Outlook: How Will Online Fundraising Change in 2018?


Online fundraising has been a popular way to give for years now. In 2018, there is a lot going on in the tech world, and change is on the horizon. Is your nonprofit ready? 

Emphasis on Donor Relationships

Nonprofits are being treated more and more like consumer-focused businesses. This means that business concepts like customer experience are going to be expected from nonprofits in 2018. How should you apply customer experience ideals to your nonprofit organization? Start by focusing on donor relationships.

The bottom line is that donors want to feel special and know how they will impact your organization.  Simple things like personalized emails or individual calls can make your donors trust your organization more than ever. Building donor profiles can help with this process. Use our Mastering Donor Profiles eBook to get started.    

Changing Demographics

Generation Z is larger than the millennial generation by 1 million. They grew up with tech and have a different approach to nonprofits and philanthropy. It may seem difficult to market to this generation, but there are some simple strategies that will help you make a connection. The most important thing you can do is tell the story of your nonprofit's impact. Gen Z wants to know exactly how their time and money will be used to benefit something they care about.

According to a report by Retail Dive, Gen Z converts twice as much on mobile as any other generation, 80% of them are influenced by social media, and they care twice as much about social as they do about deals. In other words, get comfortable with mobile and social by using videos, blogs, and social media to share your story with them.

Social Media Shift

Speaking of social media, you may have noticed that there are many social media changes happening. There's been a backlash against social media and the data we store on it. Yet, this sudden growth in distrust will not stop people from using social media completely. Tactics like targeted ads and live broadcasting are worth adding to your 2018 nonprofit social media strategy. Don't be afraid to dip your toes into relatively new social media platforms, such as Snapchat and WhatsApp.


This year, email is making a comeback. Compared to other industries, the open-rate for nonprofit emails is high at 34.44%, a fact that your organization should definitely take advantage of. Plan email campaigns that complement your fundraising efforts, segment your donor list, design beautiful layouts, etc. To learn more about what you can do to make your email strategy work, read this article from Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation.

Peer-to-Peer Popularity

Crowdfunding is going to be more popular than ever this year. Peer-to-peer fundraising is like crowdfunding, only more personal, and the fundraising effort is hosted on YOUR site, instead of a third party site. It allows your constituents to create their own fundraisers that benefit your organization. Donors trust their friends more than they trust your organization, and utilizing peer-to-peer fundraising lets you share in that trust. Also like crowdfunding, it adds friendly competition, social sharing, and a game-like playfulness to the mix. 

Arreva's Online Fundraising allows you to set up Kickstarter-like, personalized peer-to-peer fundraisers right on your own website. You can also get to know the basics of P2P with our eBook, The Complete Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. This year is full of change and full of new opportunities. When you keep these trends in mind, 2018 will no doubt be a great year for your nonprofit. 

Topics: Donor Relationship Management, Peer to Peer Fundraising, Nonprofit Marketing, Online Donation

Written by Kira Bushman