March 2, 2022 | Categories DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, DonorPerfect Update, Featured, Nonprofit Technology

Nonprofit Fundraising Goals for 2022

Has your nonprofit set fundraising goals for 2022? More importantly, is your nonprofit still on track to hit your donation targets by year end?

According to data from exercise tracking giant Strava, most users who set fitness-related resolutions for the new year end up dropping them by January 19 (a day Strava employees lovingly refer to, “Quitters’ Day”). Setting big, audacious goals for ourselves and visualizing the outcome is only part of the process, and many goals come with a lot of hidden or unexpected additional work. For example, running a marathon is a huge and exciting goal to work toward, but it goes far beyond daily training. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you forget to account for your day-to-day tasks, plus the added laundry, meal prep, sleep needs, inevitable injury recovery, and other variables that might get in the way.

We’re well into 2022 and the excitement that came with setting your annual fundraising goals may have waned. Now is a good time for reflection and reevaluating what you’d like to accomplish this year, how your goals fit in to your real, day-to-day work life, and whether your nonprofit’s tools and strategies are up to the task.

Don’t know where to start? Look to industry averages

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) launched the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) in 2006 and produces annual reports and analyses of philanthropic trends in the United States and globally. While no two nonprofits are exactly alike, FEP reports provide the information you need to compare yourself to other nonprofits of similar sizes, missions, geographic regions, and more. These annual fundraising benchmarks reports are available in DonorPerfect, and offer reliable insights to help you create fundraising goals that make sense.

Use your own data to set goals that are realistic, attainable, and optimistic

How much money did you raise last year? Over the last five years? Are there particular fundraising strategies, like direct mail appeals or online events, that work particularly well for your donors, or others that don’t have as much resonance? Take some time to get curious and explore your nonprofit’s data as if you were someone who has never seen it before. Look at both quantitative (i.e. demographics and giving amounts) and qualitative (i.e. any comments or notes included with gifts) information, and try to spot connections and trends. What you find may surprise you!

Dashboard Statistics

Once you have your relevant information, set goals that are specific to your organization and your mission. “Raise more money than last year” is vague and uninspiring, both for your staff and your supporters. Do you have an idea for a new program, or something that could improve a current initiative? What do you need to get it off the ground? Could you accomplish it by recruiting a specific number of new volunteers, or raising the resources you need through a crowdfunding campaign? Get creative, and don’t be afraid to budget for a little risk taking!

Keep your goals front and center

Did you know that by visualizing and having a physical representation of your goals, you’re more likely to achieve them? Try starting your day with a clear picture of your nonprofit’s progress toward your fundraising goals, and take a moment with your coffee to imagine the positive change you’ll be able to make in your community once you hit them. You may find an extra boost of inspiration at the start of your day helps lead to better fundraising outcomes.

Fundraising Goals Gif

With tools like DonorPerfect’s new fundraising goals dashboard, you can easily track your progress and stay motivated to hit your targets. By simultaneously tracking your overall annual fundraising goals and specific projects like appeals or event revenue, you can make informed, real-time strategic decisions that will take your fundraising efforts to new heights.

Work smarter, not harder

While sweat equity is a good thing, the number of hours you put in at the office won’t generate positive results if your organization doesn’t have the tools it needs to thrive. Invest your limited time and energy wisely by employing automation and other time-saving measures so you can put more of your focus toward carrying out your mission. Here are some ideas to help get you started:

  • Did you know that it can be as much as ten times cheaper to retain a donor than it is to acquire a new one? Spend more time on building and maintaining relationships with your current donors and see the returns come in year over year.
  • Use your constituent relationship management system (CRM) to its fullest potential. With DonorPerfect, you can automatically schedule donor outreach that syncs to your calendar, use BCC email integration or voice-to-text technology to easily document visits and email exchanges with donors, assign follow-up tasks, and keep track of what your next steps are for each donor, all in one place.
  • Try picking up the phone to thank your donors! They’ll be surprised and grateful for the personal touch, and a phone call can take significantly less time than handwriting a card or sending a more generic form letter. You can also learn valuable information, like what motivates your donors to give and more about their personal connection to your nonprofit, and track these lessons in your CRM to help shape your fundraising strategy down the road.
  • Channel your most passionate supporters’ energy by encouraging them to run their own crowdfunding campaigns. Their stories will resonate with their personal networks, and you may pick up new donors along the way.
  • Set up automatic touchpoint reminders, like DonorPerfect’s SmartActions, to take the guesswork out of donor engagement and keep your organization at the top of your supporters’ minds.
DonorPerfect Smartactions

Celebrate all your victories, especially the small ones!

In psychologist Karl Weick’s classic paper, “Small Wins,” he suggests that trying to tackle large issues, like eliminating poverty or making healthcare more accessible, exceeds the limits of our rational thinking and sends us into states of emotional overdrive. However, when we break these large tasks down by using a strategy of “small wins,” which he describes as, “a series of concrete, complete outcomes of moderate importance,” our brains are much better equipped to handle them, and we’re less subject to feelings of stress and overwhelm.

Did you help one person today? Celebrate it! Did your organization make a move toward more efficient and effective processes? Nicely done! Your work is challenging, but you’re making the world a better place, bit by bit. You got this!

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Meet the author: Emily Zacek

Emily Zacek joined the DonorPerfect team as a copywriter in January, 2022. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 with degrees in flute performance and organizational studies, and her undergraduate thesis focused on labor activity trends in American arts nonprofits. She brings a...

Learn more about Emily Zacek