News for Nonprofits

How are organizations using technology?

A new study confirms what you may have already suspected: Social media is now playing a prominent role in nonprofits’ communications and fundraising strategies. That’s just one of the findings in the 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, sponsored by the Public Interest Registry (the nonprofit operator of the .org, .ngo and .ong domain names) and researched by Nonprofit Tech for Good (an online resource for nonprofit professionals). A survey of 5,352 organizations worldwide — almost half located in North America — found that 93% of the respondents have a Facebook page, 77% a Twitter profile, 56% a LinkedIn page and 50% an Instagram profile. Seventy-one percent agree that social media is effective for online fundraising.

The report also covers Web and email communications, online fundraising, mobile technology, and data management and security. You can download it at techreport.ngo.

Netflix model for donations gains popularity

Thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, consumers have become increasingly accustomed to monthly subscription models — and now that’s paying off for nonprofits when they attempt to convert donors to “subscribers.” Rather than asking donors to set up monthly payroll deductions, the traditional model for sustaining donations, organizations are asking donors to make monthly donations via credit card.

According to published reports, research indicates that donors who become sustainers in a given year are much more likely to still be active supporters years later than donors who make individual donations in the same initial year. In light of such findings, your not-for-profit might want to make monthly “sustainer giving” your website’s default option.

Half of U.S. nonprofits teeter on brink of financial peril

A recent GuideStar–Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Capital Partners report found that many U.S. nonprofits are operating on a financial precipice. The Financial Health of the United States Nonprofit Sector: Facts and Observations indicates that about half of the more than 219,000 nonprofits whose Forms 990 from 2010 to 2014 were examined had less than one month of operating reserves. Thirty percent had lost money over the previous three years and 7%–8% were technically insolvent, with liabilities exceeding assets.

The report cautions that the new tax law could exacerbate these problems by reducing donations and possibly increasing future pressure on federal budgets for human services. It suggests several steps nonprofit leaders, funders, regulators and policy makers can take to improve financial health in the sector. Find the full report by visiting https://learn.guidestar.org/products/us-nonprofits-financial-health.