NTEN’s 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference Brings Nonprofits and Providers Together to Explore How Technology Impacts Organizational Effectiveness in the Nonprofit Sector
The nonprofit sector has been growing steadily over the past decade as new charities, foundations and causes are popping up to serve growing segments of the population, including the aging, under-privileged and lower income groups.
According to the Urban Institute, nonprofits out-paced for-profit businesses in their percentage growth in hiring, wages and contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). Not putting aside their altruistic missions and dedicated volunteers, that means there’s plenty of reason to pay close attention to this influential industry segment. But with rapid industry growth comes a host of growing pains, many of which impact nearly every size and type of nonprofit organization.
That’s one of the biggest reasons we’re excited to attend the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference (15NTC) this week (March 4 – 6) in Austin, Texas – to connect with hundreds of nonprofit professionals to learn first hand about the kinds of challenges they face every day in running operations.
According to the GroundWork Group, nonprofits are heavily challenged in three key functional areas: fundraising, service delivery, and training and education. Those functions have many ‘sub-functions’ that historically rely on a series of (often) manual processes that include paperwork and data entry – both are prone to human error, consume countless hours of volunteer or employee time and can have a big impact on services delivered and the donor experience.
Here’s additional insight FTNI has received from our own nonprofit customers, such as the American Red Cross, on some of these same challenge areas:
- Nonprofits need sophisticated fundraising and donor management systems to track historical and current financial support for accurate and timely documentation and reporting to both constituents and to the government.
- The security of transactions needs to remain a high priority and account for a wide range of fundraising needs, channels, payment types and data collection standards.
- Continual improvements and high-quality software and systems will better enable nonprofits to easily maintain long-lasting relationships with their supporters.
Service Delivery Solutions
- Service delivery is a big challenge without supporting technologies that can simplify and speed everyday operations.
- With each new service created, nonprofits need to be able to launch services without an overload of technology and administrative changes, so they can focus more time on their mission, and less time on managing operations.
- Speeding new services to market is also a priority to broaden the number of concurrent fundraising campaigns that can be managed by staff and volunteers, and is dramatically simplified when the right technology and tools are in place.
- Nonprofits need help to simplify and streamline internal data collection, standardization and reporting methods—again so less time is spent on operations and more time (and budgets) are spent on fundraising and program activities.
- Most nonprofits, with the exception of the world’s largest organizations, need to advance technology usage to get a more timely and accurate view of how funds are allocated across all functions, and to better profile demographics of their best donor opportunities.
Day-to-Day Operations Solutions
- On equal footing of importance, funders need to ask nonprofits how they are using technology to manage their day-to-day operations—the incremental efficiencies technology brings can help drive more funds to direct causes and less to administration and operations.
- Nonprofit leaders should maximize their engagement in technology strategy and planning, so the organization can realize the efficiencies and cost savings that improved technology solutions can deliver.
What’s on your list of challenges in your nonprofit organization? Are you facing these types of issues every day? What technology solutions have worked for your nonprofit to help you solve them? We’d love the opportunity to hear from you either here on the blog, via Twitter (@FTNI) or onsite at 15NTC this week in Austin.
The other thing we’re excited to share at the event this week is how our cloud-based, donation processing platform, ETran, is helping leading nonprofit organizations speed donations, improve data and documentation accuracy, accelerate communication flow with loyal constituents, reduce administrative time and costs, and help them accept more donation payment types from more funders through more channels. For more on how ETran is assisting nonprofits such as the American Red Cross to simplify donation processing visit our website, or download our free eBook for nonprofits.
And if you’re headed to Austin for the 15NTC event, we hope you’ll visit us in booth #836 for the opportunity to learn more about your organization and any potential opportunities to assist you in your donation processing needs.
Hope to see you in Austin!
Learn How the American Red Cross Streamlined Donation Processing Using Enhanced Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) Technology. Download the Success Story Now.