Technology Trends for Nonprofits in 2014

Came across this and thought it was worth sharing – what are your thoughts on the trends, do you see more use of Mobile, Social Media use?

“In 2014, technology will continue to have an even greater impact on nonprofits,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, Blackbaud’s vice president of product development. “Tremendous opportunities exist for these organizations to use technology to deliver on their missions in a very effective and scalable way, both when engaging with supporters and when managing back-end operations.”

Key Technology Trends to Watch in 2014:

  • Mobile will be even more pervasive:
    Mobile will continue to be an essential part of how nonprofits engage with supporters and expand the reach of their staff.Nearly half of emails are now read on mobile devices. This means having a mobile-friendly approach to engaging donors has never been more important. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the platform of choice for computing and collaboration versus sitting behind a desk, and will change how organizations leverage data and drive mission delivery.

Read the full article

Stop Firefighting – Start Fires Instead

Recently I read “Fundraisers – ‘Stop firefighting and see the fire’” and thought about how collaboration and technology is changing the way organization go about their job.

Are we seeing collaboration in New Zealand – short answer, from my perspective we’re aren’t. Most organizations are for whatever reason afraid of sharing what they’re doing, how they’re doing it with others in the sector.

Reading “We are currently part of a consortium of 23 North West hospices who have collaborated on a new Granada TV advert. It is the first of what we hope will be many collaborative partnerships across the hospice movement.”  Made me think about how many organizations we have working in the same field could collaborate to spread their message.

Imagine the cost savings, potential increased reach and resultant support – why are we short sighted?

Surely the time has come for more collaboration, more sharing of ideas, tools and tricks.

Sure, some will say, but they’re our competition. But competition there can be competition without opposition – support for the common good can out weigh the negatives.

Claire Houghton  says in her piece “Local charity fundraising is often too focused on the fire fighting to see the fire”.

I say – light the fire, ignite interest in your sector, pick up the phone and have a chat with an organization doing similar work to you – ignite the passion to collaborate and engage on a regular basis.

Don’t fight fires, start them.

Job Vacancies and Applicants

Having recently spoken with an organisation looking to recruit some staff and the standard of applications received, I thought lets see what others think about how people apply for jobs.

The organisation I spoke with were looking for general staff, the advertisement was specific in what they were looking for; experience in the sector, a high of communication (written and oral), ability to be flexible in hours.

The applications the received were, without being too blunt – poor. Not the people, but the way in which the applications were written, many used what you’d expect in a text message on your phone “Hi, I c u r looking 4 staff  …. ” and that was only the covering email/letter. Do people not read ads before applying for roles?

Then you get to the CV – they’re generally filled with “fluff” such as “I’m dependable, articulate and have a high standard of righting etc … ” (no that wasn’t a spelling mistake.)

Come on, if you can’t if you can’t even write proper like – how can you say you have a hight standard? 

And, why do people want to show what they look like, photos are a waste of time – people want to know what you can do, what your experience is, not what you look like. And hey, ladies if you must include a photo, please – no cleavage shots, unless of course you going for a role that requires you to be busty. And, on that note, why does it only seem to be women who include a photo?

Employers want to know your experience, skills and what drives you, they don’t want to know that you’re a size 8 … that you know how to apply eyeliner – they want to know that what you have to offer fits the role.

What’s your experience when it comes to employing new staff? 

Are you finding it a challenge to read applications? Getting distracted by photos and the endless waffle some seem to think might help them gain an interview?

I’m sure there are some organisations and recruiters out there who can shed some light on what applicants should and shouldn’t include when applying … would be great to hear your thoughts.

Nonprofits and LinkedIn


One of the joys of subscribing to others blogs is sometimes you come across a post which is on the same subject as you were thinking about writing; and that’s just happened to here. 

I’d been asked about using LinkedIn by non-profit organisations, and was spending sometime searching and reading what others had said; when I received notification of a post on the NTEN blog titled – Leveraging LinkedIn to Prospect for Your Nonprofit. How appropriate and timely. 

This post is great, it gives some brilliant suggestions on how non-profits can use LinkedIn for connecting with professionals, joining groups, and much more. 

If your non-profit is using LinkedIn, we’d be keen to know – How are you using it? What is working for you?


Encourage Supporters to Give Time

In philanthropy, we talk a lot about giving money, but giving time can sometimes be more satisfying & more valuable, such as volunteering. (As soon as I saw this on Twitter, I had to grab and use it – thanks Michael Chatman). 



Not everyone has money to spare, nor should we expect it of all supporters – there’s more ways people can help any organisation, perhaps supporters can be asked to give an hour of their time a week; others may have product or services they can give. 

Simone McCallum puts it well in her post “Lets Keep Our World Turning” – and she’s so right, organisations need people to help out, people to roll up their sleeves and chip in. 

There’s already many volunteer hours given each year, but with some wise thinking and planning the size of the volunteer sector will continue to grow. People see giving of their time as sometimes easier than giving money – and this shouldn’t be discouraged. 

Next time you’re planning a campaign don’t be solely fixated on cash donations; although it is acknowledged that this is needed – so too are skills and time that volunteers can give to your organisation. 

If you’re wanting to help in the community take time to look at how your skills and time can be put to good use; there’s organisations in every community that needs people to help them out. 

If you’re not sure where to start check local volunteer networks, likewise if you’re a community group needing help ask – in New Zealand there’s Volunteering New Zealand who can offer help, advice to community groups for all things volunteering. 

It’s time to start thinking how we can all take part as volunteers, how we can make a difference offering our skills. 

Next time you’re asked to support a community group and can’t give cash, will you instead offer time? 

Next time your organisation is planning its appeal, will you also take the opportunity to build your volunteer base?