Nonprofit organisations are today increasingly adopting modern technology practices. Digital transformation is enabling charities to better communicate and interact with members, volunteers, donors and service-users.

With new digital improvements being made every day, it can be difficult to know what technology trends to adopt or ignore. Incremental have outlined the technology trends of particular relevance to the not for profit sector. Many of these trends are not anything new yet continue to be of the upmost importance to the sector, with many charities yet to create a strategy to respond to them.

To discover more detail about these trends and how to respond to them, see Measuring and Demonstrating Impact – a guide for nonprofits.

1.    The death of the landline

For many charities reaching potential donors by phone has been a key fundraising activity. The rapid demise of the home phoneline is significantly impacting fundraising efforts.

Charities should be taking advantage of the widespread use of mobile phones by reaching out to people during the day. Organisations need to embrace an omnichannel communications strategy by following up to unanswered calls with text messages or emails.

Adjusting and modernising calling strategies is an absolute must for charities for whom telemarketing remains a key fundraising tactic.

2.     AI

Certainly not a new trend but one that is as relevant as ever. Artificial intelligence (AI) truly has the ability to quickly and easily transform your charity’s operations.

AI is enabling not for profits to:

  • Increase accuracy, consistency and speed
  • Improve decision making
  • Replace manual repetitive work with analytical and value-add work
  • Drive huge cost savings

In terms of admin, AI is streamlining processes and eliminating the time spent by employees collecting and inputting data manually. This is freeing up administrative staff’s time for more meaningful, value-add work such as analysis of the data collected.

3.    Cryptocurrency

While it has not yet made its way into widespread use in society, cryptocurrency is starting to creep into several sectors, and it won’t be long until it is common in the third sector.

Many, if not most, nonprofit organisations will have no idea how to handle a gift of cryptocurrency, let alone have a process in place for it. As it is a volatile commodity, most nonprofit organisations will not know how to value the gift.

Organisations need to be prepared to accept cryptocurrency donations and then convert them into traditional currency.

4.    Modern communications

Nowadays, people are bombarded by communications like never before. People are being communicated to through traditional channels such as mail as well as newer channels such as text, several social media channels and apps. In order to drive engagement and demonstrate relevance, nonprofits need to be proactive and in line with today’s fast paced and leading communication techniques.

Having a solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, in place that can manage your data, create templates and monitor social media responses makes this process much easier. These tools also enable greater personalisation, adapted per audience. Demonstrating relevance and appealing to different demographics is vital and is increasingly expected. Using the data and insights automatically captured in your systems can enable you to trigger the right conversations at the right time, improving your relationships and ultimately donations.

5.    Chatbots

More and more we are seeing not for profits adopt chatbots to respond to enquiries, whether they are from donors, volunteers or members. Chatbots are a great way for people to quickly get answers as they can be programmed with frequently asked questions. This drastically reduces the time spent by agents, at often expensive callcentres, answering repetitive questions.

Chatbots can be programmed to support many local languages thereby breaking down language barriers which might arise on phonecalls. This is particularly useful for charities who operate globally or have service-users whose native language is not English.

We are also rapidly seeing chatbots being adopted as the first step for counselling services to triage cases, with AI used to flag high-risk keywords, enabling these cases to be fast-tracked to human experts.

Summary

The above technology trends offer a range of opportunities for nonprofits in terms of discovering new opportunities and better engaging with members, volunteers, donors and service-users. Embracing these trends requires an increasingly integrated technology stack which brings together, optimises and enables your organisation to communicate better.

To find out more about each of these trends and how to respond, download our guide for not for profits – Measuring and Demonstrating Impact.

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