Nonprofits across Europe faced continued crisis conditions in 2022 with the economic downturn increasing the need for their services and further stretching resources, according to the 2022 Nonprofit Pulse report from the European Fundraising Association (EFA) and Salesforce.org.
Raising sufficient funds was a major challenge for 47% of the survey’s respondents, with a third seeing individual giving decrease across the year and 22% having to tap into their reserves.
The report 2022 Nonprofit Pulse – Tracking Change in Europe, now in its third year, presents findings from a survey of 658 representatives of nonprofit organisations from 30 nations across Europe. The largest number of respondents were based in the UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and France with the report’s national comparisons made across those markets.
Response to challenges
It shows that for nonprofit organisations across Europe, the financial crisis has impacted their approach to service delivery and fundraising with 37% seeing increased need for their services last year at the same time as donations decreased. However, in response only 10% said they were cutting back on services, while 1 in 7 (15%) said they were increasing their service delivery to meet the needs of their service users.
In addition:Just over a third (35%) said they were focusing on supporter retention. 38% continued to grow their use of digital. 31% diversified channels. 31% said creating engaging communications that inspire regular giving and long-term supporter loyalty was a focus. Almost a quarter of respondents (24%) also said their organisations intend to invest more in fundraising, marketing and communications in 2023. Nonprofits are also looking to the future to build security and resilience, with 17% increasing their focus on legacy fundraising.
Charlotte Rydh, president of the European Fundraising Association (EFA) and secretary general of Giva Sverige in Sweden, said:
“2022 was yet another incredibly tough year for the sector, and this survey indicates that the majority of nonprofits have had to adjust their approach and find new methods of raising urgent funds to support the services that are so necessary and now so urgently needed.
“Once again, even in the face of challenges, this means nonprofits are working hard to innovate, find new ways to fundraise, improve supporter engagement, support their workforces and deliver frontline services.”
Digital delivery & engagement
In terms of digital delivery and engagement, the most noticeable areas of growth in 2022 were events and social media.
Nearly half of respondents (46%) operated a hybrid model for events in 2022. 19% said online events attract more people, with 14% saying they raise more money. A quarter said that social media was more successful than the previous year for acquiring supporters.
However, a third of respondents said they need more training to make full use of digital delivery, and 5% said their beneficiaries want digital communications but the organisation is not equipped to provide this.
Mike Wolff, Chief Revenue Officer – Salesforce.org commented:
“This past year, the global nonprofit community has continued to face an unprecedented set of complex, and compounding, challenges. We are proud to be providing this global community of changemakers the technology they need to rise to these challenges, so they can continue to drive tangible social impact.”
The study also found nonprofits are facing challenges in the workplace. 48% of respondents said managing workload was their biggest issue, followed by supporting staff and their wellbeing (31%). 28% struggled to recruit for fundraising positions in 2022 and staff retention was problematic for a quarter (26%).
However, recognising the challenges of their employees, 2 in 5 respondents said their organisation has increased focus and investment on staff wellbeing, and 12% said they were looking to recruit more fundraising staff.