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2010 Year End Round Up

yearend2010At the year 2010 comes to an end, there are some significant trends taking shape that are likely to effect the success of\nonprofits in 2011 and beyond. Here are the top issues we see at the top of the list for issues every nonprofit should be aware of as they move forward.

Building relationships
With the economy still on the mend, many non-profits continued to struggle with finding ways to increase donations. There are so many charities clamoring for donor’s attention these days, it is often hard for a charity to stand out from the crowd..Yet, it is vitally important for a nonprofit to strike a chord with the potential donor in order to get them to donate.

One way for non-profits to bring the mission home to a potential donor is to show them the full impact of their donation. In order to do this many non-profits are creating interactive presentations and using a combination of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, to bring donors right into the lives of those they are helping.

This helps build a strong relationship between the non-profit and the donor. As donors see the difference their donation makes, they become invested in the success of the non-profit. There is an added benefit, with social media, donors can share videos and links to their favorite causes, which in turn, helps the non-profits gain a wider audience.

Make giving easy
Of course, once a donor is invested in the charity it is up to the non-profit to make it as easy as possible for the donor to give. Whether it is a one-time gift or a recurring monthly donation, gone are the days of waiting for the donors to send a check.

As donors become increasing more comfortable with giving online, non-profits have responded by providing donors the ability to log onto their favorite charities and make donations with the click of their mouse. Here too, social media plays a role. During fundraising campaigns, non-profits can reach out to donors via social media and include a link to the donation page, with one click the donor is at the donation page.

Increasing reach
Through the use of social media, non-profits can spread the word about fundraising events, calls-to-action and volunteer opportunities. One event gaining popularity is the online auction, thanks in part to software designed specifically to help non-profits organize and track an online auction.

An online auction gives non-profits access to a wider audience then a standard live auction. Many non-profits use an online auction to highlight high-ticket items. Online auctions can be stand-alone events or run in conjunction with a live auction event.

Quick response
Text-to-give is also gaining traction in the non-profit community. After seeing how successful a mobile giving campaign was in helping raise funds for the earthquake survivors in Haiti, other non-profits are launching text-to-give campaigns of their own. Once again, it is a way to make it easier for a donor to give.

A donor no longer needs to write a check, or even log onto a website. They simply push a few buttons on their phone and voila, a donation is made. In addition, since so many people rely solely on their mobile devices for all their communication needs, many developers are designing apps especially for smart phones that make it easy for donors to connect with worthwhile causes while on the go.

Non-profits continued to rely on software such as Constituent Data Management, Content Management Systems, Fundraiser and Fund accounting software to help keep them on track. These sophisticated programs allow non-profits to track and manage everything from donor lists to gala events.

Looking forward
As non-profits embrace technology that allows a small grass roots charity to reach a global audience, the focus will remain on building strong relationships. With the demands on everyone’s time and attention growing, it is even more important for non-profits to make it as easy as possible for donors to give to their favorite charities.

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