Message to Nonprofits: Change with Younger Members and Investors and Increase Value

July 24, 2010 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Nonprofits that change with their younger donor pools and those that prove their value to constituents will be the big winners in the years to come, according to a list of the Top 10 future nonprofit trends released today by Blackbaud. The list from Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB), the leading global provider of software and related services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations, also indicates that nonprofits will be placing renewed emphasis on constituent stewardship and will continue to see growth in peer-to-peer fundraising, powered by technology and social media.

The list was released this morning during the start of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) conference in Baltimore, MD, for which Blackbaud is the full conference sponsor. AFP is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the list was created to explore emerging trends that will affect the next 50 years. The trends list combined input from Blackbaud management, nonprofit customers, partners and industry leaders who work directly with nonprofits.

“The big priority for most nonprofits going forward will be to capture the interest of the younger donor—Millennials and Generation Thumb,” said Marc Chardon, Blackbaud’s chief executive officer. “As their traditional donor pools age, nonprofits need to adapt to engage a new, younger generation of supporters. Nonprofits must become more tech-savvy, more sophisticated and more flexible in finding ways to make giving more relevant and personal to a new generation.”

“It is clear that nonprofits will become more donor centric and will put expanded emphasis on collaborating with constituents as partners in the years to come,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals. “This shift will be critical to the success of nonprofits in an ever-changing world.”

Blackbaud’s Top 10 Predicted Nonprofit Trends include:

  1. Donor pools will continue to change. Constituents once comprised mostly of Baby Boomers are now becoming Millennials and Generation Thumb, and their interests are vastly different than their predecessors. They are more tech-savvy and interested in change for the world, not just in giving a quick donation to a cause. Nonprofits need to change their ways as  traditional giving techniques won’t be as effective. They have to look at donors as partners and speak their language (leveraging social media and the latest cutting-edge technologies).
  2. Proving value will become more important. As world dialog shifts to social change from traditional philanthropy, nonprofits will have to prove their value to show they are making a difference. Radical transparency to very clearly show where funds are going will be critical.
  3. Fundraisers will acquire new skills and an entrepreneurial spirit to be successful. Nonprofits will need to master all existing fundraising best practices and adopt new ones as they evolve. The best, most successful ones will become experts on the latest fundraising techniques, such as location-based initiatives and crowdsourcing.
  4. Social media will play an even more important role in engagement. Mobile devices, the Internet and social networks provide platforms for fundraisers to quickly organize a community of interest around a cause. Over the past few years, social networks have taken off; they’re now becoming location-based, and in the future there will be other added capabilities that will make them even more useful.
  5. Peer-to-peer fundraising will continue to grow. Because of the ubiquity of mobile devices and our growing social networks, supporters will reach out to their friends and family more than ever to raise funds on behalf of nonprofits. This may ultimately become the most popular fundraising initiative in the years to  come.
  6. Donor stewardship will become even more important than it is now. As the world economy continues to struggle, it will become more difficult to secure donations, so keeping active donors informed and happy becomes a greater priority. In order to be effective stewards, nonprofits will have to change along with the technology and  generations to stay part of the conversation and remain relevant.
  7. Increased government regulations will have a greater impact on the industry. The trend seems to be heading towards more taxes for nonprofits as various levels of government look for new revenue streams. Nonprofits need to be fully aware of possible changes in legislation and work to make their voice heard.
  8. Nonprofits will move from a broad donor management system to a single supporter database. This shift will facilitate a life-long supporter journey relationship and requires accurate data that is easily accessible. This will lead to improved integrated  online/offline marketing that produces more, larger gifts and more effective events.
  9. Relationships will still rule. Despite all the excitement over new technologies and networking applications, nonprofits should not forget the importance of personal relationships with their donors. This will be the one thing that will remain a critical fundraising element in years to come. In fact, because of the increasing ways people  will be able to “virtually” interact, having a good personal relationship may become a unique differentiator.
  10. Finding the right balance of online and offline presence will be critical in the coming years. Although offline donations still comprise the majority of overall giving, online donations are growing rapidly and nonprofits will need to effectively plan for that growth while maintaining their offline presence. They will have to become more tech savvy to stay current with the latest social media avenues and tune those efforts frequently to keep up with the pace and expectations of a new generation of donors.

    Source: Nonprofit Press Blog


Entry filed under: Chamber Consolidation, Chamber Merger, Economic Development Council and Chamber Merger, Nonprofit Funding, Nonprofit Mergers. Tags: , , .

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