4 Trends To Be Excited About

August 24, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

The day-to-day duties of nonprofit management often include the handling of a barrage of challenges and complications.

Accompanying those obstacles are opportunities, according to author Lester M. Salamon. In his new book, “The Resilient Sector Revisited,” Salamon lists new opportunities upon which organizations might capitalize.

Demographic trends are increasing the demand for the types of services nonprofits provide. These trends include an aging population, shift in family structures, an increased prevalence of substance abuse, and the expansion of legal immigration, which saw a spike from 3.3 million in the 1960s to 9.5 million from 2000 to 2009.

Developments in politics and policy have increased the visibility of nonprofits. In the 1980s, world leaders such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher deemphasized government involvement in issues in favor of the philanthropy and the private sector – including nonprofits. An increased visibility can be seen in the classroom. In 2009, 168 colleges and universities in the United States offered graduate programs in the operations of nonprofits, up from 17 in 1990.

Advances in technology have the potential to pay dividends for nonprofits. The promotion of new green technologies by environmental nonprofits, developments in bioscience utilized by nonprofit hospitals and clinics and the use of social networks in civic activism are examples of ways nonprofits may leverage technology to improve their operations.

Robust developments in philanthropy might be used to reinvigorate the sector’s capital and open up new opportunities. Such developments include a greater willingness among corporations to partner with nonprofits, an intergenerational transfer of wealth from Baby Boomers to their offspring and the emergence of social entrepreneurs seeking ways to make business serve social ends.