The nonprofit sector is growing. According to data cited in October 2015 by the Urban Institute, there were around 1.41 million nonprofits registered with the IRS in 2013, up 2.8 percent from 2003. As the industry grows, it is also facing new technology challenges and trends.
First and foremost is security, a common theme these days for any kind of organization. According to Optimal Networks, the top security concerns for nonprofits are a weak password policy, use of outdated and open-source software, reliance on unsecured online payment processors, and access that current and former employees may have to the nonprofit’s systems.
Meanwhile, nonprofits are dealing with the fact that more work than ever is being done on mobile devices. According to adestra.com, 45 percent of emails are being opened on mobile devices.
Nonprofits are also having to confront what many other business sectors have been trying to handle: a deluge of data. According to a January 2015 report from Charity Dynamics, 88 percent of nonprofit professionals expect digital fundraising to more than double, from 7 percent of total fundraising to 20 percent, in the next 10 years. All of that digital activity generates data. Yet 57 percent of nonprofits say they are not properly using the donor data they have for potential marketing and fundraising drives, according to iATS Payments, which provides payment processing products and services to more than 10,000 nonprofit organizations globally.
Cloud platforms are one facet of technology that nonprofits can use to make sense of data and become more efficient. In a survey cited by npEngage, 64 percent of CFOs said that adopting cloud technology would cut operational costs by up to 20 percent.
Yet nonprofits still have a long way to go in terms of using the cloud in critical aspects of operation. Last year, a report from npEngage said that “while the majority of nonprofits are using the cloud for common tasks like email, only about 15% are using cloud-based accounting and fundraising solutions.”
Take a look at the infographic below for the top technology trends facing nonprofits in 2016.