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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Bishop

6 Things Nonprofits Should be Preparing for in 2022

Navigating through 2022 takes nonprofit leaders that are prepared to adapt, listen, and share.

Your mission is more vital than ever in this disruptive and unsettled time, and preparing for the year ahead takes more than just a beginning-of-year planning meeting with your team.

We want to support you, and that’s why we’ve put together this forecast on major themes that will need to be considered and prioritized in order to thrive and fulfill your mission to its highest potential.

Adopt a Real-Time Planning Strategy

How is your strategy planning keeping up with current changes and needs of your organization? It’s likely that your nonprofit needs a strategic planning refresh.

A recent blog post from virtual nonprofit CPA firm (and Think BIG client) Sechler Morgan highlights the four building blocks of strategy formation.

According to the blog, “real-time strategic planning” (RTSP) was first introduced by nonprofit consultant David La Piana’s book “The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution: Real-Time Strategic Planning in a Rapid-Response World.”

By implementing RTSP, your nonprofit’s long-term strategy will better shape daily, weekly and monthly actions.

2022 is going to require leaders to quickly and efficiently identify, understand and act on challenges and opportunities to advance their missions - and RTSP is an approach we are taking seriously for our clients.

Consider Cryptocurrency

A summer 2021 study led by Fidelity Charitable found that cryptocurrency owners are more charitable than the typical investor, but 46 percent of these donors noted their difficulty finding nonprofits that accept cryptocurrency donations.

Whether you’re on the cryptocurrency bandwagon personally or not, this digital currency is here to stay and is growing at breakneck speeds.

The National Council of Nonprofits outlines four ways for nonprofits to accept cryptocurrency, including using an intermediary 501(c)(3) to minimize legal, accounting, and administrative burdens.

We encourage you and your team to always be researching new ways to reach donors and your target audience that is going to uplift your message.

Have a Plan for Hybrid Work and Events

We’ve all come to the realization this past year that offices just aren’t going back to the pre-pandemic way of doing things.

More than 90 percent of employers are planning to adopt a hybrid working model for their knowledge workers in 2022, according to Harvard Business Review (HBR).

HBR also predicts that, “demanding employees return to the office will only further exacerbate turnover rates.”

Employees are more empowered than ever. And, ultimately, prioritizing flexibility and communication will help your nonprofit succeed in employee satisfaction and retention.

Connect with Gen Z and Millenials for a New Wave of Volunteer Help

According to a July 2020 Brookings Article, millennials and Gen Z differ from older generations on issues such as immigration reform, criminal justice, environmental protection, the role of government, and the importance of diversity — with a likely catalyst of this progression thanks to the pandemic and recent activism.

“Spending time volunteering with an organization is a bigger driver for financial support among Millennials than other generations. A third of Millennials say they give more to the nonprofit they volunteer with than they would if they didn’t volunteer — compared to 21 percent of Gen X and 12 percent of Boomers. This suggests that meaningful volunteer opportunities can provide the transparency that Millennials value when choosing organizations to support.”

Nonprofits can’t go on ignoring this population in volunteer outreach and building donor relationships.

Our next tip will help your nonprofit connect with these audiences in a more authentic and engaging way.

Make Video Content Even More of a Priority

Here’s a crazy but certainly fun fact: TikTok overtook Google as the most visited domain in the world in 2021, according to a recent report from Cloudfare.

This is a huge opportunity for nonprofits to showcase their mission through video in a personal, creative, and easy way to a diverse audience ready to learn and engage.

Sure, TikTok takes bandwidth and consistency from your team — but the payoffs can be great if you keep at it and create content that provides valuable information as well as inspiration.

Nonprofits like New Story Charity show great examples of engaging ways to educate TikTokers on their efforts to pioneer housing solutions that restore homes and dignity for neighbors in need.

We’ve also seen powerful stories of fundraising and awareness building through TikTok for Good. According to TikTok, this initiative was created “to inspire and encourage a new generation to have a positive impact on the planet and those around them.”

Just one of the positive outcomes from TikTok for Good efforts is the #DanceForChange campaign.

The United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched the world’s largest dance challenge to help people in rural areas of Africa and other developing countries. IFAD’s #DanceForChange TikTok videos were created by users as a virtual petition to increase investment in sustainable agriculture.

With 33,000 videos created and 81 million video views, we’d say this campaign was a major success and speaks to the power of video and social media.

Advocate for Trust-Based Philanthropy

Trust-based philanthropy is the methodology developed by the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project — a five-year, peer-to-peer funder initiative to address the inherent power imbalances between foundations and nonprofits.

The core values of trust-based philanthropy include powersharing, equity, humility, transparency, curiosity, and collaboration which inform the 6 Practices of Trust-Based Grantmaking, as outlined in a recent Think BIG blog.

So what does advocating for trust-based philanthropy look like in practice for nonprofits? Here's a few ways this can play out:

  1. Focusing efforts on donors that practice unrestricted funding, which helps your nonprofit have flexible options to adapt with the many changes expected to come.

  2. Provide honest feedback to funders about the process of applying for financial support - is it too cumbersome? Does it take away too much staff time that could be better used to facilitate programs? Funders need to know.

  3. Encourage funders to provide support beyond the check. Funders have more to offer than dollars alone. Responsive, adaptive, non-monetary support bolsters leadership, capacity, and organizational health.

  4. Be sure you have a well-organized website that clearly defines your organization's mission, goals, programs, and progress so that funders can easily access this information. It is the funder's responsibility to get to know the issues and organizations in their funding landscape, saving nonprofits time in the early stages of the vetting process. Make it easy for them to find info about your nonprofit. (pssst, we can help!)

According to Philanthropy Together, giving circles should also embed these principles to redistribute power in service of a more equitable nonprofit sector and stronger philanthropic ecosystem. We shared in a previous blog all about the power of giving circles, where you can also learn how to start your own and get creative examples of how to fundraise with your community.

We want to hear from you!

Let us know on our recent Instagram post how you’re preparing for the year ahead, and if you will adopt any of these lessons from our 2022 trends nonprofits should prioritize.

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