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How big changes to iOS 17, Gmail and Meta fundraising affect nonprofits

Our goal is to gather up the latest news and updates in a monthly roundup to help nonprofit organizations navigate the complex digital marketing space. There’s often a lot to share, but this month, we just decided to take it up a notch.

In the sections below, you’ll see important info from all the tech industry’s heavy hitters: iOS 17, Google, Amazon, ChatGPT, Microsoft, TikTok and more.

Move to PayPal Giving Fund as Facebook Fundraiser payments provider

With such rapid change, it can be tough to keep up. It can also be challenging to separate fact from fiction and rumor. But, hey, that’s why we’re here.

We’ll start with the update that most directly affects fundraising, and that’s this message that you may have seen on your Facebook account:

“Due to upcoming changes to Meta's fundraising tools, there are actions you must take by October 31, 2023, at 5 p.m. PT to avoid disruptions to your fundraising tools.

We are partnering with PayPal Giving Fund (PPGF) to support donations benefiting nonprofits in the United States and will no longer support directly onboarded nonprofits through Meta Payments Inc. (Meta Payments), starting October 31, 2023. Separately, Meta will no longer be covering processing fees on donations.

We want to ensure you have the information you need to manage through this change and would like to thank you for choosing to partner with Facebook and Instagram to raise money to support your nonprofit. To avoid losing access to some fundraising tools, you must take the required action to review and accept our updated Charitable Donation Terms and switch to PPGF before the October 31, 2023 (5 p.m. PT) deadline.”

Some key takeaways from this change:

  • Meta Payments and Network for Good will no longer process new donations to nonprofits. Instead, PPGF will receive donations and grant funds to nonprofits.
  • Nonprofits who miss the deadline will lose access to some fundraising tools until they complete the required actions.
  • PPGF will provide donors with the official donation receipt that can be used for tax purposes. Meta will only provide a confirmation for donations.
  • After 5 p.m. PT on Oct. 31, Meta will no longer cover third-party payment processing fees for donations. All donations will be subject to a payment processing fee charged by the third-party payment processor.

If your organization uses Meta’s fundraising tools, be sure to make this change ASAP.

However, it is important to note that this will not have an impact on standard paid social campaigns. Donations made via Facebook will still be driven to the organization’s donation form/website. This is just for Meta Fundraisers.

UTM tracking under iOS 17’s privacy parameters

We’ve shared previously in this space that Apple’s iOS 17 is more restrictive than we initially thought in how it makes tracking more difficult for marketers. However, there are some rumors spreading around that UTM tracking tags will no longer work in iOS 17.

This is false.

Apple’s new operating system strips out personal identifiers and “fingerprinting” in URLs. It does not remove UTM parameters for source, medium, etc.

These privacy changes mean that tracking performance in platforms like Mailchimp and HubSpot could be more difficult, but most nonprofit organizations are not using tracking tools that get down to a 1:1 level anyway.

The clear takeaway here is that the days of perfect attribution in digital channels are a thing of the past. We need to accept that this is the new reality, and it puts digital marketing more on par with other marketing channels, like direct mail or television.

Gmail changes will affect email marketing

In 2022, 48.6% of all emails sent were spam, according to Kaspersky Anti-Virus. Let that sink in for a moment—that’s a lot.

In an effort to cut down on these spam messages, Google will soon require some changes for email marketers, starting in February 2024. Here is a quick look at what’s new:

  • Emailers who send more than 5,000 messages per day to Gmail users must offer a one-click unsubscribe button in their messages.
  • Organizations will need to authenticate their email address, configuring their systems so they prove they own their domain name and aren’t spoofing IP addresses.
  • Google may not deliver messages from senders whose emails are frequently marked as spam and fall within a “clear spam rate threshold” of 0.3% of messages sent.

That means nonprofits need to do two things:

  • Check that your email platform requires email authentication (many, but not all, do)
  • Update your DNS settings to ensure you have the authentication set up correctly

Google says it has signed up Yahoo to make the same changes, and they’ll come into effect in just over three months.

ChatGPT leaps forward with new capabilities

We couldn’t have a digital update without a mention of AI, right?

This is a pretty big one. OpenAI announced that ChatGPT will expand beyond text conversations to include new voice and image features. Soon you will be able to engage in an actual conversation with ChatGPT and send it photos to analyze.

As Search Engine Journal points out, you could take pictures of your refrigerator’s contents and discuss meal ideas or request a step-by-step recipe from ChatGPT. Or you could take a picture of a landmark and ask questions about it in real-time.

This goes beyond what Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa can do as a voice assistant, and it truly enhances the communication capabilities of the AI “chat.” These updates will roll out to Plus and Enterprise users in the coming weeks.

But competing tech companies aren’t resting and letting OpenAI lead the way. Here are a few more AI updates that will likely impact your digital marketing:

Like we said, that’s a lot of news. It seems the only constant when it comes to digital marketing is change.

RKD Group

RKD Group is North America's leading fundraising and marketing services provider to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including hospitals, social service, disease research, animal welfare, rescue missions, and faith-based charities. RKD Group’s omnichannel approach leverages technology, advanced data science and award-winning strategic and creative leadership to accelerate net revenue growth, build long-term donor relationships and drive online and offline engagements and donations. With a growing team of professionals, RKD Group creates breakthroughs never thought possible.

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