Well, here we are – kicking off 2022 feeling uncertain about the world around us and the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Amidst this uncertainty, we look ahead with hope for a healthy and prosperous new year for those who share their generosity and those who receive. For those of us who have the privilege of working with both those who give and those who receive, here are a few trends to watch for in 2022.
1. Leadership gifts will continue to drive giving. In the most recent 2021 Bank of America Study of Philanthropy: Charitable Giving by Affluent Households, 26% of affluent individuals reported increasing their giving in response to the pandemic to help with direct services to those in need. In addition, the majority of households reported no change in their charitable giving with 15.5% indicating that their giving increased and 21.5% saying they decreased their giving. Looking ahead, while we cannot predict future giving, 74% of affluent households indicated they would not change their long-term philanthropic priorities, 20% expect their charitable giving to be more directed to specific issues, while 5% expect to be less restrictive in their giving. More affluent households created a charitable provision in their will (13% in 2017 vs. 17% in 2020) and more utilized a donor advised fund (5% in 2013 vs. 7% in 2018).In November 2021, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Giving Institute published research on gifts made from donor advised funds (DAFs). JGA’s Senior Consultant and Director of Consulting Services, John Keith, chaired the committee to oversee this research project. DAFs grew from $31.1 billion in 2006 to $141.95 billion in 2019. The Special Report on Donor Advised Funds reported that DAFs will continue to change the way donors give and who receives those gifts. For example, education and the arts received the most DAF grants and religion received a smaller percentage of total DAF gifts which is different than the allocation of all giving in the US.
2. Digital interactions will forge connections in new ways. In 2021, YouTube became the second most visited website, second only to Google. In 2020, 96% of consumers reported that their online video consumption increased, and it is expected that the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos. The pace of digital adoption has accelerated by three years due to the pandemic. Engaging with your constituents via video and offering live-stream or hybrid events will continue to be more and more important in 2022. And, in the age of TikTok, successful social media accounts are real time and authentic. Constituents have learned to participate in real time events and feel connected as your digital audience.
Nonprofits will also need to leverage their digital presence and assets to continue to be resilient and effective in 2022. Research in 2021 by Salesforce and the Urban Institute, found that those organizations with “digital maturity” were able to adapt and respond more quickly during the pandemic. According to the study, nonprofits with digital maturity do a better job of collecting and using data to make decisions, personalize outreach, identify new audiences, and predict revenue from fundraising and other income sources. Work to increase your organization’s use of data to track what content resonates with your constituents and grow their connection to your nonprofit.
3. Generational shifts will impact both giving and connecting. There is an important generational shift taking place as the gap widens between the charitable giving preferences of older and younger generations. Older generations (Silent Generation and Boomers) place importance on giving to institutions – they look at institutional credibility and give to support the mission, often out of loyalty. Younger generations (Gen X and Millennials) give to support a cause, not necessarily an institution. Younger generations are more flexible about the choice of which charities to support based upon alignment with their values and priorities.
As we move into 2022, are you rethinking how you encourage giving and facilitate connecting with your constituents? Use this time as an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned over the past two years and how you can capitalize on the changing ways that donors want to give and connect with you to support your mission.
All the best for a healthy and prosperous 2022!