by Bridget Mayer
Communication and Technology Adoption Key to the Future of Donor Management
Change is practically synonymous with a new year and this rings true for nonprofit organizations in 2015. The next few weeks and months are a time for fresh fundraising strategies and an overall penchant to shake things up. Technology is one area in particular that is driving forward change within nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the industry.
Here at GiveCentral, we’re constantly striving to learn more about technology’s transformative effect on donors, nonprofit giving and how organizations are responding to the digital age’s influence.
Whether it be how mobile technology is mixing things up or how donor management software have changed, it’s important to us to stay on top of the latest trends. We recently conducted a proprietary survey among more than 80 nonprofit senior executives, including senior religious leaders, Chief Executives, Chief Financial Officers and development managers across a wide range of nonprofit organizations.
We wanted to identify the best donor management practices and understand the biggest giving-related challenges and opportunities that nonprofits will face in 2015.
What we found in our inaugural report, 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving, was both enlightening and encouraging. Senior executives of nonprofits recognize there are many challenges ahead. There is an increasing level of competition for donors to the pressure of technological change. The good news, however, is that they are preparing for the future. A few statistics in particular stuck out to us as we dove into the data. Some of them are the importance of effective donor communication to engage with donors, how donors are becoming more comfortable with online giving and the need for increased technology education. Below, I’ve outlined these findings. To ensure your organization is positioned to increase its donations in 2015, please check out the full report for a comprehensive look at the current nonprofit giving environment.
Lack of Communication Puts Donor Relations at Risk
Many nonprofit executives reveal that the greatest barrier to donor engagement and giving is a lack of communication.
- Despite 84 percent of respondents reporting their organization embraces technology change, more than one-quarter (27 percent) do not have a formal email communication schedule in place and only 10 percent send weekly donor emails.
- One-quarter (26 percent) still rely on weekly printed newsletters. As a result, nonprofit senior executives are leaving many opportunities on the table to communicate and engage with donors to build stronger relationships and increase giving.
Donor Fear of Technology Diminishing
Nonprofit senior executives said that although they still face some hesitation from donors when it comes to technology, more and more are becoming comfortable with digital channels.
- 84 percent of nonprofits recognize the importance of catering to a new generation of donors and embrace technology change.
- Only one-in-ten nonprofits retain fully manual donation processing, demonstrating the prevalence of technological advances in giving programs.
Donor Education is Key to Embracing Technology Change
While donors are becoming more comfortable with the idea of technology change, increased education is needed to close the gap. At the same time, organizations are confident their donors can move past the perceived complexity of online giving programs.
- Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents said their donors don’t understand online giving.
- Yet, only 12 percent of respondents say online giving technology is too complex for their organization to use.
As you usher in 2015’s changes and begin to prepare for the years down the road, we’re hopeful that the donor giving information in this survey from nonprofit leaders is valuable to your organization. Whether it’s gaining a small piece of insight, finding comfort that you’re on track for technology’s demands or even realizing you are behind the digital curve when it comes to nonprofit giving, please let us know what you thought of the survey results in the comments below. Wait, there’s more! To confirm you are positioned to increase your donations in 2015, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an analysis of your donor management practices.