts: Rather than providing your donors with static levels or donation brackets that they could fall into, AI is looking to personalize the way donors make their donations. By collecting data on the donor’s previous visiting history, donation history, demographic information, and location, AI will start suggesting amounts that might appeal to specific donors and encourage a response.
  • Donor Insights and Summaries: AI will automate notifications across all your software and provide you with comprehensible reports and summaries. You can utilize these reports to learn about your donors and maximize your fundraising strategies for the future. 


Trends in social media, mobile technology, AI, and donation methods are changing the ways donors give to nonprofits. With the right tools, knowledge, and preparation, you can stay on top of all of these changes, thereby maximizing your time, effort, and fundraising success. 

As we get into the first few months of 2020, ACME ticketing is here to provide cultural institutions with everything they need to know from fundraising trends and campaign strategies to marketing and social media guides. Expand your funding, embrace current ticketing and data-drive innovations, and build a smarter institution with ACME today.

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