Nonprofit organizations are turning to technology to aid them in the reinvention and evaluation of fundraising programs; a growing trend according to a report of Top Technology Trends released last week by Blackbaud. The report will serve as a resource to nonprofit organizations that are planning on reinvigorating their fundraising plans in the coming year. Top Technology Trends was developed to offer insight on the impact of technology and how it relates to expanding networks and platforms; diversifying fundraising efforts; and enriching the composition and meaning of data.
Highlights from Blackbaud’s Top Technology Trends include:
- Technology is a crucial tool in delivering accurate, up-to-date information about prospects and donors in real-time across departments. Information consumers, both internal and external, will come to expect access to data in line with progressive forums, such as mobile, cloud-based tools. Nonprofits should expect mobile-powered major giving applications that provide constituent data on the go to become widely used in the coming years.
- The web continues to grow as a primary channel for messaging and communicating an organization’s mission. Based on an audience and its needs, nonprofit websites will increasingly offer virtual opportunities for education, conversations, community, and stewardship, tailored to the user’s level of engagement with the organization.
- The best fundraisers are those who ask their personal network for support. No one can promote an organization better than those who already believe in the mission and have a built-in network of high-propensity prospects. Tools to localize and personalize fundraising through independent fundraising events and other network-based fundraising tools – while retaining efficiencies and economies of scale associated with centralized systems – will be key.
- Social remains an evolving medium and is best deployed as part of a comprehensive, mission-based strategy, although many organizations have found new constituencies who respond to this channel exclusively. Social networks provide the ability to communicate a mission and message to a large group, serving as a supplementary or primary acquisition channel. Nonprofits can deliver updates and announcements while leveraging a network of supporters for a tangible return on investment.
“Determining where technology can best complement an organization’s mission, also helps to establish the best use of resources; from staff, funding, board, donor, and otherwise,” said Bo Crader, principal consultant at Blackbaud and co-author of Top Technology Trends. “With the proliferation and divergence of technology readily available in the past few years, it is even more important for organizations to be fluent with trends in the market and their potential fit within their organization and strategies.”