Monday, November 1, 2010

The State of the Nonprofit Industry (SONI) Survey

Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune of attending the "Better Together" Conference sponsored by Blackbaud.  There were over 2,200 people at the conference.  During the conference I attended a press event in which a few results of The State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey were reviewed.  I found it interesting that such a broad survey could be conducted (worldwide) and that there could be found "global" trends in nonprofit management.  Given the cultural and social differences between us, the nonprofit community is unique as a unifier worldwide!  And, we all face similar challenges when it comes to accomplishing our mission.  Bunnie

The State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey
from a Press Release by Melanie Mathos, Public Relations Manager, Blackbaud

Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB) today announced the release of the results from The State of the Nonprofit Industry (SONI) Survey, a global report covering general operations, fundraising, technology and Internet usage, and accountability and stewardship. Responses were received from 2,383 individuals in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The survey was conducted in partnership with L’Association Française des Fundraisers, the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ), the German Fundraising Association, Philanthropy Centro Studi, and the Resource Alliance.


“There is an increasing interest in the nonprofit sector in improving governance, planning, and fundraising, and investing in training and equipment to enhance organizational performance,” said Amy Comer, Blackbaud’s director of market research. “Blackbaud has conducted the State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey for six years to provide an overview of trends that can help nonprofits assess their operations and compare their performance with other organizations.”

Four global trends that emerged from the data include:

1. New fundraising and communication channels, although growing, are not replacing traditional channels.

Most organizations continue to leverage traditional channels, even while they are increasingly using new interactive channels. This use of new channels is placing a tremendous strain on organizations because revenue has not risen significantly in aggregate and yet costs for each communication channel have risen. This situation creates a demand for more integrated communication tools and database platforms.

2. ROI and organizational effectiveness are under scrutiny and more important than ever.

Baby boomers, which have entered their prime giving years in the United States, are not as trusting of government and institutions to solve problems and want to see greater evidence. However, this trend is clearly not just a United States phenomenon. Donors worldwide want to see evidence that their money is being spent well and that nonprofits are being run as efficiently as possible.

3. There is a new focus on the total supporter journey vs. traditional “donor management.”

In light of an increased focus on donor retention coupled with increasing costs for acquisition, constituent relationship management (CRM) is transitioning from transactional fundraising to a relationship-focused supporter journey. To have a constituent-centric focus, nonprofits need to consolidate data on supporters and eliminate silos so everyone in the organization has the same view of the many ways supporters interact with their organization. Technology is essential for helping them track the supporter journey, from service recipient to volunteer to event participant to donor.

4. Fundraising is emerging as a widely-recognized profession around the globe.

The vast majority of nonprofits around the world are expecting to increase their investment in fundraising staff, according to the SONI survey. It is clear that fundraising is no longer someone’s “part-time” responsibility. Techniques and data are becoming more complex, and the rate of change is increasing. What was once mostly art is rapidly becoming science, requiring new tools and techniques, partnerships, and better skilled staff.

To download the complete report, which includes an in-depth look at general operations, fundraising, technology and Internet usage, and accountability and stewardship around the globe, visit State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey
About Blackbaud
Blackbaud is the leading global provider of software and services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, build strong relationships, and raise more money to support their missions. Approximately 24,000 organizations — including University of Arizona Foundation, American Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, The Taft School, Lincoln Center, Tulsa Community Foundation, Ursinus College, Earthjustice, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the WGBH Educational Foundation — use one or more Blackbaud products and services for fundraising, constituent relationship management, financial management, website management, direct marketing, education administration, ticketing, business intelligence, prospect research, consulting, and analytics. Since 1981, Blackbaud’s sole focus and expertise has been partnering with nonprofits and providing them the solutions they need to make a difference in their local communities and worldwide. Headquartered in the United States, Blackbaud also has operations in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com.

7 comments:

  1. Bunnie, It is always wonderful to get the international perspective. Thank you for sharing this.
    Gayle

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  2. Thanks for sharing the study highlights - (very) good stuff!

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  3. I love point #4 especially. Thanks for posting, Bunnie!

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  4. It is interesting that these trends are global. I am especially interested in #2 and the successful methods that are communicating the ROI to donors in a meaningful way.

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