"We think it is very important to share fundraising technology trends with the nonprofit community, yet the fundamentals familiar to any fundraiser still apply," said Kristen Fulks, Blackbaud principal consultant and co-author of the paper. "With the ever-demanding challenges of the economy and other influences, it is even more critical to get donors engaged faster, rather than just using technology for technology's sake."
Highlights from Blackbaud's Top Technology Trends include:
- Technology is a crucial tool in delivering accurate, up-to-date information about prospects and donors in real-time across departments. Information consumers, both internal and external, will come to expect access to data in line with progressive forums, such as mobile, cloud-based tools. Nonprofits should expect mobile-powered major giving applications that provide constituent data on the go to become widely used in the coming years.
- The web continues to grow as a primary channel for messaging and communicating an organization's mission. Based on an audience and its needs, nonprofit websites will increasingly offer virtual opportunities for education, conversations, community, and stewardship, tailored to the user's level of engagement with the organization.
- The best fundraisers are those who ask their personal network for support. No one can promote an organization better than those who already believe in the mission and have a built-in network of high-propensity prospects. Tools to localize and personalize fundraising through independent fundraising events and other network-based fundraising tools - while retaining efficiencies and economies of scale associated with centralized systems - will be key.
- Social remains an evolving medium and is best deployed as part of a comprehensive, mission-based strategy, although many organizations have found new constituencies who respond to this channel exclusively. Social networks provide the ability to communicate a mission and message to a large group, serving as a supplementary or primary acquisition channel. Nonprofits can deliver updates and announcements while leveraging a network of supporters for a tangible return on investment.
"Determining where technology can best complement an organization's mission, also helps to establish the best use of resources; from staff, funding, board, donor, and otherwise," said Bo Crader, principal consultant at Blackbaud and co-author of Top Technology Trends. "With the proliferation and divergence of technology readily available in the past few years, it is even more important for organizations to be fluent with trends in the market and their potential fit within their organization and strategies."
Blackbaud is the leading global provider of software and services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, build strong relationships, and raise more money to support their missions. Approximately 24,000 organizations - including The American Red Cross, Boston University, Cancer Research UK, The Taft School, Lincoln Center, The Salvation Army, Tulsa Community Foundation, Ursinus College, Earthjustice, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the WGBH Educational Foundation - use one or more Blackbaud products and services for fundraising, constituent relationship management, financial management, website management, direct marketing, education administration, ticketing, business intelligence, prospect research, consulting, and analytics. Since 1981, Blackbaud's sole focus and expertise has been partnering with nonprofits and providing them the solutions they need to make a difference in their local communities and worldwide. Headquartered in the United States, Blackbaud also has operations in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com.Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013