- Thu, October 21 2010
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
Blackbaud today released results of its The State of the Nonprofit Industry (SONI) Survey, a global report covering general operations, fundraising, technology and Internet usage, and accountability and stewardship. They highlighted four trends, which I paraphrase and reflect upon here. (Get the full report here.)
Trend 1: Online innovation is moving slowly.
Most charities are sticking largely to traditional outreach while trying to ramp up interactive channels with limited resources and infrastructure. This is a tough slog, and organizations need more integrated tools and database platforms (while this is a self-serving study finding, it’s likely true).
Trend 2: Donors are getting picky.
I completely agree with this finding - ROI and organizational effectiveness are more important than ever as more skeptical Boomers want proof their dollars are effecting real change. We need to stop whining about need and start showing impact.
Trend 3: Nonprofits are realizing their donors shouldn’t be treated like ATMs.
Boy, I hope this one is true. The study says “There is a new focus on the total supporter journey and… transitioning from transactional fundraising to a relationship-focused supporter journey.”
Trend 4: Fundraising skills are in demand.
The study says, “The vast majority of nonprofits around the world are expecting to increase their investment in fundraising staff… It is clear that fundraising is no longer someone’s “part-time” responsibility. Techniques and data are becoming more complex, and the rate of change is increasing. What was once mostly art is rapidly becoming science, requiring new tools and techniques, partnerships, and better skilled staff.” I agree skilled staff are essential - but I hope that the “science and technology” urged in the report don’t overshadow the other findings. Yes, crunch the numbers - but don’t forget to treat your supporters like real people. Because they are, and they expect more from us than ever.