NFPs Need Greater Investment in New Technologies and Social Media
27 November 2017 at 4:59 pm
Not-for-profit organisations need to engage with millennials by further investing in new technologies and social media to facilitate greater giving and fundraising, according to a new report.
QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) on Monday released the latest data from the Giving Australia 2016 report, focused on the not for profit (NFP) perspective.
Released just before the annual #GivingTuesday campaign, the report examined how NFPs drive support through engaging the community, business and philanthropic foundations.
ACPNS director, Associate Professor Wendy Scaife, said NFPs were investing more in volunteers and trying to better understand what motivates donors.
“Non-profit organisations are showing their appreciation for their volunteers and are investing more time and energy into recruiting them,” Scaife said.
“They’re definitely realising that their organisation’s impact hinges significantly on the attitudes and commitment of their volunteers; the report shows that half have a dedicated volunteer manager and three-quarters have some sort of volunteer recognition in place, a marked increase from 54 per cent in 2005.
“Another key takeaway from the data is that NPOs are becoming more attuned to donors’ expectations and are actively seeking ways to better understand what’s influencing donors’ decisions.”
But Scaife told Pro Bono News that NFPs’ use of technology was a worry in the age of social-media.
“Only 76.6 per cent of charities had a website, and of those only 46.8 per cent were mobile optimised and only 36.2 per cent could receive donations,” she said.
“With social media, 59.1 per cent of charities in our survey had a social media presence, so there’s a bit of catch up there. Our data from non-profits told us just how important social media was for their organisations.
“Being able to have two way communications and actually interact with donors and beneficiaries [is vital] but being able to measure return on social media activity was the problem for them because it didn’t necessarily drive dollars in the short-term.”
She said utilising these new technologies could strengthen the fundraising efforts for NFPs, especially when targeting millennials.
“Clearly, online hasn’t replaced offline, but it could be improved. If you haven’t got your technology right for millennials and they want to give and volunteer then you can forget it,” Scaife said.
“Because the expectation is there from the consumer. And they look for it in every part of their life, including with charitable giving.”
Operating and engaging with social enterprises was also raised as another way for NFPs to strengthen their fundraising efforts, with only 13 per cent of respondents operating a social enterprise in their most recent financial year.
“We were hearing especially from some of our younger voices, that they are looking for more upbeat ways for their money to be used. So social enterprise had more appeal than armchair philanthropy,” Scaife said.
“Where they could see a range of benefits coming – such as youth employment – and being able to find organisations that were not just working off charitable donations were some of the things we were hearing there.
“It’s not quite an eschewing of traditional charities but it showed that millennials are looking for something a little different and more innovative ways for charities to deliver their mission and deliver good in the community.”
The full report – Giving and Volunteering: the Nonprofit Perspective – can be viewed here.