A Shift Toward Messaging Solutions
We’re seeing a massive shift, in both the nonprofit and commercial sectors, away from custom mobile apps and web platforms used for interactivity. Instead, various platforms (like Twilio and others) make it surprisingly easy to enable interactions and at-scale operations through messaging solutions, like SMS, MMS, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. It removes barriers and meets your donors, volunteers and recipients where they already are, while also reducing development costs and complexity. This could be collecting contact info at events through SMS and automatically adding it to your CRM, mobilizing volunteers, engaging donors, holistically replacing end-to-end engagements with program recipients and everything between.
Prospective Donor Research
The need for storytelling and prospective donor research will accelerate. Given the current state of the world, a continued onslaught of disasters and crises, and new communication mediums, donors are being trained to “tune out the noise” and filter out the barrage of funding requests. Unless your organization is able to finely tune both the message and the demographic of your outreach, your needs run the risk of becoming the same noise.
Taxes Continue to Impact Giving
When the standard deduction was raised starting last year, meaning far fewer donors are itemizing their taxes, we saw a dip in individual giving at Donation Spring that was evidently driven by tax incentives. I, unfortunately, expect that to worsen in 2020, after donors complete their 2019 income taxes and realize the reduced tax-impact of their gifts. Although we always hope for selfless motivators, the reality is nonprofits will need to think more strategically about alternative paths to sustainability.