6 Exceptional Nonprofit Trends for 2024

For more of what’s happening in the nonprofit sector, take a look at these 40 trends our experts have predicted for 2024.

With donor decline front and center in the sector, nonprofits are eager to discover new and innovative ways to acquire and retain donors. In addition, many organizations are also struggling with employee retention, constantly having to do more with less and even considering how artificial intelligence could help the organization better fulfill its mission. These reasons and more are precisely why NonProfit PRO compiles an annual guide to the most pressing trends across the nonprofit sector.

For the first time, we opened up our annual list of 40 trends for nonprofits to our audience. Instead of a handful of thought leaders providing their predictions for the year ahead, we welcomed 30 nonprofit professionals to share what they expect to happen in the nonprofit sector. NonProfit PRO asked for their takes across seven areas, including big ideas; fundraising; donor engagement and behavior; technology; donor data and analytics; leadership and board strategy; and mission awareness and impact.

Get a preview of our “40 Nonprofit Trends for 2024” with these six selections.

1. The Next Generation of Wealthy Donors

Matt Nash

“Since giving is consolidating with wealthier donors, nonprofits will continue to prioritize large gifts. However, nonprofits may face backlash as wealthier donors begin to shield themselves from these fundraising efforts.

“Innovative fundraisers will seek to increase their donor base, preparing for the next generation of wealthier donors. Some will look to the workplace, where companies are encouraging employee engagement through charitable donations. This younger donor base has the potential to become long-term supporters and is a key audience to consider in ongoing fundraising strategies.”

— Matt Nash, executive director at The Blackbaud Giving Fund 

2. Diverse and Open-Minded Board

Christal M. Cherry

“Nonprofits will need to recruit savvy and diverse board members who not only understand their mission and commitment to serving as a thought leader, but also the need to embrace emerging trends, like automation, artificial intelligence and data analytics. Nonprofits that embrace these enhancements will see success in remote work for staff, impactful fundraising, donor management, digital marketing, inclusive communications and financial solvency. This is part of the board’s role to shape direction, strategy and oversight to ensure their nonprofits are adaptable and resilient in a fast-changing landscape.”

— Christal M. Cherry, principal and CEO at The Board Pro

3. Predictive Analytics to Determine Behaviors

Jorge Perez

“In the future, nonprofits will increasingly turn to predictive analytics as a vital tool to forecast donor behavior and discern distinct giving patterns. This strategic approach will become integral in crafting more targeted and effective fundraising campaigns. By harnessing the power of predictive analytics, nonprofits will not only refine their fundraising strategies but also discover and tap into new donor segments.”

— Jorge Perez, president and CEO at YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

4. The Political Effect

William Miller

“As we enter a presidential election year, competition for the charitable dollar will certainly increase and become even fiercer than it already is. In addition to the hundreds of billions of dollars that will be given to worthy nonprofit organizations in 2024, presidential candidates in the United States will also be actively fundraising.

“While some in the nonprofit sector might find this extra competition to be discouraging, 2024 can be a great year to invest in prospect research and qualification. The principles and dynamics involved in both nonprofit and political fundraising are similar, and so is donor intent.

“Charitable donors want to see improved programs, literacy rates, health, housing and so on. Political donors want to see inspiring leaders elected who will put new policies into place. However, the desire to make a difference by creating a better society or a stronger community is at the core of both political and philanthropic fundraising.”

— William Miller, CEO at Kean University Foundation

5. Community-Building Through Events

Allison Holton

“Post-pandemic, events are back — but with greater intentionality. People really missed being in community with others during the pandemic and are eager to rebuild those connections, but are seeking ways to do so that are meaningful, authentic and accommodating to their lifestyle. Organizations will need to ensure the value of events for audiences to come back. If we can do it right, we’ll meet a need that will build stronger relationships with audiences and lead to greater advocacy and investment long-term.”

— Allison Holton, chief development officer at Making Waves Education Foundation

6. AI for Services

Jared Chung

“AI will enhance nonprofit referrals, steering more beneficiaries to vital services. For decades, the nonprofit sector has grappled with a daunting puzzle: seamlessly connecting beneficiaries to a sprawling, multifaceted network of services. More often than not, this meant case workers trying to recall available services and sifting through hefty binders. Because finding external resources felt like navigating a maze, many organizations tried to be a one-stop shop for all needs.

“In 2024, I predict a significant shift driven by AI. AI is poised to revolutionize this process, precisely identifying services and fostering better connections. Imagine a mentoring program effortlessly connecting their mentees to vital resources, like college access support, housing or mental health services. As this transformation progresses, I also foresee increased investments in the nonprofit and social sector ecosystems.”

— Jared Chung, founder and executive director at CareerVillage

To read the remaining trends from our nonprofit experts, download NonProfit PRO’s free resource, “40 Nonprofit Trends for 2024.”

If you didn’t catch previous years’ resources, you can still download “40 Nonprofit Trends for 2023,” as well as “40 Nonprofit Trends for 2022.”