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Top 4 Fundraising Trends to Capitalize on in 2023

Over the past year, legislative changes, record-breaking inflation rates, passionate protests, and global humanitarian crises drew attention and dominated headlines. When the World Health Organization announced that the global pandemic’s end was “in sight,” the world appeared to turn a corner, prompting masks to come off.

If we’ve learned anything from these events, it’s that the world’s constantly changing. For nonprofits and any other fundraisers to thrive in a transforming environment, they need to keep up with current fundraising trends. By keeping up with headlines, your organization can attract supporters and fuel donor engagement.

It doesn’t matter if you work at a nonprofit or are part of a school’s PTA — fundraising trends play into your efforts to fund your work and create a lasting fundraising program. To help you navigate the environment, we’ll share some emerging trends we’ve seen so far this year. Here are the four we’ll cover:

  • Organizations need diverse revenue streams.

  • In-person events are back.

  • Paid advertising works.

  • Donors want to be part of the conversation.

Knowing what’s trending will empower your team to ignite passion in your community and see a higher return on your efforts. Let’s dive in.

Fundraising Trend #1: Organizations Need Diverse Revenue Streams.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Leveraging diverse fundraising strategies will help establish a reliable foundation for your funding.

We’ve seen so many clients get creative with the HelloFund platform. They’ve tried creative approaches like using store pages to incentivize online giving and hosting peer-to-peer fundraisers that got their board members involved in a fun challenge.

Especially when inflation rates soar, diversifying your revenue with creative ideas like that is key. Let’s explore a handful of fundraising ideas that can create reliable revenue sources for your organization.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the most powerful ways to expand your donor base. The reason it works so well is that you’re relying on existing supporters or students to raise funds for you.

Social proof is a powerful thing when it comes to fundraising! In fact, Double the Donation’s nonprofit marketing guide explains that 88% of people highly trust a brand when a friend or family member recommends it.

While allowing people to launch one-off peer-to-peer campaigns works year-round, we recommend capitalizing on this fundraising trend by launching an organization-wide peer-to-peer campaign. Setting deadlines creates a sense of urgency, so set an ambitious fundraising goal and timeline for your campaign. Then, have your participants launch their individual campaign pages.

Online Stores

An online store is one of our favorite ways to diversify your revenue streams! Who wouldn’t love receiving something tangible in exchange for their contributions? An online store can incentivize giving, allowing buyers to feel good about supporting your work. Here are some popular store items to get your creativity flowing:

  • Branded merchandise like t-shirts, hats, and mugs

  • Digital donation eCards

  • Tickets to your auctions, galas, and other events

  • Special experiences like workshops or an exclusive tour

When you launch your online store, encourage students and their families to show some school spirit, or encourage your nonprofit’s supporters to browse and purchase their favorite items branded to your cause.

Mobile Giving

More often than not, smartphones are a part of your donors’ everyday lives. Offering mobile giving options allows you to connect with them and make giving as convenient as possible. This type of giving is convenient for donors on the go and makes it easy for them to give any time, anywhere.

Start by launching a mobile-friendly giving page. With the ability to share your page via text message, email, or social media, your organization can easily drive donations.

Be ready to meet your donors where they’re scrolling with HelloFund’s easily customizable features and an aesthetically-pleasing mobile interface. Then, you can boost your page using convenient text-to-give tools.


Grants can provide essential resources to help organizations achieve their goals and impact their communities. Applying for grants also helps build relationships with funders and other organizations.

The best part about grants is they’re offered for different use cases. Grants can be used to cover operational costs, launch new programs, and even expand existing ones. By applying for grants, organizations can secure the necessary funds to help further their mission and make a lasting impact.

Be on the lookout for opportunities that apply to your needs. For instance, apply for the Google Ad Grant if you want to expand your digital marketing efforts. Available to verified 501(c)(3) organizations, the grant provides $10,000 to spend on Google Ads. Note that it’s not available to schools, but Google offers a similar program called Google for Education.

Fundraising Trend #2: In-Person Events Are Back.

While digital fundraising has never been more popular, in-person events are not a thing of the past! In fact, one of the biggest trends for 2023 is returning to in-person gatherings.

