Nonprofit trend report: Technology is fueling relevance and growth

Getty / Thomas Barwick

Digitally mature nonprofits exceed their organizational targets, together with 4X extra prone to have exceeded mission targets. Nonprofits thrive on relationships. Delivering a nonprofit mission requires robust connections with stakeholders — together with workers, donors, volunteers, program members, and extra, this based on the newest analysis on nonprofits.

The fifth version of the Nonprofit Trends Report from Salesforce unpacks how organizations which have embraced know-how have the strongest relationships and highest charges of purpose achievement — no matter their dimension, income, or location. Here are the 4 essential takeaways:

  1. The strategic use of know-how instantly hyperlinks to improved organizational effectivity and efficiency throughout operations. Nonprofits with a excessive degree of digital maturity usually tend to exceed their targets and have stronger relationships with all stakeholder teams.
  2. Technology has clear advantages for nonprofit tradition and workforce. Digitally mature nonprofits report extra motivated and optimistic workers, a extra optimistic organizational tradition, and decrease ranges of employees burnout. These organizations are additionally additional alongside in reaching their targets for local weather motion and variety, fairness, and inclusion (DEI).
  3. Nonprofits acknowledge the significance of know-how to fulfill their targets however have bother implementing it to its full potential. While almost three-quarters (74%) of nonprofits say digital transformation is a “need-to-have” or “must-have,” solely 12% rating excessive on the Salesforce for Nonprofits Digital Maturity Index.
  4. Barriers to digital maturity could embody price range or useful resource constraints and competing priorities. Nonprofits are doubling down on worker retention and wellbeing to offset inside challenges like elevated turnover and employees burnout. Externally, nonprofits are specializing in elevating consciousness and fundraising to diversify and rebuild connections with their supporters. Overall, nonprofits really feel resilient and able to face the long run.

My key takeaways of this report will concentrate on the usage of know-how to drive higher outcomes and stakeholder advantages. The Nonprofits Trends Report is a 58 web page doc with unimaginable insights, however I want to focus this publish on digital transformation and use of know-how in nonprofits.

The nonprofit panorama

Over the final 12 months, nearly all of nonprofits met or exceeded their general targets, significantly their program, monetary, and mission targets. Despite excessive charges of purpose achievement, nonprofits face a litany of challenges starting from consciousness to employees retention to influence measurement and past. The high 4 challenges for nonprofits embody: 1. consciousness, 2. retaining employees, 3. internet hosting in-person occasions and controlling bills.


Nonprofits wrestle with elevating consciousness and retaining employees.


In the 12 months forward, nonprofits anticipate challenges associated to staffing and the state of the economic system, know-how, funds, and fundraising. This is mirrored in how nonprofits are shifting their priorities over the approaching 12 months with 48% putting a larger emphasis on fundraising, 46% on retaining employees, and 44% on worker wellbeing.

Today, nonprofit leaders are barely extra optimistic about their very own organizations (65%) than the broader nonprofit sector of their nation (58%). Nonprofits are additionally assured within the function their organizations play in society: 74% say they imagine society trusts nonprofits to do what is proper.


Employee retention and wellbeing are high priorities, second solely to fundraising.


Nonprofits report weaker relationships with volunteers and donors — two stakeholder teams which can be essential to mission supply and organizational continuity.


Strength of stakeholder relationships varies throughout the sector.


Digital Transformation is driving growth and influence

In the subsequent 12 months, nonprofits are prioritizing cybersecurity and privateness (39%), including new applications and companies (27%), or implementing distant working fashions (26%). Online companies to develop income and engagements are additionally high of thoughts for nonprofits.

A large minority of nonprofits (46%) say they’re fast at making strategic selections. These agile nonprofits describe their organizations as tech adopters (51%), adaptive (51%), empowered (50%), forward-looking (48%), and revolutionary (48%). These traits represent a optimistic “mindset for change,” which positions nonprofits to pursue strategic evolution and turn out to be extra resilient.


Nonprofits are largely prone to take motion on cybersecurity, growth, and transferring to on-line fashions.


Advice from qualitative interviews with nonprofit leaders on innovation, adaptability, and change:

  1. Be pragmatic. Hire specialists or interact with trusted personal sector advisors, particularly for steerage on know-how or authorized points; look to banking companions, board members, and company companions for his or her experience.
  2. Commercialize the profit to donors. Think by way of “packaging” the advantages of turning into a supporter to make them simple to know and act upon.
  3. Listen to enhance. Employ surveys and different listening instruments to get suggestions from stakeholders, each inside and exterior.
  4. Aim to multiply influence. Think concurrently in regards to the new and evolving wants of the tip person and the wants of the economic system as a complete — eg upskilling customers in areas the place the economic system has gaps.
  5. suppose collaboratively. Lean into your group’s ability set(s) and discover friends to fill in gaps. Explore partnerships with different nonprofits and companies.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of nonprofits say digital transformation is important, and organizations that describe themselves as “tech adopters,” “forward-looking,” or “empowered” are extra probably than their friends to say digital transformation is a should -have.


Nonprofits with a powerful reliance on know-how usually tend to see digital transformation as necessary.


One necessary takeaway from the report is how nonprofits hyperlink knowledge to influence. Most nonprofits constantly leverage knowledge to design applications and companies (75%), personalize communications to stakeholders (74%), and make selections (73%). Uses of data that ranked decrease embody problem-solving (69%) and forecasting earnings (58%).

More than half (55%) of nonprofits say their group must spend money on know-how with a purpose to improve fundraising, and 60% say their donors anticipate a greater expertise than their present know-how supplies.


Technology helps nonprofits be extra environment friendly and improves influence.


Technology suppliers should do a greater job supporting nonprofits. Only 36% of nonprofit professionals are “very satisfied” with the know-how they should do their jobs. Satisfaction is lowest with the mixing of information sources and methods (34% very happy) and the supply of easy-to-use reporting instruments (33% very happy).


Digital maturity strengthens relationships with all stakeholders.


Technology suppliers should additionally do a greater job educating nonprofits on the significance of digital maturity. Digitally mature nonprofits outperform their friends, no matter their group’s income, worker headcount, or geographic location. Organizations with excessive digital maturity are 1.9x extra probably (93% vs. 50%) to have skilled enhancements in organizational effectivity or mission influence. They are additionally 3.5x extra probably (38% vs. 11%) to have achieved mission targets in comparison with their friends with low digital maturity.

Digital transformation is the pathway to maturity. The report notes that cybersecurity and privateness (34%), value effectivity (33%), and knowledge administration and optimization (32%) are the main causes for digital transformation. Impacts like bettering stakeholder relationships (23%), aggressive benefit (19%), and maintaining with stakeholder expectations (18%) rank lowest.

Digital transformation is arduous work and it requires organizational dedication, the appropriate tradition, individuals and processes. Without dedication to assets and readability of imaginative and prescient and execution, transformation will be tough and sluggish. The mostly cited limitations to digital transformation are a scarcity of price range or assets (37%) and greater priorities inside the group (30%). Other challenges embody a scarcity of expert expertise to implement and handle applied sciences (28%) and a lack of know-how of these applied sciences (26%).

To study extra in regards to the Nonprofit Trend Report from Salesforce, you can visit here.


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