Are Nonprofits’ Operations Keeping Pace With Advances In Fundraising?

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Latest Insights Report from 121Giving Finds Nonprofits Can Improve Effectiveness of Fundraising by Applying Successful Business Practices and Technologies

“The Business of Nonprofits,” a newly released report from 121Giving.com that looks at fundraising effectiveness finds that more than half (54%) of nonprofits raised less than 25% of an intended goal during their last online fundraiser. Additionally, more than one-third of nonprofit leaders and executives surveyed describe their adoption of technology as “struggling” and 74% state that they collected less than $5,000 in valued goods from a donation drive. Fundraising, donor solicitation and financing daily operations are challenges for many nonprofit organizations, according to the survey of U.S. nonprofits across a variety of sectors.

The Business of Nonprofits: Amplify Your Fundraising Success With New Technologies and Proven Business Practices Report is the first in a series of reports from 121Giving that examine the business of charitable organizations and technology’s impact on their operations.

The Business of Nonprofits report found that:

  • 54% of nonprofits do not ask retailers for discounts on products, and among those who do, 25% receive discounts of 15% or less
  • 2% of nonprofits raise money online to buy products in stores or online; 11% say they shop online for the best prices
  • 22% ask the community to donate products
  •     68% of nonprofits pursue grants to cover expenses for their programs
  •     Just 3% of surveyed nonprofit partners help drive awareness of the fundraising campaigns
  •     Just 7% of nonprofits use online crowdfunding tools to raise funds

The report’s data reinforces previous findings by 121Giving, an online charity marketplace that many nonprofits still rely on legacy processes and outdated technologies that aren’t delivering the fundraising results needed in today’s highly fragmented and competitive digital environment.

Opportunities for nonprofits with new processes, technologies
“Nonprofits are wasting precious time, dollars and resources to raise funds and procure the products they need to run their operations,” said 121Giving Co-Founder, Liz Deering. “The survey results we received from nonprofit executives and program directors highlighted the outages and opportunities for charities to improve the efficiency of their operations by adopting proven business principles and technologies.”

According to a 2014 Nonprofit Finance Fund Survey, 70% of individual donors now request impact data and program metrics to justify their contributions. Leading the transformation to enhanced visibility and transparency are social entrepreneurs and tech-savvy millennials. While this growing demographic is eager to support causes, they are fueling changes in how funders behave – millennials are more likely than other groups to demand proof that their contributions will make a difference before deciding whether to donate or volunteer to specific causes.

Drill down and show results
The report highlights that nonprofits are already making an attempt to improve their philanthropic operations through proven business practices:

  • 29% of nonprofits conducted long-term strategic or financial planning
  • 33% of nonprofit leaders upgraded hardware or software in 2014 to improve programs
  • 51% collaborated with another organization to improve or increase services

121Giving’s survey highlights opportunities for nonprofits to reach their campaign goals by:

  • Adopting new business practices to run nonprofits as businesses
  • Learning to ask, negotiate and bargain to save money on needed products and to free grant dollars for program-specific purposes rather than operational needs
  • Using data to measure successes, goals and impact
  • Leveraging the connected community of employees, volunteers, donors, influencers and others to publicize campaigns and initiatives – locally, nationally and (via social media) globally
  • Investing in software and technologies to increase efficiencies and reduce the labor intensity of core functions, including fund-raising, donor recruitment and donor relations, volunteer coordination,

The survey of 450 nonprofit leaders and executives in the U.S. was conducted in in July 2014.

For more information about “The Business of Nonprofits” report, which is available for download here or to schedule an interview with the author, Liz Deering, please contact Vanessa Horwell at vhorwell(at)thinkinkpr(dot)com or 305-749-5342 ext. 232, or Sara Leiter at sleiter(at)thinkinkpr(dot)com or 305.749.5342 ext. 236.

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About 121Giving
121Giving is a digital marketplace that harnesses the collective buying power of hundreds of thousands of U.S. charities, matching their needs with corporate discounts and new crowdfunding capabilities. For 501c3 organizations, 121 offers an exclusive, consistent supply of discounted goods from charity-minded retailers, merchants and brands and a free crowdfunding platform. For consumers, 121 is a central location to discover the needs they care about and give to them, with online features that track the success and results of each campaign. For more information, visit http://www.121giving.com

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Sara Leiter
ThinkInk PR
+1 (954) 254-7694
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