Future-Proofing Your Fundraising: What Does Your Nonprofit ‘Digital Transformation’ Look Like?
Digital transformation has received a lot of attention from the tech sector. Simply put, the term “digital transformation” describes the change taking place in the lives of people due to the rapid influx of new technology into our daily activities.
The proliferation of smartphones and the popularity of social media are driving factors behind digital transformation. These two trends have fundamentally changed the ways that people interact with one another. The Pew Research Center, which has been running longitudinal studies on these changes, reports that today 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone, compared to only 35 percent in 2011, and social media use has grown since 2005 from 5 percent to nearly 70 percent.
In the social good sector, digital transformation is having a profound impact on the expectations that supporters have of their digital fundraising experiences. They want those fundraising experiences to be Amazon-fast, Google-easy, Netflix-tailored and Instagram-engaging… and they want them to happen literally in the palm of their hand.
This is especially true for the next generation of donors.
Digital transformation is forcing fundraising organizations to re-evaluate their strategies to attract and retain these digitally-savvy donors.
Crowdsourced fundraising is one strategy that has proven successful for organizations trying to future-proof their fundraising efforts and attract new donors.
According to the Blackbaud Institute’s “Next Generation of American Giving Report,” 66 percent of donors consider a solicitation from a friend or family member on behalf of an organization to be an acceptable giving channel. A peer-to-peer fundraising solicitation outranked direct mail, telemarketing, email and social posting.
Crowdsourced fundraising programs, historically, have been limited to runs, walk and cycling events.
However, with the influence of digital transformation, new forms of peer-to-peer fundraising programs are gaining popularity including Do-It-Yourself (DIY) fundraising, volunteer fundraising, giving days and livestream fundraising.
These types of programs offer supporters more flexibility and ownership over the fundraising experience, allowing them to tailor the experience to their own preferences and timelines.
At Blackbaud, we’ve seen the number of DIY fundraising programs double on our fundraising solutions.
One organization that has leveraged volunteer fundraising to attract and retain donors is Marshfield Clinic, located in central Wisconsin.
Donor relations coordinator Maree Stewart said:
“[Volunteer Fundraising] helps to draw a connection to Marshfield, giving supporters an opportunity to not only express their gratitude, but to share their story. That is part of the healing process. Giving people an avenue to share while making a difference is so beneficial.”
In 2018 alone, Marshfield raised over $431,000 from volunteer fundraising events, up from $287,000 in 2017.
Robyn Mendez is a peer-to-peer fundraising rock star. Over the last 15 years, she’s done everything from setting up pop-up tents in the rain to deploying multi-national fundraising websites. She has a passion for using technology to raise money and believes that the collective few have the power to change the world. Robyn lives in Houston, Tex., with her husband, two kids and French bulldog.