Nonprofit trends in 2015

With the start of the new year, the nonprofit sector may witness some emerging trends. Your organization should be aware of the possible developments, progressions and news impacting the nonprofit industry. Knowing about these important topics can help you and your nonprofit launch into a successful 2015.

Familiarizing your organization with certain demographics 
Baby boomers make up a large portion of the general population. These individuals are responsible for a majority of the donations received by charities, according to Forbes. To market your cause to baby boomers, you must understand them. Yahoo Small Business noted that this generation is more tech-savvy than we often give them credit for. Appeal to baby boomers by acknowledging their understanding of social networks and other means of digital communication.

"Appeal to baby boomers by acknowledging their understanding of social networks and other means of communication."

Members of Generation X are taking the place of baby boomers among leadership ranks in nonprofit organizations, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. As current board members reach retirement age, their positions will be filled by Generation X.

This demographic tends to be ignored by both the media and marketers. A great deal of efforts are focused on millennials and baby boomers, noted MarketWatch. It is important for your nonprofit to cater to the needs of all generations involved in your organization's mission - especially those who are leaders.

Generation X represents the middle ground between baby boomers and millennials. This demographic's religious views, education and political mindset remain moderate compared to their larger neighboring generations, according to Pew Research. For example, 53 percent of millennial participants noted that they would rather have bigger government and more services available, while only 32 percent of baby boomers agreed.

Generation X is a group and can easily be accommodated. Many in this group are busy with families and work. Convenience is key with this generation. Emphasize your willingness to accommodate these individuals' schedules and harness the power of the Internet and accept online donations to make giving easier for them. 

Millennials are another massive demographic that can potentially help your nonprofit obtain its goals. These individuals represent future benefactors. Upleaf, a nonprofit resource, emphasized that nonprofits must reach out to this particular group. The growth of your organization is dependent on your ability to communicate with these young adults. 

The Millennial Impact Research found that this demographic's members are highly influenced by their peers, prefer to test drive a nonprofit before committing to supporting it and would rather endorse issues than organizations. For these reasons, it is crucial that you gain more millennial participants to influence their friends, allow individuals to have a noncommittal experience with your nonprofit (and make it count) and stress your cause over the logo or name of your organization. 

Remember the success of your nonprofit largely stems from your ability to interact with individuals and cater to their desires and preferred channels of communication.

Knowing how to successfully communicate with different demographics is crucial to your nonprofit's success. Knowing how to successfully communicate with different demographics is crucial to your nonprofit's success. 

Embracing the age of information and accepting multiple forms of payment through various channels is important for your organization in 2015. Tech Soup noted that entering the world of payment processing is easy, inexpensive and can boost the volume of donations you receive. In addition, accepting credit and debit card donations requires further security, which can make benefactors feel more confident and secure. More online and mobile technology adoption 
The Nonprofit Times stressed the importance of utilizing new technology and developing mobile options. Social media and electronic communication will continue to influence donors in 2015. Develop campaigns that utilize Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and allow donors to spread the word about your cause and organization through their individual networks. 

Explore new technology and software that your nonprofit may benefit from and invest in your future success. 

Humanizing your organization 
Nonprofit Hub noted that an emerging trend in the nonprofit world is creating a more relatable and believable image for your organization. Creating content, developing personalized communication and showing potential donors that their participation can make an impact are a few important keys to successfully humanizing your cause. 

The Content Marketing Institute released research that indicated a greater number of nonprofits are embracing content. 

"It's exciting to see how nonprofit professionals continue to embrace content marketing," said Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing. "Sixty-one percent are using content marketing and 69 percent are creating more content than they did one year ago. Many are focused on storytelling as an initiative, which tells us they're beginning to understand the power of content marketing." 

Personalizing communication will also help build relationships and loyalty among your donors. Encourage the development of friendships throughout your entire nonprofit network. 

As you start the new year, remember to tap into emerging trends and make 2015 the best year yet for your nonprofit. Showing potential benefactors that their contributions make a difference is important. The proof is in the pudding and it's time to give donors a taste. 

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