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Top Nonprofit Industry Trends and What They Mean for You

Posted by Dawn White on Feb 21, 2022 8:34:54 AM
Dawn White
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Volunteers at a food bank wearing masks during COVID | nonprofit industry trends

The pandemic has presented brand new challenges to nonprofit organizations that they’ve never had to face before. As a result, nonprofits are becoming more agile and better equipped to adapt quickly to changing conditions. The nonprofit landscape has shifted dramatically, and we’re now beginning to see what the future will look like for nonprofits in the new normal.

Let’s take a look at the latest nonprofit trends that are here to stay through 2022 and beyond, and explore how your organization can use them to accomplish more for your mission.

See how to navigate the pandemic’s challenges for nonprofits

Social Media Messaging

Social media has become more critical than ever before for nonprofits. The pandemic has forced organizations to spread awareness and expand audience reach in new ways. At the same time, younger generations are stepping into a more active role, as they become involved in the causes they care about.

Millennials and Generation Z prefer to engage organizations on social media, and they’re constantly sharing their activities on social media as well. For nonprofits, recruiting and marketing on social media isn’t optional — it’s essential.

Hybrid Events and Fundraisers

Virtual events came into their own during the pandemic. And while people are anxious to get back to in-person events, the virtual option is here to stay. Its convenience, low cost, and global capabilities are too beneficial to abandon, even when COVID is no longer a concern.

Most likely, we’ll see a rise in hybrid events, with a mix of in-person opportunities and virtual options. Hybrid events will allow nonprofits to provide agile, flexible, and affordable events that reach wider audiences.

Some events work better than others as hybrids. Here are some ideas to consider for your nonprofit organization:

  • Silent auctions. Mobile bidding allows people to bid on items whether they’re attending in person or online.
  • Hybrid golf tournament. No, this isn’t a video golf game! A hybrid golf tournament is held for about ten days. Players register online to book the course when it’s convenient. Scores are kept online over the course of the tournament, and people can tune in by live stream to watch the awards.
  • Charity luncheons. Guests attend virtually and local restaurants deliver their food and drinks for the event. Incorporate chat rooms so people can socialize more easily.
  • Virtual music concerts. This option allows you to expand your audience (and your donor base) to anywhere in the world! If possible, consider doing a raffle for a virtual meet-and-greet with musicians after the concert.

Mobile Matters More Than Ever

As of July 2021, 56.75% of global internet traffic is mobile. That means most of your website traffic will come from mobile devices — including your sources of giving.

Mobile giving has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. Most people surveyed say they prefer to give online, and the number of transactions completed through mobile devices increased by 50%.

Mobile giving is also more convenient, making it easier for organizations to raise funds through digital marketing and SMS campaigns.

Nonprofit organizations that embrace a mobile-first approach will position themselves for increasing awareness and greater giving. Websites should be designed for mobile use — especially when it comes to online giving.

Data Analytics Advancements

Automated software solutions reduce the time spent on manual processes so you can make better use of your grant money and boost your bottom line.

Nonprofit organizations have begun to adopt more advanced data collection and analytics tools. Data analytics are critical for helping your organization to get a more complete picture of your operations, your funding situations, and your initiatives.

Funding sources expect greater transparency than ever, and grant reports need to be able to account for every penny you’ve spent. Salary allocation solutions can guarantee that you pay employees the right proportion of money from each grant, based on the time they spend on those projects.

People Priorities

Despite the emphasis on adopting new technologies, nonprofits will need to place a heavy emphasis on relationships — whether it’s with volunteers, donors, or staff. Your constituents are looking for personal engagements that are rewarding and meaningful.

The challenge in this virtual-first reality is how to create those personal engagements. Ironically, many nonprofits are discovering that technology can be used to foster relationships with constituents — especially those who are geographically dispersed.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software and marketing automation tools can help create personalized engagements that are more efficient than traditional manual methods. You can also use automation tools throughout your organization — such as HR or payroll — to free up more time for building one-on-one relationships with volunteers and donors.

The Great Resignation continues to affect employers, and nonprofits aren’t exempt. But you can attract and retain talent by making your people a top priority and addressing the needs they care about most deeply.

The Future Is Looking Bright for Nonprofits

Your nonprofit organization has faced a lot of change and uncertainty in the last couple of years. But out of that uncertainty have come trends that point towards new opportunities to reach greater achievements than ever before.

Begin positioning your organization to adopt these trends for the long term, and you’ll set a course that has more predictability for the coming year and beyond.

IDI is your partner along that road. Count on us to provide the tools and insights that your nonprofit needs. We’ve become a trusted name in the industry for the toughest HR and payroll challenges you’ll face.

Discover how IDI supports non-profits →

Topics: Nonprofit Industry Solutions