Building a successful nonprofit organization can sometimes feel like a relentless, uphill battle. With never-ending advances in technology and society as a whole, nonprofits will always be facing new challenges. Some nonprofit leaders may feel they could easily give an hour-long speech in response to the question, “What do nonprofits struggle with the most?” The COVID-19 pandemic alone was its own mountain on the nonprofit uphill battle, forcing organizations around the world to make drastic changes to their current structure and future plans. In this blog, we will explore some of the more common pitfalls nonprofits are encountering. Thankfully, procedures and technology services for nonprofits are evolving to aid these struggles, especially when it comes to talent retention, fundraising and grants, and increased competition.
The latest challenges facing nonprofit organizations in 2022 are compelling many to find modern solutions, especially when it comes to technology challenges for nonprofits. Awareness of these issues will hopefully lead to creative resolutions and the growth of your nonprofit.
Skilled employees and volunteers are a cornerstone of any successful organization. In a 2019 survey, nonprofits in the United States and Canada were asked, “What are current challenges of the non profit sector?” The number one answer was small staff and transitions in staff. Another survey by Nonprofit HR reported that 45% of nonprofit employees are or will be looking for different employment in the next five years. 49% of those respondents said they felt the nonprofit world didn’t pay enough. “Gone are the days of talented professionals being willing to take a vow of poverty to work for a cause or a mission they are passionate about” says Lisa Brown Alexander, CEO of Nonprofit HR. It appears the feelings of being overworked and underpaid are common in the nonprofit sector, but thankfully there are many solutions to this problem!
One simple solution for retaining talent is giving employees tools to streamline their workload. Imagine an employee faced with a hundred tasks they need to complete by a looming deadline, but the computer they are expected to complete these tasks on runs at a turtle’s pace. The employee is burnt out and has to stay late multiple days because of this. Upper management may not even be aware that updating their organization’s hardware or software could make this employee’s work-life much easier. Now imagine that employee zipping through their tasks on updated hardware fitted for the nonprofit’s needs. The employee can wrap up everything well before the deadline and perhaps pitch in elsewhere, no late evenings in sight. This is an easy change Computers in Ministry (CIM) can help you make, allowing your nonprofit to thrive with happy and productive employees.
What challenges do nonprofits face in securing financial support? Answering that question could fill an entire novel. Fundraising has always been a tricky and continuous process. Some of the biggest challenges in fundraising include finding donors, establishing trust and loyalty with those donors, maintaining those relationships over time to keep the donation income steady, among many others. COVID-19 threw a wrench into the fundraising process by essentially eliminating large, in-person events, which is one of the top fundraising methods for many nonprofits. And while grants can be a good resource for funding, applying for and reporting on grants can be a cumbersome process.
Fortunately, innovations in technology have supplied many different solutions to these issues as well. Tweaks to your nonprofit’s website can make the online donation process much simpler. Constituent relationship management (CRM) software can keep track of information needed for maintaining donor relationships. Automation of communications and marketing can be an invaluable tool that increases visibility and frees up time to grow your nonprofit in other ways. Advances in technology have streamlined these processes and more for the benefit of nonprofits everywhere.
In a recent 2022 report on nonprofit salaries and staffing trends, the demand for nonprofit workers is exceeding supply. This has many nonprofits contemplating the salaries and benefits they offer their employees. Salaries have increased in certain nonprofit positions by 20%, which has set a new precedent. 77% of employers are planning to hire full-time staff in 2022 to accommodate their growth. With this growth comes increased competition for acquiring the limited funds that are available to nonprofit organizations.
The primary source of funding will also be shifting to new generations that have grown up with technology at their fingertips. Digital engagement is key to reaching these people, which is an area we are well-versed in at CIM. The nonprofits that invest in digital engagement tools will be the ones sliding in and snagging these donors.
Nonprofit technology trends in 2022 and beyond will continue to see a rise in automation and digital engagement, as described above. Ten years ago, TikTok didn’t even exist, but in 2021 it beat Google as the number one most popular domain. This alone speaks volumes about how people are engaging with the rest of the world.
One understandable concern with many nonprofits is simply being able to afford these new technologies. Fortunately, the government and many foundations and corporations offer grants or discounts specifically for technology procurement. These grants wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a general understanding that nonprofit success and utilizing technology go hand in hand.
Yes! We understand you may still feel a little uncertain about how these technology services could benefit your nonprofit. It can be overwhelming for those that are newer to the world of tech services. Or perhaps you are convinced that these challenges could be solved by a nonprofit technology strategy and are ready to learn more. Whether you feel overwhelmed by all of this or eager to jump on the technology bandwagon, we at CIM are happy to help. Our team is passionate about nonprofits and technology, with many years of experience and expertise in both areas. Please reach out to us at CIM today so we can create a successful technology roadmap for your organization!