First, I wanted to start off by saying it’s my deepest wish that everyone and their loved ones are doing well, and staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. Suffice it to say, our world is looking a lot differently these days. And the current economic and health crisis is impacting our lives more than we could ever have imagined. Each day, we read more and more devastating news of how much COVID-19 is affecting industries (and people) across the globe.
Nonprofit organizations aren’t excluded from the mix. If anything, nonprofits need support more than ever — especially those that work on the front lines. But just because your nonprofit might not support those on the front lines directly, it doesn’t mean your mission and cause is any less important. This pandemic has caused businesses and organizations all over the world to move toward digital platforms in order to keep doors open and maintain some kind of revenue stream coming in. But even that isn’t saving organizations, as revenue continues to plummet for many organizations.
The government offered a stimulus package that offered $350 million in small business loans that quickly became depleted, leaving many organizations empty-handed while big corporations, like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, were approved for multi-million dollar loans. (Some of those corporations allegedly repaid those loans, though.) And there was another round of funding for small businesses, organizations and hospitals ($484 billion). All of this to say — we are all being impacted by the current situation. Right now, the only way to continue operations is through technology — it’s how organizations are communicating with supporters and it’s how nonprofits are keeping their doors open.
Over the past decade, our sector has slowly been adopting new kinds of technology into its practice, learning where and how it fits into our organizational structures. Many organizations are now forced to lean on it heavily to keep operations afloat. Organizations that already had a robust technology strategy in place before the pandemic had a much easier transition than those that didn’t.
And it’s showing us where the future is (and already has been) headed: toward technology. But investing in a variety of digital platforms is not going to save your organization from all of its problems — and that’s not what we’re advocating at all. If you’ve been a long time reader of NonProfit PRO, you know I rant and rave about technology.
We’re in a moment in time where technology is revolutionizing the way nonprofits operate, helping them become more effective and efficient in achieving their missions, and helping them sustain themselves over the long term. But technology can’t support that load alone; humans still want to interact with humans. While your supporters will welcome communications with your organization through digital platforms, they still want to feel like they are connecting with human beings. So as you are looking for which digital platforms to invest in and become more active in, remember that the rule of thumb isn’t to jump on the bandwagon for every platform; it’s knowing who your donors are, what they’re interested in and where they’re active in. As an example, if you’re looking to engage younger supporters, read our cover story on how the younger generations are transforming philanthropy.
Additionally, we’re hosting a virtual conference in December that brings together high-level nonprofit professionals to offer them an interactive learning experience about fundraising strategy and technology solutions. You can learn more about NonProfit POWER at power.nonprofitpro.com.