4 Nonprofit Tech Trends for 2017

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posted by Jessica
on Jan 27, 2017

For over a decade non-profits, charities, and NGO worldwide have been embracing technology with the hope of scaling their social impact. From operations to marketing to fundraising, there are many technologies that these organization use to streamline their process, reach more people, raise funds and collaborate in a more effective and efficient manner. In 2017, as more innovative technologies are on the horizon, it is a good time for non-profits to reflect on their past efforts and determine how they can be improved using upcoming tech.

1. The Revival of Email Fundraising

According to Litmus research, 56% of emails are now opened on mobile device – and the number one activity on smartphones is reading email, not gaming or social networking. While social media is still a popular platform for communications and fundraising, non-profits should start optimizing their email fundraising efforts this year. Many email marketing platforms also offer special rates for non-profits i.e. Mailchimp and Emma.

2. Digital Payments on Social Media

In 2015, Facebook added donate button for non-profit pages, allowing non-profits to directly accept digital payments inside of Facebook. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in the United States, as it is easier to verify a non-profit’s legal status in the US. However, Facebook has planned to roll out the feature across the globe and adding the digital payments feature on Instagram. Meanwhile, Snapchat has Snapcash, Youtube has donation cards, and Twitter has $Cashtags.

3. Mobile Technology to Simplify Donation

Similar to digital payments on social media, Apple has launched Apple Pay, Android has Android Pay, and Samsung has Samsung Pay. The proliferation of mobile payment services means that more people are making payments via mobile services than ever before. Currently, the technology is not being used for nonprofit fundraising – only for consumer purchases – but it’s just a matter of time until nonprofit technologists and social entrepreneurs come together to create mobile fundraising apps empowered by mobile wallets.

4. Using IoT for Social Good

By 2020, over 26 billion things, from cars and roads to appliances and homes, will be connected to the internet. What does that mean for non-profits? Not much right now as the vast the vast majority of staff working at nonprofits have never heard the term “Internet of Things.” That will change in 2017 as the Internet of Things and its implications begin to seep into the nonprofit sector’s consciousness. Nonprofits will begin seeking the opportunity to help governments and business design the smart, sustainable cities of the future. Over the next half decade nonprofits will begin to take an active role in shaping the Internet of Things and ensuring that philanthropy and a commitment to social good is programmed into its foundation.

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