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2021 Predictions: The Role Nonprofits May Play in the Fight—Part II

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This year comes after a year of unpredictable events across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic, impactful social movements, and shifting values and economic circumstances all required major adaptations, but nonprofits can use these challenges to draw insights about what to expect in the year ahead. 

21In this two-part article, Mike Barros, discusses his predictions for nonprofits based on the challenges experienced in 2020. In last week’s article, “2021 Predictions: The Role Nonprofits May Play in the Fight—Part I” covered Prediction 1 (how nonprofit software will contribute to COVID-19 efforts) and Prediction 2 (trust from the public). This week, he’s covering his final two predictions and what this year could mean for your nonprofits and how to move forward with this information.

Read Part I

Prediction 3: Donating as a means to support topical issues will remain relevant.

Beyond the pandemic, 2020 brought forth social justice movements and increased awareness regarding climate change. Nonprofit and advocacy organizations have been at the forefront of these efforts both across the U.S. and globally, bringing a new awareness and forging new partnerships along the way. 

According to The Nonprofit Times Philanthropy Trends Report, in the past year, people began supporting nonprofits whose solutions were involved in hot-button social justice issues that arose. This year, many groups worked to call attention to the intersections of race and other societal issues like incarceration, homelessness, education opportunities, healthcare, climate impacts, and many more. As protests formed in summer 2020 in support of rectifying these aforementioned issues, organizations working around these missions saw surges of support.

Looking forward to 2021, we can expect the fight against these issues to remain strong. As donors examine the ethics and solutions that nonprofits offer, they’ll be choosing based on the actions taken to current social justice movements and other events in the public spotlight. If your organization’s mission relates to any of these issues, showing your impact and joining public conversations can signal to donors that yours is an active, timely cause worth supporting.

Prediction 4: Planning and fundraising will continue shifting into the online space.

At the start of 2021, large numbers of employees and students are still working from home. This being said, it’s safe to assume that many of your fundraising efforts and meetings in the coming year will take the form of a hybrid or virtual event. Organizations have gotten incredibly creative with how they’ve moved their events online. If you haven’t already, take care to find virtual event software that works for your team.

Virtual events are here to stay. We recommend investing in integrated event and CRM software that both coordinates your events and helps your organization better understand and engage your donors. Consider the following features when searching for the perfect solution.

  • Event Management—This tool coordinates every fundraising event, regardless of size by providing an easy-to-use registration portal.
  • Donor Database Configuration—Look into event software that helps you keep your database organized and can automate outreach like email blasts, automatic thank-yous, and more.
  • Seamless integrations—Choose software that integrates with your pre-existing software stack for the best long-term results. 

With these tools, your organization can host an online or hybrid event in the most efficient way possible, opening up your efforts to broader audiences regardless of their location. 2020 has taught many nonprofits that remote engagement, facilitated by the right tools, is a feasible way to raise money and deepen ties with supporters. After all, software has made it so simple to seamlessly move your fundraising efforts online, that it’s here to stay, even in a post-COVID world. 

Your nonprofit organization has a lot to look forward to in 2021. Be prepared to continue lending a hand with COVID-relief efforts, whatever they may look like in your community. Pay attention to what social justice issues are at the forefront of your donor’s minds. Finally, your virtual and hybrid events will be a mainstay throughout 2021 and beyond. A spirit of adaptiveness backed up with the right tech will serve your mission well.

BarrosMike Barros is the President and CEO of Lumaverse Technologies. Before joining the Lumaverse, Mike was the President of Education Brands at Community Brands, the CEO of Diamond Mind, and the Chief Revenue Officer at JackBe. He resides in the DC-Metro area.

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