Technology rules the world we live in. You can’t go anywhere these days without seeing someone walking around with a smartphone in their hand, or some device with an internet connection in their car or around their wrist.
But technology isn’t just for cell phone games and automated parking, it’s also greatly impacted the nonprofit sector.
Tech coming down the road stands to make a significant impact in how we organize and raise funds for causes we believe in.
Here are the three nonprofit tech trends you should know that are getting big this year.
Increases in Mobile Fundraising
With mobile fundraising becoming a more prominent method for collecting donations, it is important to note that smartphone use itself is still on the rise and is projected to continue growing in the United States for years to come.
Smartphone usage in the United States has grown from 190 million devices in 2015 to 207 million in 2016, which is a massive growth of 17 million smartphone users in just one year. The growth was even larger worldwide.
Worldwide smartphone users has now surpassed two billion, up from 1.8 billion in 2015.
According to MobileCause, 60% of donors use their mobile device to do research on your nonprofit organization before they decide to make a donation. Additionally, gifts made on “branded and mobile-friendly pages” are 38% higher than on pages not optimized for mobile devices.
If you haven’t jumped on the mobile fundraising bandwagon yet, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t join up in 2016.
Crowdfunding experiencing massive growth
Forbes has reported that crowdfunding itself is on track to surpass VC funding in 2016, which means that it is a massive industry with lots of potential, even for your nonprofit. Crowdfunding utilizes the social capabilities of the internet to connect people with like-minded interests and help fund projects and causes they care about.
MobileCause found that the most popular types of crowdfunding events in the past year were runs/walks/rides, marathons, memorials, swims, weddings, and birthdays. While weddings and birthdays may not be particularly useful for nonprofits, the other four types are perfect for nonprofit fundraising events.
Growth in crowdfunding opens up more opportunities for nonprofits to fundraise beyond their immediate donor base and tap into their base’s networks and social circles.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things easily has to be my favorite tech trend I’ve seen so far this year. The idea is to connect as many everyday objects as possible to the internet, allowing them to quantify and send data, whatever data that might be. The Internet of Things includes, but is not limited to: watches, doors, roads, coffee makers, cash registers, cameras, etc.
The Internet of Things has been referred to by some as the “next Industrial Revolution.”
This data will not only help businesses figure out how to target advertising and refine product development, but will also help nonprofits formulate effective fundraising campaigns, effectively target donors, and implement accurate personality profiles of potential supporters.
With the Internet of Things you can track and quantify spending patterns, personal preferences, and donation trends that all become key to developing what you believe is the ideal donor and/or member/volunteer.
The Internet of Things also includes technology such as wearables that can use RFID technology to simplify registration programs on phones and smartwatches. The Internet of Things does away with the time consuming manual processes of manually entered data and replaces it with a universal and automatic data entry system.
Since its inception in 2009, the Internet of Things has seen massive growth. In 2016 the number of devices connected to the internet has reached 22.9 billion and is expected to exceed 50 billion by 2020, a more than a 100% increase in a mere four years.
The internet has revolutionized the way we connect to people around the world and now connecting our world to the internet can reinvent the way we see how the world works, even in the nonprofit industry.
Do you agree with our trends? Are there any new developments that you would add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!
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