From mastering the art of Plain Language to understanding the Metaverse, this post provides the notes from the “10 Digital Marketing & Fundraising Trends to Watch in 2022” webinar presented by Heather Mansfield on December 1. The webinar was designed as a supplemental course to the webinar series required to earn a Certificate in Digital Marketing & Fundraising.

1) Master the art of Plain Language. 

  • Plain language is communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it.
  • The Plain Language Movement started in the 1970s based on the idea to make it easier for the public to read, understand, and use government communications.

Characteristics of Plain Language

  • Writing that can be understood quickly and easily.
  • Plain language is concise. It uses short sentences and paragraphs by eliminating unnecessary words.
  • Use headings, lists, and tables to make reading easier.
  • The Top 10 Principles for Plain Language

Plain Language Example #1 

This program promotes efficient water use in homes and businesses throughout the country by offering a simple way to make purchasing decisions that conserve water without sacrificing quality or product performance.

In plain language:

This program helps homeowners and businesses to buy products that use less water without sacrificing quality or performance.

Plain Language Example #2

[Organization Name] is a global network of philanthropy organizations, changemakers, and critical thinkers committed to ensuring that philanthropy reaches its fullest potential by serving as a catalyst for social change and social progress.

In plain language:

[Organization Name] is a global network of 180 philanthropy organizations committed to social change.

Plain Language Resources:

  1. Big Duck’s Plain Language for Nonprofits
  2. Plain Language Association International
  3. The Center for Plain Language
  4. The Plain Language Action and Information Network

2) Write and distribute quarterly Impact Reports. 

Web page on the Compassion in World Farming website that features their quarterly impact reports.

Why Quarterly Impact Reports?

  • Quarterly Impact Reports can be used to inform and inspire your small and mid-size donors on a regular basis.
  • They focus your nonprofit on tracking and reporting impact which is essential for fundraising success.
  • Quarterly Impact Reports enhance your website, email, and social media content strategy.

How to Publish Quarterly Impact Reports

How to Distribute Quarterly Impact Reports

  1. Send quarterly emails that link to your Impact Report website page (not directly to the PDF). Use the email as a fundraising opportunity to increase monthly donors.
  2. Promote your landing page each quarter on social media for one month. Ensure that your landing page generates an effective title and promo image on social media.
  3. Promote your quarterly Impact Reports in your print campaigns. To do so effectively, create a short redirect for your landing page. For example:
  4. Feature your landing page on the right bar of your blog.
  5. Resource: How to Write a Nonprofit Impact Report

3) Prioritize your email campaigns. 

M+R Benchmarks Report:

  • Email messaging resulted in 19% of all online revenue in 2020 (up from 14% in 2019).
  • For every 1,000 fundraising messages sent, nonprofits raised $78. This marks a 35% increase over 2019.

Grow Your Email List

Segment Your Email List > Example Email Schedule

Email #1  Newsletter sent every Monday morning to all subscribers.
Using the “Segment” function in your email marketing service, resend your Newsletter on Thursday afternoon to unopens.

Email #2  Fundraising appeal sent every other Wednesday morning to all subscribers.
Resend the fundraising appeal the following Wednesday to unopens.

Email #3    Every Saturday or Sunday send a one-topic re-engagement email (event, blog post, fundraising campaign, etc.) to your unengaged subscribers: Added before 60 days + Have not opened any of your last 20 email campaigns.

Manage Your Email List

  • Resending your email campaigns within  3-7 days can increase your email engagement (opens and clicks) by 40%. [ConstantContact]
  • Unengaged contacts hurt your sender reputation and should be deleted.
  • Schedule one day a month to segment and delete unengaged subscribers: Added before 180 days + Have not opened any of your last 50 email campaigns.

4) Revitalize your Tribute Giving Program.

Global Trends in Giving Report

  • 33% of donors give tribute gifts to family and friends.
  • Donors are most interested in giving tribute gifts as memorials (43%), birthday gifts (25%), and on religious holidays (10%), such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Eid al-Fitr.

ASPCA web page that features their tribute gifts.

