18693058_mAs you know, there’s been a lot of innovation and disruption happening in recent years, including in the nonprofit world. It’s even more important now that executives stay informed on these trends and ahead of the curve. You always want to position yourself as a leader and not spend time exclusively reacting to things that are occurring around you.

So, as we begin a brand New Year, here’s what you should be paying attention to with regard to trends in the nonprofit and philanthropic worlds.


  1. Investment in Nonprofit Operations

There’s been a persistent fallacy in the nonprofit sector. The mistaken belief is that there’s no need to invest in operations. It has hurt many organizations with donors restricting their money only to programmatic support. Fortunately, there’s been a push away from this line of thinking. With the likes of leaders such as Dan Pallotta and Guidestar, more and more major funders understand that nonprofits need money invested into their operations and infrastructure. This helps them retain the best talent and obtain the necessary resources they need in support of their programs.


  1. Less Slactivism and More Social Change

There was a time when purchasing a wristband or a pair of shoes in support of a cause meant you were making a difference. There was also a moment where sitting behind a computer or mobile device spreading the word for a cause on social media was the way to go. That’s no longer the case. We saw it last year with the “Black Lives Matter” movement and other trends. People are no longer satisfied simply raising awareness. They want to see action and results. This will only increase in the year ahead. Think of your mission and consider how to speak about solving your issue, once and for all.


  1. More Authenticity

People don’t want to be sold to–plain and simple. Today’s donors are sophisticated and understand when they’re hearing or reading one sided messaging. With easy access to information, it’s easy to verify information. Donors are seeking authenticity in the messages coming from nonprofit leaders and organizations. They are looking for truth in the content they’re receiving. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to get your donors and activists to join you in the effort and to help amplify your message. Stay true to your message. Speak in your own voice. And, ask your supporters to help you amplify.


  1. For-Profits Increase Their Social Good Footprint

Nonprofits are no longer the only place where major funders and social change supporters will be giving their money. It’s becoming commonplace to see money going to for-profit enterprises. This will accelerate in 2016. Late last year, Dr. Priscilla Chan and her husband, Mark Zuckerberg, created the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, L.L.C. as opposed to a foundation. One of the reasons for this is because it allows these philanthropists as much flexibility as possible in terms of supporting whatever organization (for-profit or nonprofit) they see fit. With more for-profits competing for dollars, you want to be sure to understand how these trends impact your fundraising.


  1. Changes in Donor Giving

Mega-donors are giving substantial amounts of money to large institutions. The most important point to be aware of with regard to these global philanthropists is that they will continue to consolidate their giving. In other words, they will give more money to fewer organizations. Nonprofits have started to see this shift in giving because they have lost larger funders as they change their giving strategies. This has caused many organizations to replace funding with a larger pool of donors in the middle class. However, with a declining middle class, medium and small nonprofits will be forced to continue to broaden their prospect list.



Wayne is the author of “Get Off the Couch: Grip & Rip and Break the Barriers Holding You Back in Life” (Free Digital Download)



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