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Top 5 nonprofit trends for 2022

January 03, 2022
woman learning on her tablet

The top nonprofit trends are here for 2022, and after another strange 12 months, we’re ready to look ahead and share the best ways to power your organization’s mission in the upcoming year. Unsurprisingly, much of the year’s forecast is centered around a digital-first approach.

It’s been nearly two years since every company and organization was forced to go digital. Many nonprofits have been collecting more data than ever, but is it being put to good use? With the right tools, nonprofits can lead with a data-driven strategy that seamlessly connects staff and volunteers, and engages donors.

In the upcoming year, we’ll continue to see nonprofits correct course in a still chaotic time, providing opportunities to rethink strategy with the data collected since transitioning to a digital-first environment. With Dreamforce behind us and the new year quickly approaching, our nonprofit experts are here to share the top five trends for nonprofits in 2022.

1) Nonprofits continue to adapt and shift strategies

Like all types of organizations, nonprofits continue to face the impacts and unpredictability of the pandemic. Over the past year we’ve seen volunteerism decline, but online giving trend upwards. reports that 89% of nonprofit marketers have already changed their digital engagement strategy in the past year–proof of nonprofits’ resilience and ability to pivot to digital-first options like fundraising remotely. These chaotic times mean organizations will need to continue adapting to suit changing behaviors and priorities in order to win the hearts and minds of constituents.

The best way to set your nonprofit up for success and remain agile? Reliable tech. Using a CRM as your organization’s foundation enables you to support constituents across fundraising, marketing, and mission.

2) Connection and collaboration from anywhere

Gathering has changed drastically and will continue to evolve, making remote connection a key trend for nonprofits to watch in 2022. Everything from internal collaboration to providing constituents with programs and services, to encouraging online giving has gone digital and it can be challenging to keep up while still having meaningful conversations.

That’s why one of the most exciting announcements at Dreamforce included a deeper dive into Slack for nonprofits. Slack is helping nonprofits find success with the “work from anywhere, collaborate from everywhere” approach. With the ability to consolidate information from multiple sources and collaborate with internal and external users, Slack has become a new digital headquarters. The addition of new Slack apps such as case management enables users to collaborate and manage their data—all in one place.
Another Dreamforce highlight was the impressive demo showcasing the ability for screen flows right in Slack. Watch for yourself in the session, Nonprofit Cloud: Deliver Unique Experiences To Drive Impact.

Nonprofit field guide

Learn how Slack can transform your internal communication, volunteer engagement, and grant management.

3) Constituent centricity through digital engagement

This idea isn’t new but remains a top priority for successful nonprofits in 2022. “We heard a lot about how relationship-based fundraising and engagement enables nonprofits to double down on high-touch fundraising,” says our nonprofit Principal Strategist, Emily Eakin. “This includes major gifts and vehicles of giving like cryptocurrency and donor-advised funds that can help improve retention rates.”

Relationship-based fundraising requires personalization, and customers are expecting more sophisticated digital experiences. found that 33.6% of constituents agree that the communications they received were personalized to them, and only 6.4% strongly agree. There’s clearly lots of room for improvement in this area, which is why we’re looking forward to new features that further unify and improve the constituent experience coming to Marketing Cloud in 2022.

Einstein Designer, a new Marketing Cloud tool, provides a more efficient and effective way to create content. Einstein allows you to create more engaging content for your constituents that deliver more valuable communication. All you have to do is add your call to action, image, and copy to the platform. Meanwhile, Interaction Studio also introduced new connections across the platform including Dataroma, Marketing Cloud, and Customer Data Platform (CDP). 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. You can learn more about how Interaction Studio drives constituent centricity in our recent blog.

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

4) Data-informed decisions

It’s important to earn the trust of your stakeholders. That means establishing transparency around the decisions your nonprofit makes and how funds are spent. The best way to demonstrate this is with data-informed decisions, making it one of our top trends for nonprofits to watch.

Salesforce recently 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. Now, leveraging Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Services), your nonprofit can create a repository of data that can integrate with your CRM. Used with Salesforce Private Connect, this is a game-changing experience for the nonprofit industry. You won’t have to hire a custom developer or an integration architect to customize your external data storage solution as your admins can do this all from their Salesforce instance.

This partnership allows nonprofits to add better analytics and dashboards using stored data. Tableau has also launched a suite of nonprofit-specific dashboard starters so your organization can work smarter, not harder. Additionally, with the expansion of fundraising solutions like Elevate—plus the AI magic of Einstein—Salesforce provides additional insight into the likelihood of a donor becoming a recurring donor. Experience Cloud can also assist in showing donors the impact and contribution they’ve made through your organization over time.

5) Invest in people

Whether it’s your staff, volunteers, or donors, investing time and resources into your stakeholders will be key for nonprofits in 2022. As we round out this year, we’re seeing a lot of talk around the Great Resignation and what organizations can do to attract and retain top talent. Nonprofits are uniquely positioned to turn this trend into the Great Attraction and capitalize on the large numbers of people looking for impactful roles, as making positive change is at the core of every nonprofit’s mission.

Nonprofits can utilize their digital platforms and rely on data to facilitate meaningful conversations with donors and volunteers to build relationships, and with staff to better understand what they need to be fulfilled and supported at work. Having easily accessible data through your CRM and supporting technology will allow nonprofits to become more strategic and agile, ultimately creating more opportunities to engage stakeholders at all levels of your nonprofit.

Furthering your mission through data

After two years of going digital, putting data to work should be every nonprofit’s new year’s resolution. Following the exciting announcements from Dreamforce ‘21, it’s clear that data-driven strategy is at the core of the top trends for nonprofits in 2022. Using data through foundational technology is the best way to not only connect with constituents but to stay agile in order to adapt and ensure that teams are working effectively to power your 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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