Is 2022 a bad year for fundraising? What about 2023?

Most fundraisers are getting worse results in 2022 than they did in 2020 and 2021.

Inflation? Recession? Maybe.

But for many, the “problem” is, we’re returning to “normal.”

2020 and 2021 were record-breaking years for those who kept fundraising. Donors were pouring out donations, because they understood the crisis we were all facing together. Most likely, those two years will be the high-water mark for fundraising for a long time to come.

That time of unusual responsiveness is over, at least for most of us. Think of 2022 as a lot like 2019 — maybe worse. Fundraising results tend to follow the stock market, so when stocks fall, so does fundraising.

Mainly, 2022 looks and feels bad when you compare it to the last two years.

The difference is that if you stayed on top of things during the pandemic, you probably have a healthier and larger donor file. So normal (and even difficult) times may be better than they used to be.

What about next year?

There’s no reason to believe 2023 will be much different from 2022. Things might work for you or against you. It’s largely up to how you respond to the reality you face.

What should you do now?

  1. Keep on fundraising. Playing possum will only make it worse.
  2. Continue to be relevant. Talk about the situation you face now. The organizations that are continuing to do well are those talking about the struggles of inflation and a rough economy.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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