Technology is transforming how development professionals engage with donors across mobile and online platforms. While offline fundraising still accounts for a significant amount of charitable giving, honing your digital skills and acquiring knowledge of new tools, applications, and platforms will enable you to engage donors wherever they choose to live — and help you stand out in the eyes of potential employers.
How technology is shaping fundraising
According to Blackbaud’s 2015 Charitable Giving Report, released earlier this month, online giving in 2015 grew 9.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Blackbaud also reported that “small organizations continue to lead the way with 8.1 percent, followed by large nonprofits with 7.7 percent, and medium-sized organizations with 5.8 percent of total fundraising coming from online giving.”
Other studies also show online giving becoming more popular. The M+R 2015 Benchmark Study, for one, tracked a 13 percent year-over-year increase in online revenue.
While in the past nonprofit organizations tended to focus on the fundamentals of information technology management, the current environment is more complex. Today, nonprofit leaders need to know how best to incorporate technology into their communications, marketing, and fundraising plans. And development staff need to be part of that conversation.
It isn’t just about getting a website up that informs potential donors about your organization’s work or using a wealth-screening product to identify potential donors. Technology and its applications (including everyone’s favorite catchphrase, “big data”) are now part and parcel of how nonprofit organizations operate.