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In the ever-evolving world of nonprofits, adaptability is key. You must constantly tune into the latest trends and best practices to ensure your strategies remain fresh and effective. 

The digital landscape, in particular, offers a wealth of tools that can transform the way you engage with donors, manage campaigns, and foster community support. By keeping up with the latest fundraising software trends, you can ensure that you use these tools to their fullest potential.

Whether your nonprofit is about to produce its next strategic plan or update its fundraising toolkit, take the time to explore the following four trends to inform your decision-making.

Mobile Engagement

With over 5.6 billion mobile phone users around the world, it’s essential for donors to be able to interact with your nonprofit through their phones. Today, offering mobile engagement isn’t just an option—it’s an expectation.

Incorporate the following types of mobile engagement into your fundraising and retention strategies:

  • Text-to-give. Text-to-give is a fundraising method that allows your donors to contribute simply by sending a text message. It capitalizes on the convenience and immediacy of mobile technology, making it possible for supporters to donate to your nonprofit anytime and anywhere, with just a few taps on their smartphones. 
  • Mobile bidding. This technology allows attendees to place bids on auction items directly from their smartphones instead of using traditional paper bid sheets. According to SchoolAuction.net’s silent auction guide, mobile bidding is an innovative auction software feature that can boost attendee engagement, allowing them to explore your item catalog, place bids, and receive item notifications conveniently on their smartphones.
  • Mobile-optimized website. Ensure that your website content and donation forms are easily accessible and function well on mobile devices to provide an optimal user experience. A mobile-friendly website can make donating more convenient and cater to the growing number of users who prefer to interact via their smartphones instead of a computer.

By enhancing the donor journey with mobile tools and technology, your nonprofit can nurture a loyal, highly engaged community of donors around your mission.

Flexible Giving Options

Having a high-quality, inspiring donation page is an essential step to securing gifts for your nonprofit online. However, more giving options and opportunities have come into the spotlight in recent years, providing donors with more flexibility to support nonprofits in the ways they prefer most.

Let’s take a look at some giving options you should consider sharing with donors:

  • Stocks. Donating stocks is a powerful option for donors who want to support your nonprofit while potentially reaping tax benefits. When donors contribute stocks that have increased in value, they can avoid paying capital gains tax and can often deduct the full market value on their tax returns. 
  • Cryptocurrency. According to FreeWill, nonprofits that accept cryptocurrency donations can tap into a wider and younger pool of tech-savvy donors. Similar to stock donations, donors of cryptocurrency can benefit from tax advantages, such as avoiding capital gains tax on the appreciated amount.
  • Donor-advised funds (DAFs). DAFs offer a convenient and flexible way for donors to manage their giving through an account that offers tax benefits, allowing them to make charitable contributions whenever they choose. This method also encourages larger lump-sum donations, as donors can contribute to their DAF and then allocate funds to various charities over time, ensuring sustained support for your organization.
  • Planned gifts. Planned gifts, such as trusts, enable your donors to make significant contributions as part of their financial or estate planning, often with substantial tax benefits. By including your nonprofit in their will or estate plans, donors can leave a lasting legacy that supports your mission far into the future. 

To promote these giving opportunities and broaden your fundraising reach, start by creating a detailed “Ways to Give” page on your website that clearly outlines each giving option and the benefits to both the donor and your organization. You can also share educational content in your email newsletters, blog content, and social media posts to raise awareness and encourage participation.

AI Strategies and Policies

It’s hard to miss the gradual incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) into daily life, influencing everything from home automation to how we conduct business. As AI tools emerge to help nonprofits streamline their fundraising and raise more from their donors, it’s time for your organization to decide where it stands with AI (if you haven’t already).

Consider these meaningful ways you can use AI to improve your fundraising results:

  • Add an AI chatbot to your website to improve the user experience and giving journey.
  • Improve prospect research with predictive analytics tools.
  • Curate the most appealing auction items by identifying patterns and trends in donor preferences.
  • Automate repetitive tasks such as data entry and donor segmentation, allowing your team to focus more on other mission priorities.

As you explore these AI-driven opportunities, it’s important to establish a dedicated AI policy and set of guidelines to ensure ethical usage across your organization. 

Donor Trust and Data Security

As technology continues to advance and evolve, so do concerns about privacy and data security. These concerns can be especially significant for nonprofits, where maintaining donor trust is crucial. Whether you’re appealing to a major donor prospect or encouraging donors to sign up for your monthly giving program, building trust and transparency is the secret to success.

Here are some key steps your nonprofit can take to protect donor data and privacy:

  • Use a secure payment processor. Choosing a secure payment processor ensures that all financial transactions are encrypted and protected from unauthorized access. Always look for processors that comply with the latest security standards and best practices in the industry.
  • Conduct regular security audits. Regular security audits are essential to identify vulnerabilities and ensure that your data protection measures are up to date. These audits help pinpoint any potential weaknesses in your system before they can be exploited, allowing you to address them proactively.
  • Provide ongoing training to staff and volunteers. Educate your team about the importance of data security and the best practices for handling sensitive information. Ongoing training ensures everyone is aware of the latest threats and how to prevent them, which not only protects your organization but also builds a culture of security and accountability.

To foster open and trusting relationships with your donors, keep communication clear and consistent. Remember to focus on how donors have made an impact, from sending follow-up emails after donations to sharing an annual report that summarizes everything that you were able to accomplish with their support. Also, invite feedback to show you value your donors’ involvement in your strategies and decision-making.

It’s important for your nonprofit team to use fundraising software that fits your needs, resources, and preferences. Whether you decide to invest in new silent auction software or adopt a text-to-give tool, look for user-friendly solutions that come with reliable customer support. The right software can streamline operations, improve donor engagement, and increase your nonprofit’s overall fundraising effectiveness.

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