Last month we looked at some of the hottest leadership topics of 2018. This month, we’re bringing you a roundup of nonprofit trends on the horizon, focused on three areas: technology, talent, and data. How have you felt the impact of these trends? Please share in the comments section below.

1. Technology. As usual, technology advances can be a source of both “good and evil.” Many nonprofits are using emerging technologies, new software platforms, and social media to interact with donors more personally and develop sustainable relationships that encourage long-term giving. At the same time, technology developments can threaten the security of your agency’s fundraising efforts, which requires organizations to change their practices to keep up. For example, focus on website encryption for greater security and electronic giving to supply options for donors. Allow technology to inform your user experience practices as you think about your marketing strategies in the New Year.

2. Talent. With a greater focus on culture and engagement, nonprofits are creating new roles to ensure they get the talent piece of the puzzle right. Smart leaders understand that investing in employees always positively affects an organization’s bottom line. According to Fast Company, Chief Culture Officer (CCO) is one new role cropping up in progressive nonprofit organizations. “A CCO’s job in the nonprofit world includes managing the organization’s relationship with the community, implementing wellness and health initiatives, and drawing up policies for avoiding burnout. They’re usually also the person in charge of overseeing hiring and staffing decisions, particularly those that lead to an inclusive and equitable workplace.”

3. Data. Specifically, big data. Unfortunately for those of us who prefer to work with words and people, numbers and analytics can no longer be ignored. Data Scientist is another new role reportedly emerging front and center in many organizations this year. An increased focus on technology and talent creates a plethora of new information about your people. While this data can be overwhelming, smart organizations are using it to their benefit, to shed light on employee performance and attrition trends. Readily available program data is another rich source of information about an organization’s health. Knowledge is power, and data is the vehicle for such knowledge that can arm your nonprofit with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Where to go from here?

Organization development consulting firm Brighter Strategies offers a variety of solutions to address these trends. We believe that effective organizational development and change management requires a deep understanding of three key areas of your organization: people, plans, and processes. Once you understand how these areas affect each other within a larger system, and how to improve them, you’ll improve your organizational performance overall.

Brighter Strategies can assist your nonprofit agency with the following projects for each of the areas of your organization:

    • People: employee survey design and implementation, performance management, and training
    • Planning: needs assessments, offsite facilitation, and strategy development and execution
    • Process: change management, process mapping, and program evaluation
    • Performance: competency model development, executive coaching, and team development

Contact us today to learn how we can help you stay on the leading edge of nonprofit trends and best practices this year.

“Nonprofit Trends for 2018 and Beyond,” Nonprofit PRO
“The Top Three Nonprofit Jobs of the Future,” Fast Company