How much trust should you put in technology? It’s a question that every nonprofit answers.
Some nonprofits avoid investing. New technology can be intimidating. And, it’s tough to take a dollar from delivering services to put it toward the possibility of more dollars down the road.
Other organizations jump on each new innovation. The opportunity to amplify, accelerate, and expand fundraising efforts can be irresistible. But not every experiment pans out. And many can be time consuming and costly.
Most nonprofits fall somewhere in between, of course, and wonder if they’ve made the right choices.
Your organization has made its call on how much to trust technology, as well. Your answer is in the management software you use, the communication methods you trust, and the contribution means and methods you support.
How do you know if you’ve made the right decisions? Often the best you have to work off is an educated guess and some good old fashioned faith.
We figured you might appreciate some hard data.
The “2014 Fundraising Technology Trends Study” gathered input from 142 fundraisers. It covered everything from online donation acceptance to social media to bitcoin and beyond.
One clear point emerged. The technology choices nonprofits make matter a great deal. In fact, they can even suggest the likelihood of an organization’s fundraising success.
Consider the following data on contributions management software:
It’s a powerful piece of data on its own. Taken together with the findings on other technology, it provides a roadmap to making critical investment decisions.
Here are some of the other key findings presented in the study:
- Revenue growth is not assured. 47% of nonprofits generated the same or less revenue in 2013 compared to 2012.
- Fundraisers believe in technology, but often lack it. 4 out of 5 fundraisers feel that better technology leads to fundraising success. But only 1 in 3 say they currently have the tools they need to be effective.
- Leveraging the web matters. Nonprofits who accept online donations are 24% more likely to have increased fundraising revenue last year.
- Tactics such as blogging and sharing video content increase the effectiveness further.
- Diversification is key. Using a greater variety of software, channels, and payment methods correlates strongly with fundraising success. The most successful fundraisers used 3x as many web communication methods on average.
- There is an emulateable technology profile of a successful fundraiser. 83% of the fundraisers who achieved it describe their fundraising as either “effective” or “very effective.”
For more study statistics, charts, and data, check out the full report. Or, watch the video summary with fundraising expert, Lori Jacobwith: