As 2023 comes to a close, nonprofit organizations are eagerly preparing for the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in the new year. In our latest webinar, FreeWill co-CEO Patrick Schmitt shared the global trends that fundraisers should be aware of ahead of 2024 and how we anticipate these trends will impact the world of philanthropy.
To help you incorporate our insights into your fundraising plan for 2024, we have gathered the most important highlights from the webinar.
Keep reading to learn the six fundraising strategies you need to know for a successful year ahead.
Trends in philanthropy for 2024
1. The ongoing demise of cash giving
Cash giving is declining. Check usage has declined sharply for all age groups. Credit cards aren’t functionally set up for large donations, and there’s competition at year-end for credit card use with holiday spending. There is not enough conversation in nonprofit fundraising about the death of cash!
2. DAFs continue to eat the rest of philanthropy
Quite simply, there is no serious path to fundraising success in 2024 that doesn’t include a plan for DAFs.
3. 2024 is a potentially strong year for stock giving
We expect to see pretty large stock gifts for a few reasons, incl. cooling interest rates, an expected close for the S&P 500 at +14%, and increases in stock giving through FreeWill, among others.
4. Crypto is back on the rise
You may have missed it, but crypto just had a boom in October, and digital asset experts predict we’re experiencing the start of a new Bitcoin bull cycle.
5. The Great Wealth Transfer is really happening
Many orgs are seeing their best planned giving year ever in 2023, and this will increase in 2024.
6. Election years have the potential to scramble charitable giving
While giving may or may not be affected, nonprofit communications calendars and their “ask” may need to shift, esp. in swing states where donors could be overwhelmed with contact.
7. The most successful teams in 2024 will be leveraging AI
We anticipate that by the end of 2024, 90% of fundraisers will be using some for of AI weekly, and more than 50% will be using it daily.
6 strategies for 2024
1. Build your calendar around election dates, and focus on non-competitive giving types.
Front-load your giving asks. Avoid messaging on primary dates in your state and avoid major events on Nov. 5 and for 10 days after.
Spotlight gift types such as:
- QCDs and DAF grants since these gifts cannot be given to political campaigns
- Stocks and crypto since they don’t have the same tax benefits when given politically
- Planned gifts
2. Prioritize planned giving if you’re not already doing so.
Key dates to add to your calendar include:
- New Year’s resolutions
- This is the second-highest month for planned gifts on the FreeWill platform
- National Make-A-Will Month
- This is the highest month for planned gifts on the FreeWill platform, with record participation in 2022
- 3rd week of October
- National Estate Planning Awareness Week (NEPAW)
- Bonus: This can feel like a non-ask just weeks before the election!
3. Prepare to receive stock & crypto gifts.
We predict that 2024 will be the largest year on record for stock giving and the second-largest year for crypto giving (after 2021).
4. All outreach should include an option to give from a DAF.
Every time a donor who has a DAF gives cash instead, we lose. Cash gifts are smaller (even from the same donors), and you lose the chance to identify a DAF account holder.
5. Inflation requires us to reset “anchor points.”
Stay away from talk of what a gift costs a donor, focusing instead on how much they can save by giving a different way and the impact they can have by giving in the first place.
6. Your whole team must be experimenting with AI.
It’s like the 2000s-era internet — organizations that aren’t curious will be left behind! Try FreeWill's free AI tool, Willy, to dip your feet in.
Bonus tip: Make the most of Leap Day!
Psychological research tells us donors are more generous on “special occasions,” and Leap Day is the perfect match for that.
Watch the full webinar recording to learn more about the data behind our fundraising trend predictions and dive deeper into our proposed strategies so you can set yourself up for a strong fundraising year in 2024.
Looking to prioritize non-cash or planned giving in 2024? Schedule a 1-on-1 conversation with a member of the FreeWill team to learn more about how we've raised $8.9 billion for our nonprofit partners.