70 Nonprofit Trends for 2015
Richard Perry, founding partner, and Jeff Schreifels, senior partner, Veritus Group
1. Nonprofit leaders and donors valuing impact and outcomes of nonprofit programs vs. how much they spend on overhead. This trend is professionalizing nonprofit personnel and infrastructure and moving organizations to operate more effectively, efficiently and professionally. There will be more emphasis and resources allocated toward reporting back on impact from nonprofits.
2. A move from power and control on the part of leaders and managers to participative involvement by all: donors, staff, board, etc.
3. An increase in ethical behavior, truth-telling, transparency and openness as donors continue to demand it and general and social media expose its lack.
Allison Porter, president, Avalon Consulting Group
4. The overhead myth is holding less sway, but we aren’t there yet. We are chipping away at the assumption that nonprofits should do the best they can on shoestring budgets and replacing it with the more nuanced mind-set that nonprofits should invest responsibly in strategic opportunities for impact and growth. 2014 brought more visibility to this issue, including some inspiring industry conversations around charity evaluators, strategic overhead ratios and donor perceptions. I’m determined to continue advancing this conversation in 2015, and I hope to see proactive effort on the part of the whole fundraising community — to bring this issue to the press in a positive way, to get clear on organizational messaging and to advocate tirelessly on behalf of the strategies that will best advance your missions.
Sarah Durham, president, Big Duck
5. Over the past few years, nonprofits are increasingly looking inward at their operations, technology, infrastructure and staff capacity. Creating mission-centric programs is still central, but as the sector matures, more and more leaders understand that it takes more than just great programs to advance a mission, especially in tougher fundraising climates. I see this playing out largely in two areas.