Earlier this month, Curt Swindoll had the opportunity to highlight four trends that are reshaping the nonprofit landscape with the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
In case you missed it, here is an overview of Curt’s predictions and insights:
Trend #1: Nonprofits will engage donors face-to-face at every giving level through advances in technology.
Over the next few years, Curt explained how nonprofits will increasingly leverage advances in technology to identify prospects for giving in advance of donors making mid-level and major gifts, and then use that data to drive face-to-face visits and upgrade solicitations. Granted, these interactions must be done differently than classic major gift development. But when re-engineered and leveraged through extensive databases of financial and non-financial data, both related and unrelated to the organization, face-to-face donor engagement becomes an affordable, rapid approach to effectively build relationships and fund program initiatives through donor giving at every level.
Trend #2: “Permanent” nonprofit organizations will increasingly be challenged by transitional organizations focused on solving problems and then disbanding.
As donors become increasingly motivated to see results, and labor is increasingly available for short-term service opportunities, Curt explained how we will increasingly see nonprofits formed for brief, three- to five-year stints. Foundations are beginning to move in this direction. Pressed to give above the 5 percent mandated by the IRS, “giving while you’re living” mandates inspired by Andrew Carnegie who believed “the man who dies wealthy, dies disgraced,” foundation leaders are beginning to think in terms of what they can accomplish today, not merely preservation of assets for tomorrow.
Trend #3: Big data will become ubiquitous, and easier to manage and understand.
Curt detailed how nonprofit executives will increasingly see well beyond their existing, internal database horizons into an infinitely expandable world of data assets that inform how they acquire, engage, cultivate and upgrade donor relationships. Stationary segments will give way to living, breathing micro segments, and with that change will come possibilities they never could have imagined.
Trend #4: Nonprofits will become proactive, rather than reactive, to opportunistic fundraising campaigns.
Curt highlighted several examples in which effective nonprofits will increasingly be well-prepared for future crisis—large or small. These are catalytic moments when real progress can be made. Nonprofits must address the social problems these crises represent. But they also must—and increasingly will— use them to pull people together who are ready to give generously so that those problems never happen again.
How can your organization adapt and prepare for these trends? In The Future of Fundraising, Curt shares practical next steps you can take today in order to lead your organization toward a brighter tomorrow.