Will Your Nonprofit Survive This Decade?

Rob Wu
Rob Wu

The landscape for philanthropy is moving faster than ever before, and the way you run your nonprofit today may not work tomorrow.

We found three major trends occurring in online philanthropy that will affect how you operate this decade. These trends are economic, social, and technological.

Economic trends
Because of the recent recession, donations during 2008 and 2009 decreased by 13%. It was especially difficult to depend on foundation grants and major donors for support because their fundraising streams dried up. Over $14 trillion was wiped out by the global recession.

But we’ve reached a tipping point.

In 2010, charitable gifts increased 2%. In 2011, online fundraising increased by 20%. Today, donations from individual donors are the fastest growing portion of philanthropy and will continue to accelerate as our economies recover and expand.

The savviest nonprofits are focusing on cultivating individual donors as the strategy to become more sustainable, rather than depending solely on foundations and major donors.

Social trends
In addition to strong economic trends, the way individual donors prefer to give is shifting too. 65% of donors surveyed plan to make at least one gift online this year. For young donors, this rises to 86%; while 69% of those between 35 and 64 will do so. Even 53% of those 65 plus will donate online.

Young donors are more likely to support a charity when friends/family ask versus the charity asking them. The best way to reach this growing segment is through inspirational stories and peer-to-peer fundraising.

Donors want their donations to go further too. They want to understand your nonprofit’s track record and the impact that their donation will make. You’ll need to figure out how to raise funds by focusing on impact goals rather than dollars.

Donors increasingly want to take action for their favorite causes. This includes sharing stories, volunteering, and raising funds through personal fundraising pages.

Technology trends
New technology makes it easier to share stories, connect with supporters, and collaborate in teams. The fastest growing charities and movements, such as charity:water and Movember, have constructed their organizations to operate around technology and infuse it into every aspect of their work.

These nonprofits are bringing disparate channels of fundraising back to their website and place a priority on cultivating a brand. In the Online Giving Study, donors not only give 15% more to branded fundraising pages, but they give 38% more over time.

Because of their success, charities that leverage technology effectively have become innovators and leaders in paving techniques and approaches for nonprofits to follow.

What should you think about?
These findings suggest a few to considerations.

  1. Leverage peer-to-peer fundraising – Empower your supporters to share their story and fundraise for your nonprofit. Create online campaigns, challenges, and events that rally your community to fundraise on your behalf.
  2. Focus on branding – Fully customize and brand your donate page and peer-to-peer fundraising page so it looks like your website or organization’s brand. Colors, logo, and backgrounds should reflect your nonprofit.
  3. Cultivate individual donors – Focus on acquiring new donors by leveraging your supporter’s personal networks. Develop a monthly giving program if possible.

How CauseVox can help?
CauseVox helps you take advantage of the recent trends in online philanthropy. Our online software gives you an easy and affordable way to have peer-to-peer fundraising pages that look completely like your website and brand. Join hundreds of nonprofits, both small and large, in using CauseVox for their online fundraising campaigns and events.

To learn more about CauseVox, visit us at

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