By Haylin Belay
The BriefAs the big data revolution continues to foment, it’s never been more important for nonprofits—regardless of funding and resource constraints—to stay engaged in the tech world. After all, as data solutions proliferate at a variety of price points, more organizations will find the apps and platforms they need within financial reach. As the NTEN NTC Conference approaches, here are five technology trends all nonprofits should be plugged into.
1. Privacy/Data Ethics
Buzzwords like “big data” and “analytics” are impossible to avoid these days (see our intro above) but as more institutions hop on the bandwagon, questions about the ethical use of personal data arise. The corporate sphere has been tackling the issue
for some time, but as nonprofits begin reaping the benefits of big data
, it’s time to start working on ways to leverage data without breaking the trust of donors and beneficiaries.
2. Better data science
When it comes to analytics, 2015 is all about doing better instead of doing more. Understanding the power of big data isn’t just about collecting more information. It’s about bringing a critical eye to what data science can do—and that means qualitative analysis, not just quantitative number-crunching. Problem is, those analytical skills are “currently in short supply,”
so your org may need to get creative in its approach to analytics.
“As nonprofits begin to reap the benefits of big data, it’s time to work on ways to leverage data without breaking donors’ trust.”
Gamification—the process of creating social games
that are interactive, engaging and, most importantly, have the potential to go viral
—can open new channels for fundraising and cause awareness for nonprofits. And these days, organizations like Playmob
are bridging the gap between developers and nonprofits, making it even easier to reap the rewards of this innovative tool.
4. Multichannel Campaigns
With the proliferation of social media platforms and tools, even your college-aged interns are struggling to stay up-to-date on every channel. That’s why it’s crucial to know the ins and outs
of creating an effective marketing campaign that works across a variety of social media. Are you tailoring your messaging for Twitter, Facebook, and Vine? Does your audience even exist on those platforms? Are you also utilizing tools like email, text, and mobile where appropriate?
It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of new tech, but remember that not all people will access your nonprofit’s digital offering in the same way. Some people may not have reliable Internet access; others may have disabilities and use special software to access your content. With more and more nonprofit work moving to the electronic space, organizations must consider how to optimize
their web-based campaigns—for everyone.
Haylin Belay is a freelance writer and blogger based in New York City. She is a frequent contributor to the RelSci blog.
RelSci is a technology solutions company that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers.
Will you be at the Nonprofit Technology Conference? Connect with us on Twitter & visit our booth!