At a recent think tank in London, Access Group’s NFP Division brought together key influencers in the sector to uncover the top five technology trends over the next three years.
Consultants, clients and journalists were invited to debate what they believed would shape the NFP sector and the challenges faced:
- Integration – the current lack of integration within the sector was seen as a major challenge that needs to be overcome with a move towards single, centralised solutions with consistent data. Tightly integrated systems across the organisation, including finance, HR, CRM, mobile, self-service and cloud applications is going to be a necessity, especially to deal with ‘big data’. Solutions such as CRM, membership and CMS systems will merge. Integration was seen as fundamental to moving the NFP sector forward.
- Personalisation – personalisation and relevance will prove hugely important to audience engagement, in a time-poor, attention short world. However, the lack of integration between web and CRM systems (and hence reduced access to data) will hinder their ability to enable online personalisation. Going hand in hand with personalisation was the importance of segmentation and ‘badgification’, giving different people and audiences an identity.
- Mobile – with the continuing rise in the use of mobile technology, the NFP sector will need to ensure that everything is device agnostic. A dominant force, mobile will be core to all websites and applications, ensuring there is accessibility from anywhere and on any device, including non PC, smart phone and tablet. Mobile was also seen as essential to keeping people connected.
- Insight – this is critical for organisations to tap into their data and make intelligent decisions on, for example, time, resource and funds. Technology and the relevant skillsets are necessary, with a much needed bridge between those within the organisation who know what they want from the data and those that understand BI tools but do not know how to interpret the information. In mid to large charities insight is seeing its own roles and its own teams as organisations increasingly use it to improve the way they operate and fundraise.
- Cost Control – greater control over costs (including management and admin) was seen as key with organisations needing and wanting to do more with less. Whilst it was recognised that cost control was not new, it was felt the cost of ownership would need to fall, and that KPI scorecards plus supporting analysis and reporting technology was key to enabling solid decisions in this area.
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