Fundraising Trends – What’s Happening in 2019? Part 1

  • The new tax laws will reveal Americans’ altruism


  • Nonprofits that tap into the real value of recurring donors will see faster growth


  • The better marketer you are, the more money you’ll raise


  • Emerging channels will heat up: social media, video, gaming


  • Corporations may expand and take more of a stand in their philanthropy


For more information on how we can help, contact us on our website or send us a message on Facebook.


The challenge to get and retain donors is usually one most nonprofits can relate to. Arming yourself with the latest information about what is trending is helpful. Here are just a few topics that are trending. We’ll cover the first three points below in today’s blog and the last two in the next blog.

There was concern that new tax laws, which went into effect in January of 2018, would lead donors to give less, since individual deductions were eliminated. However, in a nationwide survey conducted by, the results indicate only 10% of respondents say they plan to give less; with 49% of Americans planning to give more. Specific to the new tax laws, less than 10% of Americans say a tax write-off is their primary reason for donating; 42% said they would probably give less if they knew they’d receive a smaller tax break.

The consensus among experts is that organizations that have successful recurring donation campaigns and activities will see much faster grown in 2019 than their peers.

  • Recurring donors are over 5 times more valuable than one-time donors
  • Each individual recurring donor is 42% more valuable than an individual fundraiser (someone who asks their network for donations on your behalf)
  • Within a year, donors who make recurring gifts make an additional one-time gift about 75% more often than one-time donors (in other words, recurring donations don’t “use up” people’s goodwill)

Sometimes nonprofits face an understandable—but based on the data, somewhat irrational—fear of asking recurring donors to give again. Several reports suggest that nonprofits don’t reach out frequently enough to their recurring donors.

As a nonprofit marketer, you’re probably acutely aware of the fierce competition for your donors’ attention. Likewise, donor expectations for their experience once they do pay attention are exceptionally high, set by their consumer interactions with companies like Amazon, Netflix, and many others. These companies lead users to expect a beautiful, frictionless experience from item discovery though checkout, plus personalized recommendations based on past behavior.

Consumers increasingly expect the same from nonprofits. A recent consumer survey found that younger donors also associate trust with a seamless experience, with more than half of millennial and Gen Z respondents (54% for each) saying that if they can’t easily donate to a nonprofit online or via mobile, then they will have less trust in how that nonprofit uses their funds.

While the for-profit world (and their deeper pockets) spend time and money figuring out how to leverage these emerging technologies, the nonprofits we’re talking to are still seeing more immediate value from advanced execution of slightly less cutting-edge marketing approaches: improving your overall mobile experiences; smoothing supporter interactions; zeroing in on thoughtful donor segmentation, targeting, and messaging.

These fundamental marketing tactics are not universal but can do as much, if not more, for you right now than the cutting-edge technologies. So, keep an eye on the artificial intelligence news coming, but get your foundational infrastructure, processes, and best practices in place this year. The time is right.