Marketing Predictions 2010

With 2009 happily over, we can now focus on a new decade – hopefully one that brings us healthily back from the brink of economic implosion fueled by greed, avarice and very poor judgment. So with a modestly optimistic eye gazing out at the year ahead, here are my marketing predictions for 2010.

We will see more nonprofits leveraging social media to capture more donors and their (at least initial) smaller gifts. Smart nonprofits will recognize that social media is not a solution for the stagnant or slipping major gifts category but that it should grow alongside and with traditional fundraising aimed at donors with greater capacity. The old adage to plant a lot of seeds makes good sense in this still-difficult fundraising climate. You never know which little shoot will grow into a big, sturdy oak.

We will see greater collaboration based out of economic need and good sense. Social entrepreneurs will hook up with existing nonprofits, with legacy organizations and with each other to get their exciting new ideas off the ground. Collaborations will also become popular within the more traditional nonprofit arena as continued belt-tightening will force organizations to rethink how to accomplish their goals. Marketing collaborative efforts will help communicate value, effectiveness and efficiency to organizations’ supporters, therefore enhancing both their bottom lines and their reputations through good business practice.

We will see more nonprofits turning to their volunteers to help make up for diminished staff ranks. This is one of those making lemonade out of lemons effects as organizations will finally figure out how to use volunteers in smart, effective and meaningful ways.

We will see a return to basics even as we will see organizations trying out all the newest technology applications. People will become more comfortable with the technology and increasingly understand it is neither a foreign invader nor a miracle cure-rather just a smart set of tools for getting the basics done: engagement, conversation, collaboration, knowledge-sharing and oh yes, fundraising.

We will see nonprofits slowly reinvesting in their core operations. Whether it will be in adding much needed new technology, staff in key areas, or undertaking new initiatives and programs, by Q4 of 2010 nonprofits will emerge from their underground tunnels and realize it is safe to emerge and actually necessary to do so if they are to survive.

We will see greater frugality, more creativity and a new satisfaction in getting good work done with less. Just as consumers are discovering that more stuff does not necessarily make you feel better, nonprofits are learning that lots of good can be done with less.

What do you predict?