Here’s How Tech Savvy Nonprofits will Succeed in 2023 and Beyond
by Meghan Dankovich, CEO at Charity Dynamics and Jamie Bearse, CEO at ZERO Prostate Cancer
The nonprofit world is a resource-constrained environment. Keeping up on technology seems out of the question for most. Sometimes spending on digital and technology resources are among the first line-items to slash during budgeting.
Nonprofits that can zig when others zag by effectively using tech are quicker to succeed in fundraising and building communities. Tech-savvy organizations strengthen belonging to a cause and unite their communities with ease and efficiency. Here’s how those nonprofits are doing it in 2023:
Think about it: We’re on our phones all the time and have come to appreciate a one-stop hub that makes our transactions frictionless. In a click or two we want to see our total engagement history with the organization. Know how much we have raised to date. Control how often and how much we give moving forward. And have total autonomy over the flow of messages and updates we receive. When we can seamlessly click on our favorite charity’s website and interact with a true donor preference center that recognizes us and empowers us in this way, we are delighted by the experience.
Let’s face it – 90 percent of TV is boring. A growing number of us have grown up with the internet and have been immersed in the metaverse and find it engages us on a personal level. Organizations that can produce interesting virtual events for constituents where we can personally connect with others will succeed in propelling their missions forward.
It’s done in a couple of ways: 1) Hybrid events where we reach cause supporters in-person and at-home. 2) Fully virtual events like concerts, comedy shows, auctions, gaming, and even interactive sessions like a coffee hour or a support group. Either way, virtual experiences will continue to grow in popularity and nonprofits that can meet people where they are will draw in new supporters and retain those who can’t attend in-person events.
This approach is especially worth considering for organizations that attract a lot of small donations. Project-based fundraising enables these donors to see the impact they’re making instead of getting lost in a sea of donations.
Organizations like Donors Choose, Operation Homefront, Charity Water, and others continue to grow and reshape the way we help teachers, and veterans, as well as our behavior toward sustainability. The donors of organizations like these are given very clearly defined needs and are invited to share in the success of closing the need gap.
AI does have ethical concerns and there are numerous instances of AI bias. Like most business leaders, we want government regulation to define and prevent AI bias and educate and train data scientists to recognize and root out AI bias. Considering all of it is happening sooner than we think, we’d be remiss to not give consideration to what it could mean for our space.
Technology firms go through these assessments as well – as you should expect them to – but social good organizations in particular must put a high value on integrity by keeping donor information safe and secure. Those are valuable relationships you don’t want to risk. There is no excuse not to. Costs of these types of assessments are less expensive than one may think and there are a growing number of volunteer resources available to help organizations protect their data.