Three Nonprofit Technology Trends for 2013

Three Nonprofit Technology Trends for 2013

The New Year is a great reason to celebrate, be thankful, and think about the year ahead. Here are a few technology trends to consider as you plan for 2013.

  1. Mobile. It’s changing the way nonprofits operate and how our constituents get information from us. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that more than 13% of all web-page visits in August were made on a tablet or mobile phone – almost doubled from just a year ago. Half of the U.S. nonprofits in Blackbaud’s “2012 State of the Nonprofit Industry” survey plan in 2013 to enable their website for mobile browsing, use QR codes, and optimize emails for a mobile device.

    What to do? Review your website analytics to see how many of your visitors are accessing your website from mobile devices now. Visit your website from a smartphone or iPad to see how it looks and how long it takes to load. If you don’t have the budget for a separate mobile site, then consider a responsive design.

  2. Data Informed. Nonprofits collect tons of data – contact information, web analytics, social media figures, and program statistics.

    Overwhelmed? Beth Kanter, author of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, says being data-informed means “an organization knows the questions to ask and  how to collect the right data to answer those questions. Above all, it uses its collective wisdom to making decisions… and uses several perspectives to understand how to apply the data.” Check out Beth’s synopsis of NTEN’s study on The State of Nonprofit Data to see how nonprofits manage and use data.

  3. Cloud Computing. The move to the cloud lets all of us in nonprofits  get information from practically anywhere without up-front costs.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy outlines the pros and cons. Some of you have already made the leap by using services like Google, Dropbox, or online databases.

What trends are you seeing in your organization? Please share them in response to this blog.

Paula Jones is director of technology at the N.C. Center for Nonprofits. She has served nonprofits through the Center for eight years.


These are all great points of emphasis on how fundrasing is evolving. I think, however, two important features are missing. 1. The evolution of online auctions and 2. Online auctions using social media to reach and connect with their niche audience. / a Raleigh, NC online auction for non-profits and academic causes does a great job utilizing many social media platforms to reach their audience.

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