10 March 2016

Technology and NonProfits

Technology has become the most important part of human lives and is continuously evolving. Companies are trying to decipher how to best use the latest technologies to sell products and services. Technology is changing the world for nonprofits. Technology has helped achieve goals that were earlier beyond imagination. For example, communication and the Internet are wonderful miracles of technology. They have connected the world together.

Technology has touched the lives of all the people in some way or the other. Nonprofits cannot ignore how technology is changing daily. Technology is causing an ongoing transformation in every sector, including nonprofits. It has evolved the way nonprofit organizations raise funds, engage with supporters, market and manage information. Technology has help them deliver their mission in the most effective and scalable way.

Some of the technology trends that play an important role in the non-profits sector are:

  1. Mobile Friendly Websites – Websites have now become responsive and are available in all types of devices like mobile phones and tablets. Donors and supporters can engage with Non-Profits anytime and anywhere and vice-versa.
  2. Use of Multimedia – The use of graphic images, videos, blogs to engage with supporters have now become easy. Non-Profits now have more supporters, donationsand henceforth more successful. They are able to deliver the right message at the right time to the right people using the right channels.
  3. Online Donations – Non-Profits are now using multiple channels to outreach supporters.Online collection of donation from people sitting in any part of the world is now the latest trend. Technology has made it possible to reach global donors and generate more funds to meet their goals.
  4. Social Media – Social Networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter provide access to networks of potential donors, volunteers, members, alumni, supporters, etc. Web Applications are integrated with social networks and enable direct communication with constituents. The benefits of this integration are limitless.
  5. Cloud Services-There will be less need for non-profits to maintain applications and data in-house when it is far more cost effective, accessible and a higher quality of service via the cloud. Many non-profits have already started using SAAS (Software-as-a-Service) and PAAS (Platform-as-a-Service)
  6. Data Analytics –Use of data has become more intelligent and smarter. Non-profits can use social media and web analytics to get a granular view of their supporters and communication channels. This helps to make decisions like how to better fundraise, whom to ask and for how much, how to facilitate events and how to get recurring donations, etc. Good Data Analytics give insights on where other nonprofits are successful, how individuals respond to different communication channels, etc.

In the 2016 report from Techreport it is surprising to know that 92% of NGOs worldwide have a website and 75% NGOs accept online donations. 95% of NGOs worldwide have a Facebook page. 62% of donors worldwide prefer to donate online. These facts bolster the fact that embracing technology is imminent for non-profits.


Note: this article has been updated August 17, 2018

Amar Trivedi

President and founder of AmDee, Amar provides insight of nonprofit technology through occasional guest blogs for AmDee and others. He has been a software developer and architect since the mid-1990s.