70 Nonprofit Trends for 2015
3. Entrepreneurial modeling for nonprofits: Nonprofits that will be successful in the future will go beyond just raising dollars to sustain the mission and now will look at how to grow the organization. Organizations will look at new and creative ways to generate revenue, from renting out space in their own buildings to selling products related to the mission. This thinking was initiated during the economic downturn but will continue to gain steam and will require the ability to track and manage new revenue sources in 2015.
4. System integration: Increased integration between different systems — such as accounting and fundraising — will be essential to improve data quality and efficiency.
5. Affordable Care Act compliance: 2015 will be unique for organizations to ensure payroll and HR systems are aligned to accommodate changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act. This is particularly a factor for midsize and larger organizations.
Allison Porter, president, Avalon Consulting Group
1. Acquisition is back! In the wake of the Great Recession, many organizations are feeling the pinch because they made the difficult and risky decision to slash or eliminate acquisition investment. While we sympathize with the realities that led nonprofits to this decision, we must pause to acknowledge its effects and learn lessons for the future, namely: (1) Reinvest in acquisition now. File sizes are dwindling because the spigot was cut off several years ago. If not turned back on, this spells disaster for net revenue into the future. (2) We shouldn’t overcorrect with a clear-cutting mentality. We still have to do the hard work to invest in new donors who are a good fit, who will renew their support year after year for a strong lifetime value, and who will be loyal, engaged partners for your organization. (3) We need to overcommunicate the case for investment to nonprofits’ senior executives. If they internalize this strategic need, then, when the next budget crunch happens, our acquisition programs may not be so vulnerable.