As nonprofit organizations face increasing demands to engage with more constituents, improve fundraising and strengthen their technology infrastructure, they need a strategic plan to address these challenges.
The nonprofit sector has been slow to adopt technology and make it a priority, but these emerging trends that can help nonprofits overcome their lack of technology adoption and take control of their digital future.
We’re taking a look at the new technologies that nonprofits are using to drive revenue, increase efficiency, and engage their audiences.
1. The nonprofit sector is moving from traditional IT to the cloud
The world of nonprofits has traditionally been one where technology adoption was slow. The main reason for this was that nonprofits had many unique challenges, including limited budgets and a lack of experience in digital marketing. That all changed when nonprofits started to realize the benefits of cloud-based solutions and tools.
The biggest benefit of cloud-based solutions and tools is that they help nonprofits to save money. With a lot of software and hardware expenses, organizations should consider using online services, and it's easy to find solutions with a low price tag. Google and Microsoft have lower nonprofit-based pricing plans, and if your nonprofit is small enough, you can use the services for free to a point.
As organizations move towards the cloud, it is essential to think about how to manage data in the cloud. These tools include cloud computing, cloud storage, mobile computing, virtualization, and analytics. As the adoption of cloud computing increases, it becomes increasingly important for nonprofits to understand and plan for what could happen if things go awry.
Make sure you're backing up your data and files regularly with tools like Backupify to ensure your cloud-based files stays protected.
2. The nonprofit sector is becoming more collaborative
In the nonprofit sector, the need for collaboration is on the rise. According to the annual survey from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), 62% of the organizations they surveyed used some type of collaborative tool in the previous year. Collaborative tools such as Slack, Basecamp, and Trello saw a boom in the wake of the pandemic, and still Microsoft 365 and Google docs continue to offer more collaborative controls for nonprofits with tight IT budgets.
3. The nonprofit sector is embracing new technologies for fundraising
With a total of over 2.5 million nonprofits in the United States, according to the Institute of Nonprofit Management, the sector has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. While there’s been no change in the average age of a nonprofit, the average amount of assets donated to nonprofit organizations by the public has risen, and the sector is seeing an increase in donations.
Tools like Donatly and Fundly help nonprofits digitize their fundraising and donation efforts overall, while Snowball enables text-to-give donations.
4. The nonprofit sector is increasingly using new tools for volunteer management
The nonprofit sector is increasingly using new tools for volunteer management. A recent study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that a whopping one-third of organizations use volunteer management technology to improve the process of managing volunteers and volunteers' data.
Civic Champs is being used to track manage and engage volunteers during fundraising events, and is ideal for checking in and communicating with new helpers. Volgistics manages volunteers by conducting background screening, group tracking, and document storage. So far they've served over 5,000 organizations and tracked over 6 million volunteers.
5. The nonprofit sector is embracing video
A survey by the NPO Times found that 72 percent of nonprofits are using or considering using videos for their websites and social media posts. The NPO Times report suggests that the number one reason for using or considering using video in these cases is because people “are drawn to the format,” and that they find it more relatable and engaging than written content.
It's no surprise that TikTok should show up in this list, alongside Instagram videos as the best ways to reach the widest audience with nonprofit messaging. As always, Zoom is available for nonprofits to record interviews or post their main message to their sites n a simple format.
In conclusion, these technology trends are here to stay. As the landscape continues to evolve, it’s critical to understand what the future holds for your nonprofit and how technology can assist in driving success. From using data to streamline processes, to improving outreach, there are a myriad of opportunities that nonprofits can take advantage of as they navigate these trends.
Remember: as your nonprofit grows, it's essential to protect those new assets you worked hard to build. Backup regularly and make sure you turn to experts in the emerging fields you venture into.
Don't have a Microsoft 365 or Google Apps backup for your cloud data today? Try a free demo.