With Covid cases rapidly declining after a peak in early January, the vaccine booster campaign well underway, and few legal restrictions impacting on our daily lives (at least in NYC), Powered by Professionals has now turned our attention to unpacking what the lasting impact of the pandemic will have on fundraising, and making some suggestions about what this means for nonprofits as they plan for 2022 and beyond.
Despite the waves of constant change and uncertainty nonprofits and other businesses have dealt with in the past two years, the switch to virtual events surprisingly did not deter the generosity of supporters. The majority of PBP’s events in 2021 saw an increase of charitable giving! So why are donors being so generous?
We have an idea of what factors may be contributing to the success of nonprofit fundraisers despite the challenges of switching to virtual events. Many people made significant savings over the course of the pandemic – being stuck at home meant they stopped spending money on vacations, restaurants and shopping and started saving instead. This factor compounded with the daily uncertainty and the desire to do ‘something’ to improve the situation we all found ourselves in, meant that charitable giving was up for individuals as a way to find a form of control over the turbulence of daily life.
So what now? Predictions for the pandemic are looking optimistic, with hopes that one day we can give it the status of ‘endemic’ and finally make a return to normal. With normal being a relative term, we suspect to see several changes to what we consider “normal” in the nonprofit fundraising industry. Nonprofits will need to continue to adapt to new trends. Between 2020 and 2021, virtual events became valuable tools to connect with donors when in-person events were no longer possible. Hybrid events, combining the elements of both in-person and virtual events, can greatly benefit all attendees with tech-driven experiences to reach a greater audience and make an experience accessible for all.
The recent demand for QR codes and wearable technology means that nonprofits will need to make giving more accessible and easier to navigate via smartwatches by implementing Venmo, PayPal, Apple and Google Pay, therefore eliminating the need to dig through a wallet to find a credit card. Despite the slowdown the pandemic brought to daily life, there is still a high demand for streamlined, instant giving with auto-filled credit card and billing information for on-the-fly giving to keep up with the relentless need for ‘instant gratification’ that modern technology has allowed us.
Bottom line is that nonprofits will need to continue to adapt to of-the-moment demands, and the best way to prepare for any circumstance is by keeping up with modern technology that allows organizations to reach their supporters anywhere. Cryptocurrency, NFTs, and other virtual items continue to make headlines, and we suspect that those will be a hot item in the nonprofit world as well (we haven’t had a NFT at any of our auctions yet, but perhaps that will change this year!)
Powered by Professionals is excited to meet the challenges 2022 will bring and we are always on the lookout for the latest trends that will impact our fundraising events. Stay tuned as we navigate the year and bring you updates!