You Must Change In Step With Donors

January 30, 2017       The NonProfit Times      

“The times they are a changin.” And, while it’s unlikely Bob Dylan ever imagined today’s technology or its relevance to business success while penning those lyrics, take heed: His lyrics might be timeless, but your office technology is not.

Ambitious nonprofit executives today are looking to lead their organizations into the future. But that’s challenging when technology is changing so quickly and donors’ needs are becoming more sophisticated.

“Your donors are changing how they communicate with you – and faster than you think,’’ according Robert Alves and Don Robertson, whose book, “The Not-For-Profit Exec’s Guide to Improving Organizational Performance,’’ focuses on technology’s role in business success. “Your website needs to allow donors convenient self-service options so that they can do whatever they need and want to do from anywhere they want, and at any time they want, and from any device they choose.’’

The authors urge managers to fuse their databases and their websites, allowing donors convenience. “Seventy three percent of not-for-profits generated up to half of all their donations online,’’ the authors wrote. Managers who remain engaged at every level have a distinct advantage, the book notes.

The authors offer the following key strategies to ensure that your organization will withstand economic pressure, evolving technologies and demographic changes:

  1. Let the business strategy drive technology decisions.
  2. Focus on becoming a “continuous learning organization,” by learning from your operational activities all the time.
  3. Ensure your data is accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible.
  4. Recognize that your website is your business system and vice versa. A website that provides donors with content based on constituent data is critical to success.