Charleston, S.C. - Blackbaud, a leading provider of nonprofit software and services, has shared trends that will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector in 2013: charitable giving is not likely to grow much; a revaluing of the nonprofit sector will occur; technology will play an increasingly important role for both organizations and supporters; and the world will continue to shrink as philanthropic borders broaden.
"In 2013, nonprofits must adjust to operate within the new normal of uncertainty created by persistent economic and regulatory challenges amidst a shifting supporter demographic," said Marc Chardon, Blackbaud's president and chief executive officer. "But while challenges certainly exist for the nonprofit sector, there are also opportunities for organizations to use technology to deliver on their missions in a very effective, scalable and real-time way."
Key Nonprofit Sector Trends in 2013:
Increase in charitable giving will not be dramatic
Charitable giving in 2012 was relatively flat, according to The Blackbaud Index, and given the slow economic recovery, is not likely to dramatically increase in 2013. For the past 40 years, fundraising in the United States has remained fairly static at around 2 percent of GDP; and that's not expected to change over the next few years. There will be a "flight to quality" with donors choosing to support fewer organizations in 2013. To be successful, nonprofits must increase their focus on donor retention while also investing in cost-effective donor acquisition.
The nonprofit sector will go through a revaluing process
There are cultural shifts occurring in how nonprofits are being viewed, which will ultimately benefit the sector. The debate about the charitable deduction puts the value of the sector's contribution squarely in the public consciousness. A growing number of people are seeking careers with meaning as Baby Boomers start second careers in the nonprofit sector, and Millennials seek degrees in nonprofit management. "Nonprofit" is increasingly being viewed as just a tax status, not a business model. There is a merging of nonprofit and for-profit business practices-bringing together sustainability and effectiveness in operations along with mission-driven passion.
Technology will play a major role for both nonprofits and their supporters
Mobile, cloud computing, Big Data and CRM will steal the spotlight in 2013 from a technology perspective and provide nonprofits a full 360-degree view of supporters. This will be the year nonprofits go from testing the mobile experience to delivering the mobile experience, as most nonprofits plan to double their use of mobile technologies in 2013 according to Blackbaud's recent State of the Nonprofit Industry report. Today's mobile and "in the cloud" experiences are driving a transformational change in what people expect from organizations in terms of response and interaction. Delivering a tailored experience to each supporter-enabled by these technologies and Big Data-will be essential for success.
The world is shrinking and philanthropic borders are broadening
Disasters across the globe are no longer viewed simply as an event that occurred "over there." Supporters and donors are starting to react in a very similar fashion regardless of the location of the disaster. There is a shift in wealth taking place in the world toward developing nations and the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, and that means nonprofits need to rethink how they raise money and "go where the donors are." Competition for resources will increase as the world flattens.
"In many ways, this is an exciting time to be a nonprofit professional," said Chardon. "With the evolution of mobile, social and cloud-based technologies, organizations can interact in very meaningful ways with both supporters and beneficiaries around the world. And the increased efficiency will ensure greater delivery of missions in real time."
Comment on this article