The Big Technology Trends for Nonprofits in 2014
Technology is changing the world around us — sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in very dramatic ways. Consumer behavior is changing, companies are figuring out how to best use the latest technology to sell products and services and improve brand loyalty — even the government is getting in on the act.
It’s no different for nonprofits. Technology is causing an ongoing transformation in the nonprofit sector from the way supporters engage their favorite nonprofits to the way nonprofit organizations fundraise, market and manage information. This will only continue to evolve in 2014. Think back even five years ago, 10 years ago — how different is the nonprofit landscape now compared to then? It’s pretty dramatic.
In 2014, tremendous opportunities exist for nonprofit organizations to use technology to deliver on their missions in very effective and scalable ways. Here are the technology trends that will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector this year.
Sixty-one percent of the U.S. population owns a smartphone. Ninety-one percent own some kind of cellular phone. Mobile devices will only continue to become more and more pervasive. There is no escaping the fact that mobile is mainstream. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the platform of choice for computing and collaboration versus sitting behind a desk. Mobile will change how nonprofits conduct business — both with supporters and with staff — by enabling greater flexibility in terms of engagement and interaction with software, data and each other.
Data is the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. Keeping data fresh and clean is of critical importance. Nonprofits will use data to understand what communication channels are most effective, how to better fundraise (who to ask for how much), how to effectively facilitate events or peer-to-peer fundraise, how to increase recurring giving, etc. Understanding where other nonprofits are successful, how individuals respond to different communication (marketing) channels, and a supporter’s overall propensity and ability to give will be integrated into software to make it “smarter,” which will ultimately enable nonprofits to be much more successful.