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Nonprofits have learned a lot from their for-profit counterparts about how to effectively use technology in their operations. However, they cannot always practice the strategies that for-profit companies are using. Some of these strategies can sometimes backfire because nonprofits operate differently compared to other organizations. Regardless of the challenges that nonprofits face, technology can help them to bridge the divide that exists between resources that exist and goals that these organizations are trying to achieve. As we move forward into 2020, there are trends that you are likely to encounter and you better prepare for them. Below are some of the tech-trends that your nonprofit should prepare for in 2020.

Integrated giving will experience growth

The advances that have been made in technology have opened up ways for nonprofits to get more donations. It has given people many ways to donate to their favorite causes. This has made donations easy compared to the past, where online giving was done through traditional checks sent through the mail. As the world continues to get increasingly connected, the need to keep all the sources and fundraising connected is also rising. Therefore, 2020 is the year where integrated giving will take center-stage with customer relationship management (CRM) playing a significant role. Companies such as Microsoft have already developed powerful tools in Dynamics 365 that can collect information from different data centers all in one place. Such developments are preparing a way for nonprofits to capitalize on integrated giving.  

Mobile donations and payments will increase

Pew Research, in its 2019 mobile fact sheet, revealed that 81% of Americans own smartphones. This is up from 35 percent in 2011. With approximately more than half of adults in the US owning tablet computers, nonprofits are now more than ever seeing the advantage of coming up with mobile-friendly platforms. It is now essential for websites and other transaction channels to be made in a way that they will be easy to navigate with smartphones and mobile devices. This trend will be more prevalent in 2020 as nonprofits seek ways of ensuring website layouts and pixel width requirements are as friendly on smart devices as they are on desktop monitors. Furthermore, donations from mobile payment apps such as Apple Pay, Payza and Google Pay will increase as different entrepreneurs position themselves to capture the rising mobile market.

The use of Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning will increase

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are now among the most adopted technologies in different industries. As the advantages of these technologies continue emerging, nonprofits, just like any other businesses, will employ them in areas such as donor communication, staff training, and customer support. Data analytics will also be critical for predictive analytics that helps nonprofits understand their donors and develop their products to match their needs. AI can be combined with virtual reality to train staff to offer services in areas that have natural disasters or war.

Nonprofits will prioritize donor data security

Owing to past experiences of companies like Equifax and others, regulations have become more stringent than ever. In the time where data security has become a sensitive area, nonprofits will invest in donor data security considering data is the most valuable resource. Without proper data protection mechanisms in place, donors will be afraid to give their details meaning donations will not be made. Going forward, nonprofits will invest in cybersecurity assessment and acquisition of different data storage and backup systems such as those powered by Azure that are known to be secure. You should also prepare to see more of blockchain technology making way into nonprofits as it introduces tamper-proof and multiple points of verifications.

 

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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