The pandemic proved to be a game-changer for nonprofits. An October 2020 BDO survey showed that it negatively affected the income and funding of 75 percent of nonprofits in the U.S., forcing half to stop salary increases and 37 percent to cut staff. Nonprofits have fewer funds and human resources now to serve the needs of more people in need and handle various issues caused by the pandemic. Galaxy Digital and the Stanford Social Innovation Review have recommendations on how nonprofits can change in 2021 to survive and become more efficient.
Nonprofits Must Ramp Up Use of Technology
Transparency is crucial for nonprofits. You must show donors and the public how much money is coming in as well as where and how the money is spent. Invest in data-tracking technology that will centralize all inputs and provide real-time views of income, spending, and project developments, such as the number of people served and types of services provided, among others.
Invest in a professional cloud management system that ensures data backup with unlimited storage and cybersecurity to protect your data and funds. This will ensure that you do not lose anything in case of a breach. Also, invest in professional IT service portfolio management to help you make IT investments that match your objectives. They will also help you monitor your IT services, applications, and projects in terms of usage, cost, maintenance, and business value.
Nonprofits Must Do Digital Marketing
People use their smartphones more these days and spend a lot of time on social media. In 2020, 3.8 billion people were on social media daily. Among people aged 18 to 29, 90 percent use social media regularly. There will be more of them in 2021 and beyond. Nonprofits must leverage this to reach supporters for funding and encourage more volunteerism.
Make sure to get updated on new social platforms and the changing trends so you can follow your targets as they shift platforms. For instance, Facebook still dominates as the most used social platform. The most downloaded social networking app in 2020, though, was TikTok, with two billion downloads. It is the choice of Gen Z, and it has launched the TikTok for Good initiative to amplify voices for change and community-focused organizations. Gen Z’s power was seen in how they led the charge and mobilized thousands of supporters through social media for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Establish a presence in the social media platforms where your target supporters and volunteers are. Post regularly to explain your campaigns using images, videos, and hashtags. Videos are viral, with a projected 82 percent share of online traffic in 2021. When people watch a nonprofit video, 57 percent donate. Find influencers who also uphold your values and live accordingly. Recruit them to make your campaign videos viral.
Make sure that all your social media accounts link to your website and that it is mobile-friendly. For e-mail campaigns, ensure that links and images are mobile-friendly, as well. Show individuals and institutions how they can donate easily through their smartphones, and add as many payment options as you can.
Provide online volunteer registration, check-ins, and communication through volunteer management systems and apps. Use a short messaging service (SMS) or texting to send follow-up messages. Maximize remote collaboration among volunteers through apps like Google docs and video conferencing. Remote volunteerism will significantly enlarge your pool.
Nonprofits Must Pursue Various Avenues for Donations
People are more likely to donate if they are personally engaged with a cause. Personalization is important when launching fundraising campaigns. Nonprofits must establish and nurture relationships with donors, both institutional and individual.
Also, encourage small payments that renew monthly. This is more affordable for individuals while resulting in larger outcomes compared to one-time annual donations. Nonprofits can foster among individuals the feeling of fulfillment in being able to help within their means and being part of a large movement that makes a difference together.
Launch live online events as fundraisers. A live streaming campaign earned millions of donations for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Nonprofits Must Collaborate
To avoid duplication of efforts and gaps in services, nonprofits must explore all possibilities of collaborating. This will maximize the use of funds and expand your reach. If it means having to merge, this possibility must not be excluded.
For instance, with the recent pivot toward online education, various nonprofits had respective projects regarding developing curricula and online learning materials. There were many duplications, and the results inundated parents who found the different variants confusing. It would be more efficient for nonprofits in the education sector to come together and determine unified curricula then divide the work of preparing materials for each year level among them.
Carry On the Good Work
The government cannot serve all the needs of the public without the efforts of nonprofits. There is still much to do for nonprofits, and you need to survive and thrive.