By Lauren Meadows

As we begin 2023, there are a variety of nonprofit marketing factors to consider for the post-pandemic world. 2022 began with uncertainty in the wake of Delta variant surges and eventually new protocols, starting the transition back to normalcy. However, many pandemic-grown practices are here to stay.

Below is a list of the 12 most prominent trends we are seeing with our clients.

  1. Hybrid events – As regulations change, in-person events are again on the rise. However, hybrid events combine the best of both worlds. The in-person experience, combined with the accessibility of online allows for easy ways to get involved. Online events are recordable and sharable, and there are no limits to seating capacity.
  2. Make it personal – Personalizing subject lines makes it all the more likely your email will be opened. Strategically place promo content so it feels personal and connects with your target audience. For instance, Millennials and Gen X are most inspired to donate after seeing something on social media.
  3. Use more videos – Over 60% of millennials prefer watching a video to reading when it comes to emails and newsletters. Just adding a video to an email can increase your click rate by over 200%.
  4. SMS notifications – We are all too familiar with low email open rates, but SMS tells another story. With open rates as high as 95%, SMS provides new ways to build relationships. Message options include texts, videos, photos, and even voice memos.
  5. PSAs are growing ­– Last year, Nielsen tracking found that stations and networks ran more than 1,000 TV PSAs and donated an average of 1.1 million free airings a month. In 2022, broadcast TV provided more than 13.6 million free PSA airings, up from 8.8 million free airings five years ago.
  6. E-commerce donations – Online sales have steadily increased over the decade, and especially in the last two years with the increased use of digital wallets. Flagging donors as recurring and notifying users with abandoned carts are two ways to increase donations. This also allows for easier collection of donor demographic information to hone targeting.
  7. Gifting experience – Give back to those giving to your nonprofit and make donations something to look forward to. Tokens like company swag or experiences make your organization all the more memorable.
  8. Provide options – Anything counts when it comes to nonprofits. Allowing users other options outside of donating keeps them involved and on your radar for a potential future donation. Sharing and volunteering are great ways to involve people and get more eyes on your organization.
  9. Focus on donor retention – The average donor retention rate for repeat donors is 60%, nearly 40% higher than that of first-time donors. Keep your donors coming back by creating a positive feedback loop. Giving thanks and showing recognition encourages them to continue donating.
  10. Digitized wallets – Mobile payment platforms like PayPal and Apple Pay give consumers convenient payment options at their fingertips. These programs maximize donations because – let’s face it – if you don’t have your wallet on you, you have your phone.
  11. Security is important – Start by assessing your nonprofit’s data risk. More often than ever, hackers are impersonating websites and asking for fraudulent donations. Introducing new strategies like captcha, two-factor authentication, and single sign-on can help mitigate risk.
  12. AI is the future ­– While 78% of nonprofits are aware of the potential benefits of AI, only 10% are using it. Experiment with AI to gain donor insights, identify trends, and automate processes.

While these trends reflect the behaviors of our clients, nonprofits should continuously monitor the digital space as we continue to navigate the post-pandemic world. We expect to see continued turbulence in consumer behaviors, and learning how to better predict them will help keep us ahead of the curve.