2011 was a banner year for nonprofit fundraising. We’ll have to wait until your year-end fundraising returns are in before we declare it a record-breaker for dollars raised, but it’s not too early to marvel at fundraising innovations from the past year. Check out our favorite nonprofit fundraising trends from 2011 in the list below.
Nonprofits practically wrote the book on blogging. Your blog keeps supporters up to date, cross-promotes your website and social media content and educates readers. And in 2011, we saw blogs get even better. The best nonprofit blogs feature a personal writer’s voice, invite reader participation and make use of multimedia with photography and video. For nonprofits that nail the blogging trend, see Oceana. And look to Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog for help with your nonprofit blog.
In just two short years, more of your donors will visit your nonprofit website on a mobile device than with a desktop PC. Nonprofits have responded to the smartphone boom by developing mobile-friendly websites that are simple enough to donate using your phone. We like where this is going. Create a mobile-friendly website today to keep up with competing nonprofits and make mobile donors happy.
Keep reading—this one isn’t as off-putting as you might think. This year, we’ve seen more well-intentioned celebrities ditch shameless self-promotion and paying endorsements to help with nonprofit fundraising. And we’re digging it.
Kevin Bacon and Network for Good encourage social giving through storytelling, while Eva Longoria uses Twitter to help a charity provide housing for orphans in Haiti.
Not surprisingly, celebrity endorsements help most with social media fundraising and recruiting new supporters. If a celebrity endorsement is unlikely for your nonprofit, ask for help from community members with a lot of sway on social media. Their reach on Facebook and Twitter will bring in more dollars for your nonprofit simply by association.
Charity researchers are increasingly interested in what motivates donors to help your nonprofit with fundraising. And nonprofit fundraisers are paying attention. Charitable organizations that tailor marketing and fundraising to appeal to donors’ emotions raise more money than ones that try to win you over with facts and figures. For an example of emotive fundraising, see The Humane Society of the United States.
Strive to constantly update your nonprofit fundraising strategy. Recruit a guest writer for your blog or refocus your message to appeal to donors’ emotions. Whether or not your nonprofit participated in these hot fundraising trends this year, you can certainly take a cue from them to freshen up your campaign in 2012.
What is the best fundraising idea you had for your nonprofit in 2011?