2020 Vision: Nonprofit Tech Trends and Opportunities for the New Year

Around this time each year, I typically write an article about nonprofit technology trends to watch in the coming year. But this year, I have a slightly different perspective.

Many of the same trends I recommended watching in 2019 have evolved, and some are now necessary elements of a successful organization’s processes and plans. So instead of just looking at trends, let’s also consider opportunities for your nonprofit in 2020.

  • Mobile-first. According to the 2019 Pew Research Center mobile fact sheet, 81% percent of Americans own smartphones (up from 35% in 2011). Roughly half of U.S. adults now own tablet computers. It’s more important than ever to be sure your website and main transaction channels (a site visitor’s path from entering your site to taking some action) are easy to navigate via smart phones and other mobile devices.A couple of examples: The Cathexis Partners team recently deployed great looking donation forms for Jewish National Fund and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida that keep information within pixel width requirements to ensure the layout is the same on everything from smart phones to 27″+ wide desktop monitors.
  • Versatile payment options. More organizations are realizing the importance of offering flexible payment options to remove another barrier to giving. These days, payment gateways are processing everything from credit cards, ACH, and PayPal to Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Venmo. We expect to see this trend continue in 2020.
  • Facebook fundraising.  Let me be frank: Facebook fundraising has some downsides. It takes some time for funds to make their way to the organization, and organizations receive minimal transaction and donor information.That said, it’s hard to ignore the millions of dollars raised through Facebook fundraising. It’s also easy for organizations to set up and easy for Facebook users to raise funds. So, nonprofits would be wise not to dismiss it.My recommendation: Make it a part (but only one part) of your overall peer-to-peer fundraising program. Here are some tools to help you further engage with Facebook fundraisers:
  • Bots. You know when a box pops up on a website and asks if you need help? That’s a form of bot. Bots are basically computer programs that automate repetitive manual work. The Facebook tools I linked to in the previous section are examples of bots. Other bots, like Hustle, can help with text-to-give conversion.Give them a look and consider them for your plans in 2020. They can free up staff so they can spend less time on tedious tasks and more time focused more on your mission.
  • Livestream fundraising. Today, platforms like DonorDrive, JustGiving, and Tiltify provide integration with livestreaming platforms such as Twitch to make it possible to create fundraising campaigns such as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Extra Life and St. Jude’s Play Live, which are raising millions of dollars with a new audience: gamers. If your organization has a connection with the gaming community, I highly recommend giving livestream fundraising a shot.
  • Cryptocurrency donations. Unless you’re invested in cryptocurrency, you might have miss this: There was a community effort in 2019 to bring Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency to GivingTuesday via #BitcoinTuesday. Check out some of the organizations involved and how they communicate this giving option.
  • Matching gifts. Matching gifts has been around for a while. But a couple of new products — Double the Donation’s 360MATCHPRO and HEPdata’s eMatch Portal Program — make it easier to navigate the terrain of matching gifts. So this year, make sure you don’t leave dollars on the table — make matching gifts part of your fundraising program.
  • Employee giving campaigns. To be effective, today’s employee giving campaigns need to go beyond old school pledge forms sent around via interoffice mail. Stepping up your employee giving campaigns can be as simple as setting up a separate donation form that only your staff can access, or it might involve repurposing your peer-to-peer fundraising platform to allow your team to not only donate, but also ask friends and family to fundraise.At Cathexis Partners, we’re helping more of our clients launch or bring new life to their employee giving campaigns. Here are two examples:

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these trends and opportunities, or would like help implementing any of them, contact us at Cathexis Partners. We’re ready to help you take your use of technology to the next level in 2020!

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