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The Top Fundraising Trends for 2022

Learn this year’s hottest tactics for creative fundraising!

The landscape of fundraising has evolved dramatically over the past several years—and so have economic trends. Wages have grown, but unfortunately not as quickly as inflation. What does that mean for charitable giving?

Looking at creative ways to fundraise without affecting people’s pocketbooks has become more important than ever for many organizations. Holding a fundraiser where you collect unwanted gift cards is an excellent way of doing that! Though overall giving remains high, you’ll be able to tap into a broader base.

Let’s take a look at several trends that will continue influencing not-for-profit fundraising throughout 2022. Understanding these key trends will help your church, school, or sports group reach its fundraising goals.

Charitable Giving Is Up

Despite economic challenges—or perhaps because of them—giving has risen. In 2021, it was up 41% above pre-pandemic levels! And between March 2021 and 2022, charitable giving rose by 12.8%. In tough times, people have experienced a heightened drive to pool their resources and support those in need.

Because many of these donors are new to giving, organizations need to double down on donor retention efforts. They must work to make a personal connection and convey the importance of their mission. Then, they should share how the funds have benefited the community they serve. During the pandemic, many organizations have found making a stronger connection with existing supporters more effective than trying to reach absolutely everyone, Forbes reports.

Hybrid Fundraisers Are Becoming Normalized

A blend of digital and real-world experiences is quickly becoming the new normal. Now, when savvy organizations hold an in-person event, they often broadcast it as well. They allow people to tune in from their homes by offering a virtual platform. But don’t stop with live streaming. Instead, suggest ways to participate from home, like participating in a discussion, contest, or silent auction.

“Hybrid is the new ‘in person,’” Forbes writes—and that means people now expect more from a hybrid event. Integrating those watching from home into the event will take a hybrid fundraiser to the next level.

Gamification Is Growing Prevalent

In this creative spin on traditional fundraisers like walk-a-thons, a gamer raises money for a good cause. Friends or fans of the gamer can watch them play and make donations when they level up (or lose a life). This is a great way to connect with younger demographics!

Increasingly, organizations are also gamifying the fundraising process itself. Donors can get points or prizes for making certain types of donations or donating again within a specific period of time, and these incentives will keep them coming back!

Online Giving Has Ramped Up

Sure, online giving has been popular for a while. But over the past couple of years, it’s risen dramatically. Between March 2021 and 2022, communities of faith received 16.8% of their donations through online giving. And K–12 schools saw a 15.6% increase in online donations.

With all the hype about online giving, organizations must optimize their websites for mobile. People often donate by phone, so a solid digital presence and an easy donation mechanism are essential. QR codes have become a super helpful tool for promoting online donations. At the same time, these changes are also driving cybersecurity concerns. Hence, it’s more important than ever to keep donors’ information and payments secure.

Giving Days Are on the Rise

As part of online giving campaigns, community organizations often hold giving days. This simply means a 24-hour fundraising event where you rally people to donate to your cause. It could take place strictly online or as a hybrid event. Giving days work because they create a sense of urgency—and they show people that together, their donations will make a big impact. Even those making small donations know they’re part of something larger. People feel a collective sense of satisfaction as they watch the donations pile up!

And giving days don’t have to just collect cash. You can hold a giving day for gift cards instead! State a specific goal for your giving day campaign and what the funds will be used for.

Women, Young People, and Diverse Communities Tend to Give a Lot

Women and people of diverse communities often give more than the average donor. We already knew that giving to social justice causes has risen. Now, new research shows that donors of color are helping lead the charge—52% find crowdfunding makes donating money more convenient. And young, educated women tend to be active participants in crowdfunding campaigns.

Millennials are particularly committed to giving. “In a recent Fidelity Charitable study, nearly three-quarters (74%) of Millennials said they consider themselves philanthropists—compared to just 35% of Boomers,” reports Forbes.

Cryptocurrency Donations Are Increasing

While cryptocurrency remains a mystery to many organizations, cryptocurrency donations are rising. Young Millennial men are especially likely to own cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, reports the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy. Many of them are dabbling in philanthropy for the first time. Fidelity Charitable Trust found that cryptocurrency investors were more likely to donate $1,000 to charity in 2020 than other investors. Organizations new to crypto must learn how to sell or manage these assets.

Charitable Chatbots Are Emerging

Some organizations use a simple form of AI—the chatbot—to connect with supporters. The chatbot can answer basic questions and point people toward relevant info, and this can allow groups to “talk” with donors 24/7 rather than just when a busy staff member or volunteer has a moment to chat.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Has Taken Off

From TikTok to Instagram, social media platforms are allowing for a steep rise in peer-to-peer fundraising. People are connecting directly with friends and acquaintances on social media and using hashtags to broaden their reach. And, of course, good old email remains a tried-and-true standby. Churches, youth groups, and other community organizations will benefit immensely from leveraging peer fundraising!

Want to partner with CardFunder for your church, school, or nonprofit fundraiser? We can help you put the $3 billion in unused gift cards to good use. And we make getting started super simple—just sign up with us, and we’ll provide all the tools you need!


The Blackbaud Institute, “Celebrating 10 Years: The Blackbaud Institute Index”

Charity Digital, “Top Fundraising Trends for 2022”

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, “Cryptocurrency & Philanthropy: New Donors and New Questions for Nonprofits”

Forbes, “3 Trends Shaping Philanthropy in 2022”

Forbes, “5 Trends to Watch in Peer-to-Peer Fundraising in 2022”

Indiana University, “10 Tips & Trends for Fundraisers in 2022”

LinkedIn, “Gamification and #GamingforGood”

Montana Nonprofit, “2022 Giving Trends”

SEI, “Philanthropic Trends for 2022 That Nonprofits Should Know”

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