Nonprofits Have Technology But Aren’t Using It Well

September 19, 2018       Paul Clolery      

Executives at nonprofits in the United States report a 72 percent increase in demand for services during the past five years. While that might seem insurmountable, that percentage is less than organizations in Australia/New Zealand (85 percent), Canada (83 percent) and The United Kingdom (77 percent).

There is also less demand for transparency of funding in the U.S. (52 percent) as compared to Canada (65 percent), Australia/New Zealand (76 percent) and the United Kingdom (79 percent). These are some of the revelations from a new report from salesforce.org and salesforce research.

The results are from interviews and surveys of 461 nonprofit executives. The question is: Are they correct since the executives surveyed say they have challenges using their technology?

Whether or not they are correct stems from other data in the report which shows that just 53 percent of them find it easy to collect program data and even fewer have the ability to put that data to use. Only 27 percent of respondents prioritize data management improvement and 25 percent prioritize program delivery/execution technology improvement.

Fewer than half (47 percent) of respondents said it is easy to analyze their data and 41 percent said it powers the overall impact of programs. With the world accessing everything while on the go these days, only 29 percent can capture and access data from a mobile device.

The pressure is on to add technology to fundraising, yet only 39 percent of respondents said they were successful at omni-channel fundraising while 76 percent said hosting events was the most successful fundraising channel, followed by major gifts at 60 percent. And, only 44 percent said they are successful at bringing prospects through an engagement journey.

“A mere 8 percent of nonprofits have completely automated their donation impact measurement and reporting. Meanwhile, more than five times as many nonprofits (42 percent) have a complete manual process for measuring and reporting such information,” according to the report.

There are many technology buzzwords, including artificial intelligence (AI). But fewer than half of nonprofits use analytics to dissect data housed in their technology systems. Only one-third use community platforms to connect stakeholders and marketing automation systems to foster personalized journeys. Just 5 percent of nonprofits — or, one in 20 — have AI capabilities. That figure is forecasted to skyrocket by 361 percent during the next two years. The prevalence of constituent-facing mobile apps is poised to rise by 174 percent within the same time period, and the use of marketing automation is set to double, according to the report.

To see the complete report, go to www.salesforce.org/research

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  • fundraising
  • IA
  • Salesforce
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  • technology
  • transparency