October 13, 2014

New Fundraising Study Provides Insights on Effective Technology Use

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There’s no shortage of technology options available to nonprofits today for fundraising. The wide variety of choices out there can be daunting, with so many questions to ask: What’s the best management software platform? Which web communication channels are the most effective? What’s the benefit of supporting new means and methods of payment acceptance?

Here at NTEN, we receive a lot of questions about the the different uses of technology for fundraising. A tried and true way to start: talk to your peers in the nonprofit sector, and learn from their experiences!

The newly published 2014 Fundraising Technology Trends Study draws on the experiences of 142 fundraising organizations with technology to answer these questions. The study was authored by software matching service Find Accounting Software and co-sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, as well as nonprofit software providers Cougar Mountain, and Araize.

Here are some of the key findings from the study:

  • Revenue growth is not assured. 47% of nonprofits generated the same or less revenue in 2013 compared to 2012.
  • Fundraisers believe in technology, but often lack it. 4 out of 5 fundraisers feel that better technology leads to fundraising success. But only 1 in 3 say they currently have the tools they need to be effective.
  • Leveraging the web matters. Nonprofits who accept online donations are 24% more likely to have increased fundraising revenue last year. Tactics such as blogging and sharing video content increase the effectiveness further.
  • Diversification is key. Using a greater variety of software, channels, and payment methods correlates strongly with fundraising success. The most successful fundraisers used 3x as many web communication methods on average.
  • There is an emulatable technology profile of a successful fundraiser. 83% of the fundraisers who achieved it describe their fundraising as either “effective” or “very effective.”

For access to study statistics, charts, raw data, and the video report, check out the “2014 Fundraising Technology Trend Study” here.

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Joleen Ong
Joleen is a strong advocate of the nonprofit sector’s role in bringing about social change, and the power of technology to make this happen. At NTEN, Joleen is the editor of NTEN: Change, the quarterly journal for nonprofit leaders, and helps to support NTEN’s 50,000+ community members meet their mission through technology. Joleen is a published writer and researcher on the topic of nonprofit fundraising, communications, marketing, as well as international human rights and labor relations in Asia and Latin America. Prior to NTEN, she was the Communications Manager at Social Accountability International in New York for five years, where she focused on supporting programs to advance workers rights in factories around the world. Joleen earned her MS in Nonprofit Management from the New School, and BA in International Studies and Spanish/Anthropology at the College of New Jersey. She has led presentations on the topic of nonprofit marketing, communications, and sustainability worldwide. She is also a member/blogger of the Integrated Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB) and frequent webinar trainer for FundsForNGOs. Joleen is also the editor of two award-winning social justice documentaries that focus on responsible procurement with Fair Trade on college campuses, and military recruitment.