Fundraising in 2021 – Predictions Please
There’s no doubt that 2020 has thrown just about everything possible at us – a global pandemic, a messy US presidential election, the fallout over Brexit, and the late, great Sean Connery recently passing; it’s had it all.
The impact on charitable fundraising has been vast. Major non-profits within North America, the UK and the rest of the world have taken a drastic hit, with many battling for survival in a time when the people or projects they support need them most. We ourselves have seen in-person fundraising events shrink by over 95% due to the far-reaching impacts and restrictions of COVID-19.
So, surely, 2021 will offer sunnier skies?! Goodness, we all hope so…
It’s very hard to predict what 2021 will look like in terms of fundraising for non-profits, but here are a few thoughts coming out of Givergy HQ (via our ‘working from home’ offices…)
- The return of in-person events
Back in April we were quietly hopeful that the Autumn / Fall season would be back to some sort of normality; and then as the months passed the reality of the pandemic really hit home. At that point many of our clients turned to both online fundraising campaigns and virtual events in the knowledge that in-person galas just wouldn’t be possible in most regions for 2020.
However, there is certainly now confidence that in-person events will make some sort of return in 2021. We are already supporting a handful across different countries, especially the likes of golf tournaments where outside activities allow for less restrictions and are safer for charity supporters.
Many of the major venues in the likes of New York, London and Vancouver are already booked up, and we have a number of tentative dates on hold. But as we’ve seen, in-person events are incredibly hard to predict right now.
- Hybrid events
A Hybrid set up combines smaller in-person events with an online audience. As restrictions ease, in a no doubt progressive fashion, smaller 50 – 100 in-person events linked with a much larger audience online may well become the ‘new norm’. The jury is still out on what the format would be and how to ensure your online supporters are engaged throughout, but it could well be an area that many will want to explore.
- Virtual events – here to stay?
Virtual events have definitely done a job at a time when there weren’t many other options. A number of non-profits have seen some incredible results from their virtual event offering and even surpassed funds raised from an in-person gala the year before! (Have a read here on how to win at virtual)
With the uncertainty around in-person events, many of our clients are booking now for Q1 2021, getting something fun, engaging and interactive in the diary for their supporters to look forward to in the traditional Feb / March fundraising season.
You often hear that ‘things will never be the same again’, which makes us stop and think – some element of virtual or online fundraising, either as stand alone or linked into an in-person event, will have a big factor in charitable giving in 2021.
- Online fundraising campaigns
In our world there has been a fascinating and seismic shift in the enquiries we are receiving each day for fundraising solutions. Online fundraising campaigns, be it for a month long auction, pledge drive or prize draw for a specific gift or package, have kept us pretty busy in 2020 and once again are generating some incredible results.
We’ve also seen that the majority of clients are ready for the information and to ‘get going’ straight away. We continue to pride ourselves on service and support, but are definitely reacting to the fact that many are happy to get their site live and crack on.
We believe 2021 will absolutely continue along this path. Simple online fundraising solutions with limited cost or risk is what the market is shouting for. Campaigns that can run for a week or month, with the option to do one campaign per quarter, or even per month, using the same platform to allow simple online giving and payment collection, will we believe be a big part of the ‘new norm’ in 2021.
Yes, 2021 will surely be a step up from the doldrums of 2020. But to what extent and how that will impact charitable giving is a hard one to predict. No matter which way the market goes, be it by choice or necessity, we’ll be here to support in any way we can.
As ever, any questions or to get in touch, just complete the form below.
Tim Stansbury – Chief Revenue Officer (Givergy)