In the past, technology didn’t have much of an impact on nonprofit trends. This was mainly because nonprofits and religious organizations tend to cut back on overhead. This led to these organization falling behind technology-wise and missing out on many beneficial updates.
Luckily, that tendency has changed and technology is now the leading determiner of most nonprofit trends. Many credit this change in nonprofit’s attitude toward technology—from tech-deficient to tech-leaders—with the fundraising highs set in recent years. In 2016, charitable donations reached $390 billion, and projections for 2018 look even better, with an estimated increase of 3.8 percent.
How does this affect your nonprofit or religious organization? Budget constraints force you to make strategic choices when it comes to tech upgrades. Do you invest in app development, or a better web design or content management system? Are there ways to improve your donor database or better manage member relationships?
To help with these decisions, we’ve collected the latest tech trends we suggest you consider.
Trust in cherished institutions has diminished, and that includes trust in charities and religious organizations. A majority of donors (81 percent) said they were concerned about the lack of transparency in organizations they supported. They donate their money, time, and other resources, but want to see whether their sacrifice has made any kind of impact.
This is where the boom in engagement channels can help you. Nonprofits now have a wealth of communications platforms they can use to publish their stories. The preferred venue for most nonprofits is their website (80 percent), but other favorite platforms include social media (71 percent), and email campaigns (67 percent). Don’t simply use these platforms as a way to solicit donations. By using them to tell stories, your organization can build credibility and showcase the tremendous impact donations have had on the cause.
Everything’s mobile, including fundraising. Mobile giving has increased 80 percent since 2013. As more people become more comfortable making monetary transactions over the phone, that trend is only expected to spread. That’s why you want to get ahead of the curve.
The key way to leverage mobility is by making sure the donation page on your website is mobile-friendly. If a page looks like a mess on a smaller phone screen, your credibility and professionalism will take a critical hit. But don’t stop with your donation page. You should also test the rest of your website, your social media pages, and any emails or newsletters you send out. Make mobility an advantage, not a reason for donors to dismiss your fundraising efforts.
Collecting data isn’t a new practice for nonprofits. The trouble is, what to do with the data once you have it? Naturally, that depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your data. Are you trying to predict potential donors? Or attract first-time donors? Retain current donors? Or produce content for them? Having a goal will help you narrow down the data fields you’re looking at. A target can also help you better personalize your outreach efforts.
With all the data you’re gathering, you also make yourself a target. Identity thieves were busy in 2017, impacting the lives of 16 to 20 percent of Americans. And these thieves will see you as a rich source of possible data. That’s why cybersecurity should be more than a trend for your nonprofit. Make it a top priority to protect your donor’s sensitive data.
As you update your technology to keep up with nonprofit trends, don’t overlook the advantages of a modern phone system. The right system serves as more than merely a utility—it can also become an asset to your cause.
Download our guide designed to help organizations find the phone system that’s right for them.