Nonprofit Tech Predictions for 2017


Nonprofits that have embraced technology and social media have experienced the benefits it provides to raising funds and creating social change. Ever evolving and changing, lets take a look at some tech predictions so that your nonprofit can stay ahead of the curve and make a difference in the world. 

Original article from October-December 2016 Edition of AsianNGO Magazine.

1) Declining Engagement and Reach on Social Media

Throughout 2016 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have seen declining engagement and reach. Changes to algorithms (fancy word for a math equation), the growing number of brands, businesses, and nonprofits using social media for marketing, and declining “Like” and “Follow” rates have lessened the power of the Big Three – unless your nonprofit has an advertising budget.

Now is the time to get ahead of the pack, and start learning new social media platforms like Snapchat


2) A Revival in Email Fundraising

In response to declining engagement and reach on social media, in 2017 nonprofits will begin to refocus their efforts on email communications and email fundraising.

Social media has been such a phenomenon that it has distracted many nonprofits away from using email to engage their donors and supporters and recent data has revealed that was a mistake. 56% of emails are now opened on a mobile device (Litmus) and the number one activity on smartphones is surprisingly reading email. 

Furthermore, email revenue grew by 25% in 2015, faster than the 19% overall rate of online revenue growth (2016 M+R Benchmarks Study). In truth, email is resulting in more online donations than ever – definitely more than social media – and by 2019 the total number of email accounts worldwide will grow from 4.35 billion to 5.59 billion (Radicati Group). 


3) The Rise of Digital Payments on Social Media

In the United States nonprofits can now directly accept digital payments on Facebook. Donors enter and save their credit card once and then every donation made on Facebook thereafter can be completed with two taps on a smartphone or two clicks of a mouse. Facebook has released their new donation capability in the United States first because Facebook can use the GuideStar database to easily verify a nonprofit’s legal status,

Facebook owns Instagram, so the company will likely also add digital payments to Instagram. Twitter is working on $Cashtags. YouTube has donation cards. Snapchat has Snapcash. Money and online giving as we’ve known it is on the precipice of radical change. Giving will be easier and faster and match perfectly the impulsive nature of social media users.

4) Increased Adoption of New and Improved Mobile Fundraising Apps 

Similar to digital payments on social media, Apple has launched Apple Pay, Android has Android Pay, and Samsung has Samsung Pay. Known primary as mobile wallets, all three payment systems also have online and in-app payment capability.

Once a consumer enters their credit card information into their Apple, Android, or Samsung Mobile Wallet, they can then purchase products online or in apps with two taps or a tap and a finger scan. 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.

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