The new year is just around the corner! What can you do to make sure that your nonprofit’s digital fundraising stays relevant and fresh as we head into 2019?

Here are five digital fundraising trends to incorporate:

Multi-channel approach

Facebook may be the main social media platform for those over 40, but the reality is, many younger users are on Instagram and YouTube more often, sometimes having deserted Facebook entirely. To ensure that your messaging is reaching across all generations, consider incorporating Instagram and YouTube in addition to emails and your Facebook presence.

Video content is especially important. We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: video content increasingly generates the most engagement. With YouTube the top social platform, and video being the most engaging type of content on Facebook, video is a trend you will definitely want to incorporate in your communications strategy.

Email isn’t dead

Contrary to what some people say, email is still a very effective channel to engage donors:

A study done by Dunham & Company revealed that email accounts for 26% of online revenue and that the number is estimated to rise in the near future. While only 6% of donors were willing to donate through email in 2012, that number rose to 28% in 2018.

We expect the effectiveness of email to continue to grow in 2019, particularly with your active donors. Evaluate your email strategy, including your calls-to-action, overall timing, and frequency.  Then use your findings to deepen donor engagement with visually interesting and inspiring emails.

Grow relationships with automation

Putting donors on automated pathways based on their giving history, affinity, and life-stage can be an effective way to drive engagement. You don’t need expensive automated marketing solutions to make this happen. The first step is to segment your email list and develop a thoughtful communication strategy that reflects the attributes of each segment. Without sophisticated automation, you will need to deploy and monitor the campaigns on a manual basis. Yes, it will take some upfront planning and staff time, but the outcome will be stronger relationships, higher average gifts, and lower attrition.

Personalized communications

It is important, especially as technology makes this easier and easier, to communicate to your donors within their interests and giving range. Nonprofit Tech for Good puts it well:

Don’t show a gift array for $25 to someone worth millions. Don’t display a giving page with messaging about projects that donors don’t care about. With the right giving technologies collecting data on your donors, you’ll be able to make recommendations that are related to things they care about.

Personalizing communication is a basic principle of marketing automation, but it goes deeper. It calls for you to think about every aspect of the donor/charity ecosystem from the donor’s perspective and make all communication to them as though they are the only person in the room. Keep it relevant and ensure that every aspect of the content you share, from the amount you ask to the program you highlight, is in the proper donor-centric context.

Emphasize monthly giving 

Make it easy for your donors to become monthly supporters. If your main donation page doesn’t already have a recurring gift option, add it! Also consider featuring stories of monthly supporters and why they give. Monthly givers are extremely important because they are likely to give larger amounts overall when they have the option of a more manageable monthly gift. The current trend among many segments of donors, of all ages, is to make donating easy and manageable. And setting up a monthly recurring gift is the answer.

Here’s to happy and successful fundraising in 2019!