What to Expect in 2022

For several years, I’ve been publishing articles about the trends and what’s to come in the New Year. I’ll admit that the pandemic has created an ever-changing environment, which makes things unpredictable. However, based on my work as a consultant, there are several things that I think we’ll all be seeing more of in 2022.

What you won’t find on my list are the pandemic-related things that other authors are writing about (yes, I hate to inform them, but the virtual events have gone beyond being a trend and are now almost a necessity given what’s going on). The other trend that you won’t find on my list is related to donor retention. I’ve been talking about that for many years. Once again – not a trend but something you absolutely need to focus on. So, what is on the list? Read on to find out.

  1. Increase in the Use of LinkedIn by Nonprofit Professionals: After a lot of hesitation, nonprofit professionals are finally starting to use LinkedIn to promote their causes and events. What was the hesitation? Much of it had to do with not really understanding how to use LinkedIn. The other factor was whether or not to go with a personal page or the charity page. Studies show that the personal pages get more attention. If you’re not using LinkedIn to promote your work, 2022 might be the year to start.


  1. More Fundraiser Resignations: Oh boy, could I go on and on about this one. I heard so many fundraisers complain about their jobs lately. And, it has nothing to do with COVID! It has to do the unrealistic expectations from their boss and board, coupled with the lack of pay and appreciation. There is no doubt that this will continue in 2022. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t become a major problem and a permanent issue in the coming years.


  1. Larger first-time donations: This trend started in mid-2020 when the pandemic was ravaging through communities. I watched as $50,000 and $100,000 first-time gifts came to my clients unsolicited. Throughout 2021, these same donors renewed their support for programs that had nothing to do with the pandemic. Why was that? Some of it had to do with donor confidence levels. Many of the donor made larger gifts did their research before making that first-time gift. This coupled with good donor stewardship, increased their confidence in these charities, which in turn, led to renewals. As more charities invest in marketing, public relations, and social media efforts, larger first-time donors will become aware of their work and be more likely to make these five and six-figure first-time donations.


  1. Increase in in-kind household donations: You might find this one weird or it might not even be relevant to your work, but it’s true. More people than ever before are starting to downsize and clear out their homes. A lot of this is due to the increasing fascination with minimalism. The other factor is that people had more time to focus on their homes during the pandemic. So, this is good news if you have a thrift store and have clients who can use the household items.


  1. Virtual Events are Attracting New Donors in Record Numbers: This is a factor caused by COVID, but one that is going to be sustained if charities continue to offer a virtual element coupled with the in-person event attendance. Donors found that it was much easier to attend a special event (and donate) during the pandemic than ever before. Many of my clients had people join their virtual events from around the country. Donors that never would have been able to get attend their events were able to participate. This trend will be prevalent in 2022 as these hybrid events continue.

Only time will tell what will stick or not. In the meantime, Happy New Year! Wishing you lots of prosperity and good fortune in 2022.