3 Key Findings from the 2019 Nonprofit Leadership Impact Study

Ronnie Gomez

At Neon One, our top priority is to provide nonprofit organizations with the best technology solutions possible. In order to do that successfully, we are dedicated to learning all that we can about what truly makes nonprofits tick.

That’s why we are proud to have partnered with NonProfit PRO for their second ever Nonprofit Leadership Impact Study.

The future of the nonprofit sector is evolving fast due to a changing technology landscape and increased competition for donor attention. This study explores new trends and challenges faced by nonprofit leadership, along with a look at how things have progressed since their first iteration of the study.

Their findings show valuable insight into the possible future of nonprofit leadership. Here’s a sneak peek at some of their most crucial findings.

1. Nonprofits continue to struggle with finding adequate resources for their organization.

The majority of nonprofits still identify a lack of resources as the primary challenge facing their organization. The good news is, that number seems to be dropping.

In 2018, 62 percent of all surveyed nonprofits identified lack of resources as the biggest challenge facing their leadership team. In 2019, that number dropped to 54 percent. Other common challenges identified where ‘donor acquisition’ (39%) and ‘staff turnover’ (35%).

To deal with these issues, nonprofit leadership teams are seeking out capable and committed board members (58%) and using grassroots methods to generate awareness (44%). Only 36 percent of respondents cited ‘researching donor activity to re-activate, mobilize or identify relevant donor profiles’ as a method of addressing their various challenges.

2. Nonprofits should educate board members on roles/expectations.

According to survey respondents, the biggest challenge that influenced the effectiveness of nonprofit board members was making sure that board members are actively participating in fundraising activities and keeping them motivated to do so.

The study suggests developing a board member orientation plan to combat this issue. Ideally, the program should clearly lay out roles and expectations for participation within your organization.

The study also concluded that a board member 30, 60 or 90-day “probation period” may be beneficial. This will allow your nonprofit to assess whether or not your newer recruits are a good fit for your organization.

3. Technology is becoming an integral part of how nonprofits manage donor relationships, but there’s still room for improvement.

Technology solutions offer limitless opportunities when it comes to enhancing the day-to-day operations of your nonprofit. If you’re not sure which one your organization can benefit from specifically, the time to find out is now,

Results of the study found that many nonprofits are going digital. 82 percent of all surveyed nonprofits are using some kind of donor management tool to assist with their donor stewardship plans, and 85 percent are using an accounting software to handle their finances.

There is still more room to take advantage of these benefits, especially when it comes to online fundraising. 45 percent of respondents said that less than 20 percent of their fundraising came in digitally, despite huge online giving opportunities like #GivingTuesday. A formalized digital strategy could help nonprofits capitalize on these huge revenue opportunities.

These key findings, along with the rest of the trends and advice presented in the 2019 Nonprofit Leadership Impact study can be used to guide your organization through the changing landscape of the nonprofit sphere. Access the full study here.

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