Technology trends impacting charitable giving

Technology analyst firm Gartner reports on trends worldwide as well as predictions for the future, breaking down solutions and services by industry and geographic location. The latest reports from Gartner offer insight into the new products and technologies available to nonprofits looking to optimize online donation pages, mobile giving platforms or other aspects of their digital presence. Strengthening online giving options and channels to raise awareness quickly across vast distances can improve collection rates and enhance long-term sustainability.

Nonprofit-friendly tech trends
Analyzing Gartner's 2013 technology trends reports, NP Engage discussed a few aspects particularly relevant to the nonprofit sector. As more charities look to expand their presence online into mobile devices and social media networks, it is important for decision makers to follow trends related to consumer usage and demand of such channels.

By 2015, more than 80 percent of mobile devices will be smartphones, and Gartner analysts predict mobile device web access will exceed PC use in terms of online browsing. Therefore, it is vital for nonprofits to develop mobile-friendly websites or applications that allow users to navigate sites efficiently on a smaller screen and reach donation pages faster. Mobile-optimized websites and donation pages contain less content, have simplified navigation tools and fit better into smartphone and tablet screen sizes. Likewise, mobile applications that can be downloaded and launched directly from smartphones and tablets are also growing in popularity. Creating a unique app allows users to open donation pages or communication channels specific to the organization at anytime, making giving more convenient for tech-savvy donors.

In addition, Gartner expects the use of big data analytics to extract actionable insights from information streams will continue to increase to help organizations gain greater understanding of key demographics and audiences. With more information available on consumer behaviors and decision making from online collection and mobile technology, organizations should be tracking donor preferences to ensure campaigns are designed for optimal engagement. Collecting data streams and analyzing the results helps decision makers see what aspects of fundraising efforts or online awareness campaigns are succeeding, and what measures are reporting weak results.

Discussing these technology trends and more, fundraising experts will be attending the 2013 AFP conference in April. The event will address different strategies nonprofits are experimenting with to overcome various obstacles and increase online giving moving forward. Many organizations have yet to take full advantage of online donation page resources and tools, which can drive down overhead costs and increase awareness. The conference will feature technology expert discussions, panel-style workshops breaking down nonprofit website weaknesses and presentations of case studies demonstrating the before and after impact of many digital changes to online campaigns.

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