Organize Your Tribute Giving Program

Promote Your Tribute Gifts

  • Promote your Tribute Giving Program year-round in print materials by creating a redirect. For example:
  • Feature memorial and birthdays gifts in email newsletter year-round and ramp up holiday gift promotion in September.
  • Use Canva to create promotional graphics for each tribute gift for social media, your website and email campaigns, and for print materials.

5) If necessary, upgrade your CRM.

Signs Your Nonprofit Needs a New CRM

  1. Your current CRM does not integrate with th parties, such as MailChimp, Shopify, Stripe, and Facebook Fundraising Tools.
  2. It is difficult to report fundraising success and donor retention to staff and board.
  3. Your CRM offers very little automation.
  4. Your CRM does not utilize artificial intelligence to predict when donors are most likely to give and how much.
  5. Your CRM is not hosted on the cloud.

What to Look for in a CRM

In addition to third-party integrations, robust reporting, automation tools, and donor intelligence:

How to Select a New CRM

To begin, start with five potential new CRM software:

  • Take five product tours and consider the setup and transition process, as well as the training and customer support offered by the vendor.
  • Create a list of your must-have tools and functions.
  • Set your budget, narrow the choice to two or three, and present the options to staff.

6) Launch a traditional crowdfunding campaign.

A successful crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe where $5,432 were raised to build a performing stage for a nonprofit in Austin.

Select a Crowdfunding Platform

Top 3 Crowdfunding Best Practices

  1. If your nonprofit is new to crowdfunding, start with a $5-25,000 fundraising goal. $9,237.55 is the average amount raised by a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign. Never launch your campaign with $0 donated!
  2. Set a deadline to donate, such as 60 days, and promote the campaign often via email and on social media. Of course, use Canva to create promo graphics.
  3. Provide campaign updates and emphasize how these funds will make a positive impact.

7) Embrace Facebook & Instagram Charitable Giving Tools.

8) Join TikTok.

  • TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users and is used by 21% of the world’s internet users.
  • TikTok is the fastest-growing social media network ever.
  • Download TikTok from your App Store and follow the instructions to create an account claim your username, such as:

A screenshot of the World Wildlife Fund on TikTok.

Follow, Like, Comment and Study Nonprofits on TikTok

9) Prioritize cybersecurity.

  • According to the 2021 Open Data Project, 27% of nonprofits worldwide have experienced a cyberattack (email phishing, website hacking, ransomware, etc.).
  • Social media attacks are up 83% year to date i.e., stealing login information, brand impersonation, and spreading malware.

Protect Your Organization from Cyberattacks

  1. Website: Use a premium hosting service that prioritizes speed, security, and automated daily back-ups.
  2. Email Marketing: Require a double opt-in and captcha to subscribe to your email lists.
  3. Social Media: Enable two-factor authentification for all social media accounts.
  4. Donor Data & Systems: Update your systems often, back up your data daily, secure your WiFi networks, require strong passwords, install anti-virus software, and require authentication.
  5. Create a Cybersecurity Plan and share it with employees.

10) Follow Emerging Trends.


Gaming for Good:

The Metaverse:

AI & Machine Learning:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence.
  • Machine learning is a branch of AI based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions with minimal human intervention.
  • In fundraising, AI and machine learning are applied to donor lists to spot patterns and make predictions about when a donor is likely to give and how much.

About the Author

Heather Mansfield is the founder and editor-in-chief of Nonprofit Tech for Good and producer of the Certificate in Digital Marketing & Fundraising program. Fueled by a strong passion for the Internet, Heather spends her days (and some nights) helping nonprofits, charities, and NGOs worldwide utilize the internet as a tool for social good.

101 Digital Marketing & Fundraising Best Practices for Nonprofits is a blog and webinar series on website design, email marketing, online fundraising, and social media best practices for nonprofits, NGOs, and charities worldwide. Those who register and attend all three webinars in the series will earn a Certificate in Digital Marketing & Fundraising from Nonprofit Tech for Good.

A Certificate in Digital Marketing and Fundraising for nonprofit professionals offered by Nonprofit Tech for Good.