Recently, the leader of the World Health Organization announced that he expects COVID-19 will no longer be a public health emergency later this year. While we’ve already seen a massive shift back to in-person events, we expect that trend to continue. Here are some reasons we encourage you to capitalize on this fundraising trend:

  • Networking is much easier. In-person events lend themselves well to socializing and connecting with donors face-to-face.

  • It’s hard to emulate the energy of a live event. The energy behind bringing your community together to support your cause is difficult to replicate in the virtual space.

  • You can keep donors engaged. “Zoom fatigue” is real. Your donors’ minds can shift if they’re sitting behind a computer screen rather than attending in person.

However, a lot of people are still wary of mass gatherings. It’s up to you to make your supporters feel comfortable. Luckily, we live in an increasingly digital world. Streaming has become dominant across many platforms in many areas of our lives.

Even though vaccines are widely available, masks are coming off, and crowd size is becoming less of a public health concern, virtual streaming may be a way to reach a broader audience with your message and mission.

The key here will be to assess what your donors will be most comfortable with – do you have some donors who want to attend an in-person event, while the rest prefer to watch from the comfort of their couch? If so, we recommend giving this strategy a try.

Fundraising Trend #3: Paid Advertising Works.

Nonprofits and schools alike work with limited budgets. For many organizations, paid advertising can seem out of reach. However, research shows that paid advertising works and can generate an incredibly positive ROI.

Fundraising statistics estimate that the average return on ad spend has been as high as $3.72 for search ads in recent years. In response, organizations upped their digital ad spend by 19% in 2021.

Getting Attention’s nonprofit advertising guide explores several ad types that fundraisers can leverage. Some of these include:

  • Google search ads. Create ads that appear on search engine results pages corresponding to specific keywords you choose. You can promote any content on your website that users will find useful, like your donation form or educational content about your cause.

  • Social media ads. From Instagram to Facebook, amplify content in users’ feeds and on Stories. Some platforms will let you tap into additional features unavailable for organic posts. For example, Instagram allows you to include links, CTA buttons, and product catalogs in ads.

  • Radio ads. Radio ads can help you connect with local audiences. Plus, the Federal Communications Commission requires radio stations to allot a certain amount of time to nonprofits. This is an excellent opportunity to speak to your audience and drive them to your website.

If it’s within your budget, we recommend giving paid ads a shot! Remember, you can leverage free and discounted advertising through programs like Google Ad Grants. Just make sure you spend plenty of time crafting ads that communicate authentic messages and drive users to take specific actions, like donating or registering for an event.

Then, keep an eye on your ads’ key performance indicators (KPIs) and make adjustments to maximize results. Most advertising platforms supply built-in metrics tools. For example, Google advertisers receive access to Google Analytics to monitor performance metrics like impressions, clicks, and conversions.

Fundraising Trend #4: Donors want to be part of the conversation.

Today’s donors want their voices to be heard. They believe in your organization and want to do their part by speaking about the causes they’re passionate about. Make the most of this fundraising trend by encouraging your supporters to speak up online and in the community.

Engaging with your donors on social media is the easiest way to give them a voice. Social media opens the door to two-way conversations thanks to its sharing and commenting features. As part of your organization’s digital marketing strategy, post regular updates about your mission and progress, and encourage donors to comment, share your posts, and give feedback.

Your nonprofit can engage back, too. It can be as simple as liking comments on your posts or commenting on their posts about your work. By creating an open dialogue with donors, organizations can show supporters that their support matters and that they are a valuable part of the conversation.

Circling back to one of our earlier fundraising trends, you can also hold events to allow donors to interact with each other and your team. This will help unify their voices and make them feel more connected to your mission.

Final Thoughts

As a fundraiser, you’re challenged to stay at the forefront of people’s minds in an ever-changing world. From launching creative fundraisers to creating meaningful ads, there’s a lot you can do to amplify your campaigns and get more people talking about your cause. Start with the advice we offered in this guide and go from there.

Here at HelloFund, we’re dedicated to helping you find creative fundraising solutions to meet your donors where they are. We’re confident that with the right tools and strategies, you can drive meaningful connections. Incorporate these fundraising trends into your strategies this year, and watch donor engagement skyrockets! Want to learn how HelloFund can help with your next Gala, Auction or Fundraiser?


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