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The 16 Most Interesting Data Points for New Year Fundraising

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By Jess Woloszyn

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Published December 29, 2021 Reading Time: 7 minutes

The new year brings fresh energy for fundraising professionals and the opportunity to refocus your time on impactful activities based on data from the year before. Our quick list of the 16 most interesting nonprofit data points is here to offer some clarity on where to direct your attention.

Grab key statistics from a full year of Classy’s external research, platform data, and donor behavior reports. The right information will help you take decisive actions in line with the biggest fundraising trends shaping 2022.

In case you missed it, jump into our main reports from 2021:

Donors Plan to Give More to Causes They Care About

  1. 84% of donors intended to meet or exceed their donations from 2020, during the 2021 giving season. (Why America Gives 2021)

We thought it would be tough to match 2020’s chart-topping fundraising results, but donors showed up once again. Increased generosity throughout 2021 tells us that charitable giving is still a priority that people value and plan for. Now, it’s about how to get (or keep) your cause front and center.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Nurture and retain year-end donors with marketing tactics that help them identify with the reason behind a donation and the significance of continued giving.

Donors Find Causes Through Personal Connections and Values

2. 61% of Gen Z donors and 62% of millennials are likely to learn about causes on social media.(Why America Gives 2021)

Social media helps nonprofits connect with donors in a time and cost-effective way. People are conditioned to turn to Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to learn and engage with their communities. This is especially true for newer generations. Build out your social presence to establish trust and a community with your donors.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Form deeper donor relationships by enriching your annual social media content calendar with meaningful or educational content that breaks away from typical appeals.

3. 48% of donors are likely to donate to charitable organizations that practice values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.(Why America Gives 2021)

Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are critical practices across sectors. In fact, these values are criteria that donors use to evaluate whether they will donate.  Go beyond just talking about DEI. Showcase your unique perspective through any channel your donors access to learn about your cause from your website to videos on social media.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Use thoughtful imagery and language to show how you live out your values. Instill confidence among prospective donors that your mission is at the foundation of all you do.

Form Community Around Fundraising to Fuel Peer-to-Peer Potential

4. 67% of donors are most likely to hear about new causes through word of mouth from friends and family. (Why America Gives 2021)

People lean toward causes that impact or relate to the people closest to them. Peer-to-peer fundraising offers them an organic way to show support for communities and contribute to a nonprofit’s meaningful mission at the same time.

Create and share content that equips fundraisers with the tools they need to advocate for your cause and specific initiatives. The right preparation can empower more people to spread the word and entice new donations.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Take a fresh look at your peer-to-peer campaigns. Encourage supporters to share their personal connection to your cause with well-designed and thorough fundraiser toolkits and tips for organic social sharing.

5. 4 out of 5 donors who donate to an individual’s fundraising campaign on behalf of a nonprofit are new to the organization. (The State of Modern Philanthropy 2021)

Your existing supporters are the gateway to new networks you otherwise would never be able to access. Peer-to-peer campaigns will be critical to solid fundraising in 2022. Your nonprofit can run one campaign to engage entire communities of new donors.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Build a strong group of advocates to kick off fundraising pages for every new campaign, empower them with specific tools for success, and spotlight them on your social media and newsletters to not only help them feel valued, but to also encourage others to take the same action.

6. On average, each ticketed fundraising campaign on Classy results in 118 individual fundraiser pages.  (The State of Modern Philanthropy 2021)

Events that feature a fundraising component are picking up steam. You can also use this to appeal to people who want to show support without attending or being in the same physical location. In 2022 we will likely see more sophisticated hybrid events that capitalize on peer-to-peer fundraising to generate greater revenue.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Open your event registration earlier. Include a pre-event fundraising goal to kickstart the momentum and maximize your donation potential.

Subscription Giving Builds Predictable Income and Loyal Donors

7. In May of 2021, 67% percent of surveyed donors who noted they had donated to a charitable organization in the past, also noted that they donated on a recurring basis (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually). Of those donors, 71% were still giving a recurring gift. (2021 Recurring Donor Sentiment Report)

Recurring giving has become a standard for most nonprofits. If you haven’t invested in a proper recurring donation program, or haven’t focused on its growth, make it a priority in 2022. Recurring gifts empower donors to make a continued impact on your cause, while also producing a sustainable flow of income that helps you plan for the future.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Offer a recurring giving option on every donation page to entice donors at checkout. You can also build your membership program to nurture a community of loyal recurring donors into the future.

8. 61% of donors give on a recurring basis because it’s more affordable to break up gift amounts over time. (2021 Recurring Donor Sentiment Report)

Recurring giving makes it more manageable for donors to give smaller amounts over an extended period of time versus making one sizable donation upfront. We’ll continue to see this preference grow alongside the ever-popular subscription-based business model.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Advertise your recurring giving option as a convenient set-it-and-forget-it donation. Help donors make an impact that adds up for your organization by framing it as a subscription gift.

