NFP Engagement Enters the Connected Era
28 August 2018 at 8:24 am
In the age of personalisation and trust, charities should use technology to build sustainable donation models and drive new levels of transparency, writes Davinder Mann, the APAC director at Salesforce.
The not-for-profit sector is at a tipping point. With changing consumer behaviour, and trust in not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) at an all time low, the sector needs to take swift action through technology to adapt to consumer expectations, and in doing so, build loyalty.
The latest Australian Charities Report revealed that while Australia’s 52,000 NFPs have increased revenue collectively, individual donations dropped an astonishing $1 billion from 2015 to 2016 – 7.3 per cent of the sector’s total income. On the flipside, nearly half of all NFP revenue (49.7 per cent) was generated through membership fees and user-pays services, with the remainder through government grants.
But if revenue is collectively increasing, why are so many NFPs struggling? Unfortunately for the 26 per cent of NFPs which still heavily rely on donations and bequests for more than half their income, they’re fighting an uphill battle. Consumers are moving away from making off-the-cuff donations to face-to-face fundraisers on the streets, and moving towards making considered and planned digital donations to fewer charities, in seamless and sustained ways.
While seamless experiences are a key driver of this trend, the movement towards greater consideration can also be mapped back to trust – or lack thereof. Recent allegations of unauthorised transactions and unnecessary spending of donations, such as those to The Women in Prison Advocacy Network, has put a sharp spotlight on the sector, particularly, but not limited to, NFPs which rely on limited in-person donations.
In the 2018 Nonprofit Trends Report commissioned by Salesforce Research and Salesforce.org, 76 per cent of ANZ not-for-profit leaders said the demand for transparency of funding such as budget allocation, program results, impact measurements and engagement metrics, had increased over the past five years.
But unfortunately, the majority of NFPs are still using clunky outdated manual processes to measure and report, and therefore find it difficult to analyse this internal data, leading to a myriad of struggles when it comes to tracking and quantifying impact and performance.
With time spent on collating, rather than analysing data to see where and how it’s being spent, it’s little wonder why there’s a trust crisis. Customers are no longer solely loyal to brands, but rather to experiences. Transparent organisations which give them a personalised and convenient experience, are the ones they remain loyal to – and it’s the same for donors.
We are in the age of personalisation and trust. Through technology, the NFP sector can face this crisis head-on. Charities can now use the same technology that big businesses have – harnessing cloud-based solutions to build sustainable donation models which organise, analyse, and unite information on benefactors, programs, and beneficiaries that can drive new levels of transparency, and personalisation.
By understanding what drives donor’s to give, and adjusting programs based on data-driven insights, NFPs can drive new levels of engagement and – most importantly – impact.
About the Author: Davinder Mann is the APAC director at Salesforce.org and has previous experience at F&C Asset Management and Action for Brazil’s Children Trust.