Nonprofit organizations around the world are looking to expand use of mobile technology, grow online fundraising and improve donor communication and multichannel engagement.
These are just some of the findings from the 2012 State of the Nonprofit Industry report, released today by Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB), featuring survey results from more than 1500 respondents from nine countries covering approaches to overcoming common challenges, fundraising trends, and use of mobile and interactive technology.
- To download the complete report, visit www.blackbaud.com/soni
“Optimism in the nonprofit sector varies based largely on how an organization communicates with its constituents and the technologies it employs,” said Marc Chardon, Blackbaud’s chief executive officer. “Generally, nonprofits that adopt multiple engagement channels have a more optimistic outlook on their ability to recruit new donors, retain existing donors and grow individual contributions in the coming year.”
Key findings from the survey include:
- Multichannel Engagement Key for Fundraising Success – Respondents that reported using several solicitation methods to drive donations reported higher levels of optimism for their ability to increase individual contributions in the next year. Special events were the most widely reported method for soliciting individual donations, while social networking, one-on-one meetings and peer-to-peer fundraising were reportedly the fastest growing methods of fundraising in all countries.
- Use of Mobile Technologies on the Rise – Respondents reported that their use of mobile technologies for marketing and fundraising will greatly increase in the next year, in most cases more than doubling. More than two-thirds plan on using at least one mobile technology such as mobile-optimized websites and emails or QR codes. More than one-third of respondents from organizations that actively fundraise reported they will use mobile devices to collect funds when outside the office, enable SMS/text giving, or use mobile devices to access information contained in their donor database in the next year.
- Online Giving Small but Growing Percentage of Donation Income – While the proportion of total donations received by respondents online is relatively small, the majority of organizations that accept online donations report that the proportion of online giving to total contributions has increased in the past 12 months. Organizations successful in growing online donations reported that the top factors leading to growth include adopting new software and technologies to make online donation options more available and easier to use, among others.
- Regular Communication Important for Donor Retention – Constant, ongoing communication with donors was reportedly the most effective strategy used by nonprofits that were successful in retaining existing donors. There was a positive relationship between prompt acknowledgement of a donation and donor retention rates among respondents. Using personal contacts from staff, volunteers, or board members and prospecting special event attendees were the most frequently reported methods used for discovering new potential donors.
- Staff Recruiting Remains a Challenge Worldwide – The percentage of respondents that reported experiencing difficulty with recruiting new staff ranged from 33% of organizations in Canada to 73% of organizations in Italy. Of those that did experience difficulty recruiting staff, locating employees with the right skills sets and providing adequate funding for positions were the biggest challenges. Organizations that reported ease in recruiting staff said that having a strong reputation and a mission for which there is a passion in the community are key factors in their recruitment strategy.