Views expressed by News/Blog authors are solely that of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association of Fundraising Professionals New York City Chapter. Links Disclaimer


Top 5 Insights From The 2024 Nonprofit Acceleration Report

Top 5 Insights From The 2024 Nonprofit Acceleration Report

Chapter Leadership Brief 5.31.2024

by Community Boost

It’s a time of exciting digital transformation for nonprofits. In fact, so much is happening that it can be hard to keep up with the changes, innovation, and trends. The 2024 Nonprofit Acceleration Report is here to identify nonprofits’ current and future state of digital engagement, and distill the most important insights, so you know what’s currently working to increase nonprofit’s growth and what’s worth exploring.

To create the report, we gathered data from 5,208 nonprofit professionals this year. There are some expected findings (would you believe that time and budget are the biggest challenges nonprofits face?) and some surprises. It’s worthwhile to read the whole thing, but here are the top 5 takeaways to boost your growth in 2024 and beyond.

1. Nonprofits have high expectations for 2024.

It’s an optimistic time for many nonprofits. Nonprofit professionals are expecting 2024 to be a year of sustainable growth: 45% of nonprofits expect a moderate increase in revenue in 2024 (4 to 14%), with 28% anticipate a large increase in revenue (15% or higher).The percentage of respondents anticipating a large increase in revenue (15% or higher) more than doubled from 13.64% in 2023 to 28.07% in 2024. In 2023, 38.02% of respondents expected revenue to remain the same or increase by a small margin (0 to 3%), whereas in 2024, this percentage decreased to 20.55%.

Overall, the data indicates a positive trajectory for nonprofits, with a growing confidence in their ability to achieve financial growth and resilience in the face of evolving economic landscapes.

This shift towards optimism and growth-oriented mindsets is not just wishful thinking: those that expect an increase are also investing in strategic planning, innovation, and adapting to the current landscape to drive success for their organization.

If you haven’t already begun to test and explore additional marketing and fundraising channels this year, this may be the key to driving growth for your organization in 2024.

Key Finding: There are reasons to be optimistic!

2. Online fundraising revenue is increasing across the board

Online fundraising revenue continues to grow. In 2024, 34.61% of nonprofits reported raising over 50% of their total revenue online. In comparison to last year, only 13.9% of respondents reported the same. This means there was a 247% increase in organizations reporting raising more than 50% of their total revenue online!

Digital fundraising is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of revenue generation, and the data underscores the urgent need to pivot towards digital strategies. To navigate this shift effectively, nonprofits must address internal barriers to digital transformation, as well as education and engagement efforts. By allocating resources strategically towards digital engagement—especially in digital advertising and email marketing—nonprofits can optimize their online fundraising potential and drive greater impact.

Key finding: Make digital fundraising and marketing a priority.

3. Recurring giving is crucial for growth

Do you have a recurring giving program? Our research reveals that nonprofits excelling in fundraising often employ recurring giving strategies, which not only ensure a steady income stream but also deepen donor engagement. This method aligns with the principles of community-first marketing, emphasizing long-term relationships over one-time transactions.

By fostering regular contributions, organizations promote a sense of ongoing partnership with their donors, transforming fundraising into a collaborative effort that benefits both the nonprofit and its community. Integrating community-focused practices into fundraising can significantly enhance donor relationships and organizational stability.

Key finding: Go beyond a simple checkbox on your donation form–create a long-term recurring giving experience to build your community.

4. Multi-channel digital marketing is more important than ever

Your supporters may connect with you on several channels. In light of this, nonprofits are changing the way they market. Instead of just using a few social media sites or one digital channel, they're now using more of them. In 2023, most nonprofits stuck to three social media channels, but by 2024, they started using more. This shows nonprofits are spreading out their marketing efforts across more platforms, trying to reach more people in different places.

Overall, the data suggests a shift towards a more diversified marketing approach, with increased emphasis on digital channels like email marketing, SEO, and paid advertising, while still acknowledging the importance of traditional methods like direct mail.

Key finding: Market wherever your supporters are.

5. Email and digital ads are important channels for growth

While a multi-channel approach is important, some channels are greater growth drivers than others. Email and digital ads are two of the most promising channels for nonprofits.

Email marketing remains the #1 most important channel for their nonprofits. 70.37% of nonprofits ranked email marketing as ‘very important’ to their digital marketing efforts. With good ROI and all the benefits of an “owned” channel, email isn’t going anywhere.

Organizations that generate most of their revenue online are particularly investing heavily in digital advertising, underscoring the vital role of online engagement in fundraising efforts. Nonprofits are significantly ramping up their investments in digital ads, with a notable 27% increase over the past year, reflecting their growing reliance on digital strategies to boost their missions and financial goals. Resources like the Google Ad Grant make experimenting with digital advertising more approachable for beginners and organizations with smaller budgets.

Key finding: Make sure your email strategy is strong, and don’t overlook digital advertising.

Accelerate your growth

The path to accelerated growth and greater impact is within reach, but it requires commitment, courage, and a forward-thinking mindset. As you embark on this journey, remember that every step you take towards digital advancement brings you closer to fulfilling your mission and making a lasting difference in the world.

Community Boost is the premier full-service nonprofit digital marketing agency dedicated to mission-focused organizations of all sizes and sectors.

Theme picker