New technologies are transforming the way organizations fundraise and engage with donors. Nonprofit technologies will continue to evolve this year, opening up opportunities for organizations to use new tools and strategies to enhance donor communication and gain support. The future of fundraising will be focused on providing donors with easy and accessible ways to support, learn and serve. Mobile and social media technologies will continue to be an essential part of how nonprofits interact with supporters. Having mobile-friendly and social approaches to engaging donors has never been more important as users migrate toward these channels. Here are four nonprofit technology trends to look out for in 2014.
Faster Transaction Times
Technologies such as one-click giving are continuing to gain popularity because they provide a quick and easy way for individuals to donate. Impulsive gifting opportunities may mean individuals give more often in smaller quantities, helping organizations strengthen their relationships with donors. New mobile fundraising apps and digital wallets on social networks reduce the time between the giving decision and the actual transaction. A variety of mobile fundraising apps launched in 2013, and more will follow this year. Facebook and YouTube have already unveiled donate buttons for organizations to use on their pages, while PayPal allows organizations to place a donate button on their website or blog and in emails. In the near future, Facebook and Twitter plan to release digital wallet systems and Google will likely integrate the donate button into their Google+ pages.
Real-Time Visual Reporting
Today’s donors want instant access to see what’s being done with their money. New technologies allow nonprofits to take advantage of real-time reporting to show how donors are making a positive impact in the community. With the right tools, organizations can collect data and display it in real time to inform donors about their achievements. Photos and videos on social media can go a long way. Nonprofits can post pictures to show how a specific volunteer effort pushed them closer to achieving certain goals, or share a graph updated in real-time that demonstrates how donations contribute to overall dollars raised.
Open, Engaged Communication
The interactivity of mobile and social media channels has disrupted the traditional linear model of engagement for supporters. While new technologies have made it easier for nonprofits to connect with donors, these donors also now have the ability to control how they receive communications from nonprofits based on personal preference and interests. Online fundraising is a dynamic process of building relationships and requires that organizations listen and respond as people find different ways to participate or support an effort. Fundraising campaigns need to consider a continuum of engagement that ranges from light involvement to heavier or more intense involvement.
New technologies help bring individuals together to form donor networks around specific causes and organizations. Nonprofits can harness the power of these networks and engage them as advocates. By relinquishing some control over fundraising messaging, organizations can encourage volunteers and donors to engage their friends in their own way. This not only helps to grow a group of supporters, but also allows nonprofits to track these networks and gain information to leverage their resources.