9. 73% of recurring donors continue giving when they understand their donations’ tangible impact. (2021 Recurring Donor Sentiment Report)

It’s one thing to secure a recurring donor, but another to keep them interested in giving for an extended time. We’ve heard from many donors in our reports this year that it’s critical for them to understand how donations make an impact. Recurring donors are no different and need to see why their regular contributions matter.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Help every recurring donor see the impact of their ongoing contribution. Lean into impact blocks on your Classy campaign pages, targeted emails that describe what your recurring donors are making possible, and creative storytelling from beneficiaries.

10. 59% of recurring donors prefer to give outside of monthly increments.(2021 Recurring Donor Sentiment Report)

Recurring donations are no longer limited to a monthly cadence. Nonprofits can now offer many donation frequencies that give donors more options to fit their lifestyles.

Consider giving donors the option to donate weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly, annually, or daily. From what we can see, the preference to give outside of monthly will only continue to gain steam in 2022.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Give donors the power to customize their recurring gift by choosing when and how they’d like to contribute, and promote the option to choose on your donation page.

Flexibility During the Donation Experience Drives Conversions

11. 91% of donors who’ve completed donations online describe their experience as good or excellent. (Why America Gives 2021)

Nonprofits quickly adapted to entirely online fundraising in 2020. In 2021 we saw that a seamless online experience leads to completed donations.  People are looking to give in the same fast and intuitive way that they shop on a brand’s website or app. The online donor experience must evolve to match that of ecommerce and the expectations of the modern consumer.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Walk through your donor experience from start to finish. Consider new fundraising tools to incorporate at steps that create unnecessary friction, whether it’s a clear donate button, shorter checkout forms, or another option for payment.

12. 58% of donors who have donated online, donated through an app or mobile site on their smartphone or tablet. (Why America Gives 2021)

A few years ago, it was a luxury for nonprofits to support mobile donations. Today,  it’s not uncommon to find people who rely solely on their mobile devices for access to the internet at home and on the go.

The conversation is shifting from simply offering a mobile donation option to making it an enjoyable experience. Keep straightforward, on-the-go transactions top of mind in the year to come.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Create the simplest path to give on any device. Format each button, image, and video to fit mobile and place your call to action at the top of your donation pages.

13. 20% of donors reconsidered donating when their preferred payment method was not an option. (Why America Gives 2021)

Beyond a mobile donation option, donors also want to see more intuitive ways to pay. They won’t hesitate to pass on making a donation if their preferred payment is not available. Donors also shared that one of the top factors of an excellent donor experience is the ability to pay how they’d like via options like ACH, Venmo, PayPal, or cryptocurrency.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Get ahead of researching which payment options your donor base wants to see. Determine how to integrate more payment options into your fundraising software before your biggest fundraising months.

14. During the early 2021 giving season, organizations that activated Classy Pay and PayPal had a 4-point conversion lift vs. organizations with neither.  (ClassyPay Platform Data)

Curious which payment options to consider outside of the standard credit card? PayPal and Venmo are great places to start. Donors across all generations show interest to pay using these options. It’s likely that many of your donors already have login credentials readily available.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Integrate PayPal and Venmo into your donation pages. Give donors the option to expedite the checkout process in just a few clicks.

15. 11-14% higher average mobile conversion rates occur when organizations enable digital wallets on Classy campaigns.(The State of Modern Philanthropy 2021)

Digital wallets make it simpler to pay without a physical card in hand or the need to remember your card number. Popular options include Google Pay and Apple Pay. These digital wallets are often unlocked with the quick scan of a face or Touch ID, making them both secure and fast. Mobile payment options lessen the friction that can deter someone from completing a donation.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Boost conversion rates with digital wallets at every donation checkout page. Classy customers can do this easily with Classy Pay.

16. 55% larger recurring gifts on average result from donors using ACH, compared to those who use credit cards on Classy.(The State of Modern Philanthropy 2021)

ACH may not be the flashiest new payment method, but it’s a massive opportunity for nonprofits. Boost your nonprofit’s recurring giving revenue with payments that don’t expire, unlike credit cards. That makes it easier for donors to store credentials once and pay on a regular basis without a thought. Nonprofits will want to keep this in mind when crafting their 2022 giving experience.

2022 Fundraising Opportunity: Attract more recurring donors and larger gifts by offering ACH payments. Retain supporters longer with a secure payment method they can feel confident in.

Keep Up With Our Most Interesting Nonprofit Data

Subscribe to the blog to be the first to hear about our new data releases throughout the entire year. We are working on a lot of exciting research that will better support you in your fundraising planning, strategy, and execution. Our extensive platform insights and external studies with donors aim to provide you with a roadmap to confident fundraising.

Stay tuned for what’s new in 2022.

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