Nonprofit Workplace Challenges Predicted For 2017

Staffing, workflow, finance and fundraising will be the trends to watch in nonprofit operations during 2017 when it comes to charities and associations.

“The volatility of the economy, political instability, and greater demands on nonprofits will require a bit of rethinking and refocusing for many organizations going into the new year,” according to Andrew Payne, director of product marketing and product management at software firm Abila.
Here are some predictions for the new year:

* Funding Instability: This will likely force a shift in the nature of funding, with more grantors looking to fund mobilization versus intervention, thus working to prevent issues instead of dealing with them after they’ve occurred. In light of recent public statements, the potential is high for grant reductions for FY 2018 for some market segments.

* Structural Staffing Changes: Uncertainty around the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rule changes might drive nonprofit managers to make structural changes to the workforce. To contain extra expense, many might convert salaried employees to hourly or look to part-time employees to fill staffing gaps. If the overtime rule changes are enforced, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will likely pay close attention to the implementation of new overtime rules, and could even target two or three high-profile NPOs to encourage compliance within the sector.

* Clustering: Many organizations will band together to share resources, overhead, and personnel to serve a common demographic. Many will focus on specialization in a particular area or service versus considering expansion.

* For-Profit CFOs Moving to Nonprofits: The number of for-profit candidates considering nonprofit jobs will continue to increase. With these personnel moves, organizations will likely be much more data- and ROI-driven, creating new business models and financial performance expectations at nonprofits.

* Education as a Focal Point: The emergence of the chief learning officer as a strategic role at associations will continue, with a greater emphasis on education and online learning across the entire organization. The importance of on-demand, online, and mobile learning options, and the value of certifications will be on the rise. Educational offerings for not just members, but also the public at-large, will be a big revenue drive for associations.

* Integrations will be essential: Integrations and the free flow of information and data between software solutions will be crucial. We foretell that the core functionality of association management systems (AMSs) will shift from merely being the database of record to providing new levels of actionable insight into membership.

* Rise of the Foundation: More and more, organizations will look at establishing a 501(c)3 charitable foundation to broaden the reach of the organization and invest in the future. We’ll see an acceleration of this in 2017 as organizations look for new revenue and engagement opportunities.

* Advocacy Will Emerge as a Powerful Tool: As the political climate changes going into 2017, associations leaders will see an opportunity to have their voices heard and perspectives shared in a way that will benefit their organizations and the members they serve. As political and regulatory agendas are shaped and defined, many associations will view 2017 as the best opportunity to engage in advocacy campaigns.

* Membership of Things: Consumer behavior is changing in dramatic ways, and consumers expect organizations with which they engage to follow suit. The consumerization of the association/member experience will have a tremendous impact on associations as members request more mobile, nimble, personalized, and efficient engagements similar to the experiences they have with Amazon or Netflix.

More predictions can be found at Abila.com