Trends for 2016

Trend 1: Email Deliverability

Email is still the workhorse of any digital program. However, in 2016 getting into your constituents’ inboxes will be more difficult than ever before. The largest email client providers are working diligently to ensure that their customers are only receiving email that their customers are actively interested in and engaged with. All other email is being delivered to junk folders, clutter files, promotion tabs or not at all. Organizations that don’t proactively clean their list will and keep their constituents engaged through relevant content will continue to see decreasing engagement rates. Much has been made about the death of email. However, in 2016, email revenue growth is possible if you can conquer the email deliverability issue through strong list hygiene, micro-segmentation and personalized, dynamic content.

We felt so passionately on this trend, we wrote a whole post on this one. See more from Robert Fisher, in a later post!

Trend 2: Micro Campaigns

In 2016 organizations will run hyper-focused micro-campaigns. As the long arms of crowdfunding are stretching even deeper into the nonprofit sector, smart organizations will use the model to move activists to donors, generate upgraded gifts and re-engage donors who have become tired of the universal annual appeal. These small, targeted campaigns will allow organizations to illustrate specifically what donors are funding and be precise in the donors’ impact—especially in a time when donors have become weary of general pleas for money. In addition, it also allows lower-dollar donors to feel that they have contributed more to an organization. Organizations who can move past the fear of restricted giving and into this new model will unlock a new revenue source.

Trend 3: Uber-All Fundraising

Futurists believe we are just about to enter the “Uber-All” economy—the on-demand, channel agnostic economy that leads to the creation of “prosumers” (one who simultaneously produces and consumes a product). In 2016 donors will begin to embrace the Uber-All economy and apply it to fundraising. Charities that will benefit from this shift in thinking will be those who give their supporters the tools and assistance to raise money in unique and personal ways. Key to making Uber-All Fundraising a success is ensuring that the charity gives affirmation and acknowledgment to the fundraiser.

Trend 4: Corporate Competition

In 2016, more and more corporations will continue to illustrate their social good as a way to win over consumers and increase brand loyalty. And with billions of dollars at their disposal, they have the opportunity to illustrate their case (whether you agree with it or not) more frequently, more prominently and, oftentimes, more effectively. In 2016 for-profit brands will be trying to position themselves as sharing consumers’ values and beliefs, all while making the consumer feel good about themselves.

Trend 5: Taking Down the Silos

In 2016, more and more organizations will have to figure out how to blend their fundraising and communications goals and agendas into one cohesive strategy and narrative arc. For too many recent years, these two departments have battled over budget, website space, messaging, email list priority and even keywords. This turf war is leading to a fractured message, separate and distinct constituencies, unengaged website traffic and lead capture programs with no follow through. In 2016 communications and fundraising departments must sit down together and create unified plans and develop singular strategies or organizations won’t continue to generate the same digital revenue growth they have seen in the last several years.