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Top 5 trends for nonprofits in 2022

October 07, 2021
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As we enter the tail end of yet another strange year, there’s been loads to learn from how nonprofits are levelling up their impact by powering their organization's purpose. New ways of building your organization’s resilience to pivot, collaborating together, focusing on the constituent experience, making data-informed decisions, and an opportunity to reset are exciting for the industry. With this years’ reimagined Dreamforce conference wrapped—which was held primarily virtual—our team of nonprofit experts are here to share their top five trends for nonprofits in 2022.

There really was something for everyone at this years’ Dreamforce, and Salesforce made some big announcements for nonprofits. From new features and offerings in Einstein, Elevate, Experience Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and of course, Slack, each tool is getting a nonprofit-focused boost to enable your organization to sustain your mission and to scale your operations to make an even greater impact. Here are the five trends we’re seeing and how the announcements at Dreamforce will have you jumping up and down for what’s to come.

1) Year of the pivot

We’ve all been faced with the impacts of the pandemic and nonprofits are no exception. There’s a decline in volunteerism, in part, this is due to the pandemic. Our Principal Strategist, Emily Eakin says, this could be in part because of the economic instability many families have faced. On the other hand, we’re seeing that online giving is up—proof of the resilience of nonprofits and their ability to pivot to things like fundraising remotely. As nonprofits continue to navigate the COVID pandemic and the aftermath, organizations will need to ensure they are resilient enough to pivot and address the opportunity for change. How? Well, having a reliable tech backbone that can pivot and scale with your organization is crucial in today’s world. With a CRM at the foundation of your organization, you’ll be able to evolve how you’re supporting your constituents—across fundraising, marketing, and mission.

2) New ways to come together

Where and how we work is evolving as we speak. It will improve the way we collaborate and bring people together inside the organization, as well as providing programs and services for constituents, and fundraising remotely. As nonprofits are figuring out how to best collaborate and communicate seamlessly, topping the list of announcements at Dreamforce was a deeper dive into Slack for nonprofits.


Slack is opening the door for nonprofits to find success, truly embracing “work from anywhere, collaborate from everywhere”. With the ability to consolidate information from multiple sources and collaborate with internal and external users, Slack has become a new digital headquarter for your organization. The addition of new Slack apps, such as Case Management, will now enable users to collaborate and manage their data—all in one place. We also have to mention the impressive demo showcasing the ability for screen flows right in Slack, watch for yourself in the Dreamforce session, Nonprofit Cloud: Deliver Unique Experiences To Drive Impact.

On-demand session

Learn more about the top Dreamforce ‘21 announcements for nonprofits—distilled for you all in one place.

3) Constituent centricity

This idea isn’t new but remains the north star when it comes to operating a successful nonprofit. We heard a lot about how relationship-based fundraising and engagement enables nonprofits to double down on high-touch fundraising, like major gifts and vehicles of giving (i.e. cryptocurrency, donor advised fund) to improve retention rates.

Additionally, we’re starting to see new features in Marketing Cloud to further unify and improve the constituent experience. For example, Marketing Cloud is getting a new tool, Einstein Designer (coming in 2022), which is a more efficient and effective way to create content. All you have to do is add your call to action, image, and copy, then by leveraging Einstein, Marketing Cloud will create the most engaging content for your constituents delivering a more valuable communication. Interaction Studio also introduces new connections across the platform including Dataroma, Marketing Cloud, and CDP. By leveraging the data from these tools, ensures a single 360-degree view of your customer and will deliver a consistent experience for your constituents across the platform.

Check out our customer story where Leukemia & Lymphoma Society leveraged Marketing Cloud to increase fundraising efforts by 52%.


4) Data-informed decisions

There’s an increased need to focus on data-informed decisions, especially with the move to more flexible work, and allowing the workforce to expand beyond its city limits. The best way to achieve trust in and out of an organization is through a level of transparency of what your organization does. Enter data-informed decisions.

Salesforce just announced a new partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), giving organizations the ability to manage their data with the support of data warehouses and lakes. Prior to this partnership, you’d need to find data storage solutions outside of your CRM. But now, leveraging Amazon S3 (also known as Amazon Simple Storage Services) to create a repository of data for its customers and the ability to integrate this with your CRM, with something like Salesforce Private Connect, is a game-changing experience for the nonprofit industry. This means you won’t have to hire a custom developer or an integration architect to customize your external data storage solution, your admins will be able to do this all from their Salesforce instance.

Add better analytics and dashboards using your stored data, and the saying ‘work smarter, not harder’ becomes within reach with Tableau launching their suite of dashboard starters—did we mention they’re specific to nonprofits? It doesn’t end there, with the expansion of fundraising solutions like Elevate—sprinkle in the AI magic of Einstein—Salesforce is levelling up an organization's ability to understand the likelihood of a donor to become or give as a recurring donor. Also, imagine being able to leverage Experience Cloud to show your donors their impact and contribution to your organization over time.

Download our guide

We’ve got you covered with a field guide to Slack, Salesforce, and nonprofits so you can get started with Slack.


5) Opportunity for reset

With new ways to build infrastructure to support an ever-changing landscape, this is your organization’s opportunity to reset and reimagine your digital strategy. Whether it’s retaining, attracting, and developing great talent aligned with your organization’s values or establishing new relationships and reaching new audiences we couldn’t physically reach before through fundraising or services, leaders need to look for a strategy rooted in agility, innovation, and resilience—enter the future fit strategy.

Even the most robust technology strategies have been challenged by rapid digital migration, heightened constituent expectations, and shifting industry dynamics. Organizations will need to design a roadmap that’s integrated with their constituent-centric strategy in order to meet future constituent needs. By doing so, it’ll increase time-to-value and ROI.

Looking forward to the year ahead

With all the exciting announcements from Dreamforce ‘21, it’s clear there’s a lot of opportunities for nonprofits to utilize tools that will unify the constituent experience, create more resilient organizations through scalable systems, find new connected ways of working together, and empower people to use data to make informed decisions. In doing so, organizations will be able to reach new communities with diversity and inclusions being a primary focus. This is what’s going to move the nonprofit industry forward and makes for exciting opportunities to come. We’re looking forward to the year ahead for the industry and can’t wait to uncover new ways to power your organization’s mission.

Make an impact and power your organization’s purpose

For more on the latest Dreamforce announcements for nonprofits, watch our Dreamforce Distilled session, Top Dreamforce ‘21 announcement for nonprofits, for a deeper dive into everything announced.

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