I had already posted yesterday’s piece on the importance of thinking bigger and better when I received Marc Chardon’s view of the “Key Non Profit Sector Trends in 2013.”

Marc is the CEO of Blackbaud. His views are important.  Partly because he sets the future strategy for a company that provides fundraising tools and data for nearly 30,000 nonprofits, but also because he’s a calm, thoughtful guy who participates in and supports some important thought leadership in our sector. (See especially the summary of Growing Philanthropy – an incisive view to the future that you can download here.

If you’ll take 4 minutes and 13 seconds and watch this video you’ll get a firsthand summary from Marc on how he and Blackbaud view the year ahead.

The highlights are summarized below.

I’m particularly struck by Marc’s insight into some of the cultural shifts that will contribute to what he calls a “revaluing process” for the nonprofit sector.

The nonprofit sector will go through a revaluing process

“There are cultural shifts occurring in how nonprofits are being viewed, which will ultimately benefit the sector. The debate about the charitable deduction puts the value of the sector’s contribution squarely in the public consciousness. A growing number of people are seeking careers with meaning as Baby Boomers start second careers in the nonprofit sector, and Millennials seek degrees in nonprofit management. ‘Nonprofit’ is increasingly being viewed as just a tax status, not a business model. There is a merging of nonprofit and for-profit business practices—bringing together sustainability and effectiveness in operations along with mission-driven passion.”

As for giving in the year ahead here’s Marc’s take on that:

Increase in charitable giving will not be dramatic

“Charitable giving in 2012 was relatively flat, according to The Blackbaud Index and given the slow economic recovery, is not likely to dramatically increase in 2013. For the past 40 years, fundraising in the United States has remained fairly static at around 2 percent of GDP; and that’s not expected to change over the next few years. There will be a ‘flight to quality’ with donors choosing to support fewer organizations in 2013. To be successful, nonprofits must increase their focus on donor retention while also investing in cost-effective donor acquisition.”
(Emphasis added by The Agitator)

Technology will play a major role for both nonprofits and their supporters

“Mobile, cloud computing, Big Data and CRM will steal the spotlight in 2013 from a technology perspective and provide nonprofits a full 360-degree view of supporters. This will be the year nonprofits go from testing the mobile experience to delivering the mobile experience, as most nonprofits plan to double their use of mobile technologies in 2013 according to Blackbaud’s recent State of the Nonprofit Industry report.

“Today’s mobile and ‘in the cloud’ experiences are driving a transformational change in what people expect from organizations in terms of response and interaction. Delivering a tailored experience to each supporter—enabled by these technologies and Big Data—will be essential for success.”
(Emphasis added by The Agitator)

There’s also some terrific advice for the future:  Follow the money.

The world is shrinking and philanthropic borders are broadening

“Disasters across the globe are no longer viewed simply as an event that occurred ‘over there’. Supporters and donors are starting to react in a very similar fashion regardless of the location of the disaster. There is a shift in wealth taking place in the world toward developing nations and the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, and that means nonprofits need to rethink how they raise money and “go where the donors are.” Competition for resources will increase as the world flattens.
(Emphasis added by The Agitator)

“In many ways, this is an exciting time to be a nonprofit professional,” says Marc. “With the evolution of mobile, social and cloud-based technologies, organizations can interact in very meaningful ways with both supporters and beneficiaries around the world. And the increased efficiency will ensure greater delivery of missions in real time.”

Marc, we’re giving you and Blackbaud the first Agitator Raise of the New Year.


P.S.  What are your thoughts on Marc’s predictions for 2013? And, anyone care to add their own?


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