Just as for-profit companies research and study current business methodology to determine new ways to increase profits and decrease costs, nonprofits study trends in fundraising to learn what earns more money for their organization while lowering overhead and retaining both donor and volunteer databases. Today’s nonprofits pursue trends beyond new charity event ideas, selling tickets and donor management by phone calls and postal service-delivered letters.
Learning new lessons: ten trends testing nonprofits
Identity theft is rising with no sign of a reversal: nearly 30% of Americans fall victim to a data breach annually. Collecting data on your donors, staff and volunteers is a dual affair: knowing what to ask and what to avoid, and how to keep the data safe. It’s not just donor-tracking hardware and software; it’s about secure cloud storage and clearly written policies.
Donor advised funds
Regardless of the size of the check, donors want a say in spending the money. Donor advised funds provide a hands-on opportunity for their involvement and direction during their lifetime and beyond. Nonprofits need education on how DAFs work to ensure donors understand the tax and personal implications of these donations.
Workplace and event security
Shootings and general violence give pause to many causes’ decisions to plan major functions. How quickly your organization responds to natural and man-made disasters provides clients, staff and donors a sense of peace and stability, ensuring your continued function during any emergency.
Crowdfunding and peer to peer fundraising
The opportunity to leverage friends, family and others in one’s social network, along with funding smaller or specialized projects through many donations, represent the new fund raise age. Peer to peer invites those closest to celebrate and contribute to a cause close to a donor’s heart. Crowdfunding takes an unknown cause forward and draws the interest of many by asking for a little from all.
Proactive produces results: active leadership
No nonprofit sits back, satisfied with their platform and waits for donors to arrive, thinking, “What we do is SO important, if we keep doing it, they will come.” Donors look beyond glamorous charity events for organizations willing to reach out and present their mission to prospective donors and ask for funding, rather than wait for the checks’ arrival.
The pairing of nonprofit and corporate partner benefits both sides: the corporation’s role as socially responsible organization increases its standing in the business world and provides employees with the means to consistently give back, while the nonprofit benefits from the corporation’s business connections and experience and gains a source of steady funding income.
Cultural/gender respect, diversity and sexual harassment
The #MeToo Movement’s light shines on all aspects of workplace identity. Donors expect sexual and cultural diversity in the nonprofit workplace and its board of directors, so it reflects the population served. And behavioral expectations regarding sexual or other types of harassment translate to precisely written and followed policies and regular training sessions.
Changes in charitable giving
Younger, mobile donors pushed paper checks and cash aside and favor using fundraising databases and specialty donation days, such as #Giving Tuesday. Recent changes in the federal tax structure decrease the incentive for most donors. Your organization’s ability to keep up with tax laws and the tech-savvy donors’ need for ease and speed determines your donation bottom line and donor retention rate.
The constant state of budget cutting, whether a result of less state and federal funding or a greater client need, is a perpetual balancing act between having exactly what’s needed and avoiding the appearance of overspending. Less money from government sources plus more clients plus an increasing need equals a need for innovative grant researchers and writers, donor management and year-round fundraising options.
Process Donation’s software platform is the nonprofit’s top technology partner. Our donor tracking software is more than names and numbers; you create a path to fundraising success with unique branding and marketing tools, simple donation interface, fast event ticketing, registration and volunteer management and secure financial record creation, retention and download capability. Contact us for more information, a free demonstration and view the newest nonprofit trend.