2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year for every industry.
Let’s take a look back at some nonprofit headlines that impact (or will impact) the industry as it forges a path towards a more flourishing new year.
The Nonprofit Sector Shows Growth
Though a negative outlook has befallen the nonprofit sector since 2007, the statistics are clear: “Between 2000 and 2013 nonprofit employment grew at an estimated 22 percent, faster than the overall workforce,” according to the 2016 Nonprofit Almanac. Citing a trend that has remained steady since then.
Like other industries, the nonprofit sector has taken new roles within a shifting economy, absorbing hits while steadfast in its resolve to overcome the sudden financial hits from a strung-out economy.
Likewise, while other industries scrambled to retain employees, nonprofits reportedly saw higher levels of employment during those same years (2007-2012)—even as the private sector declined. While nonprofit employee retention remains a concern, more engaged young people are finding their passions realized in a nonprofit environment.
In 2016, it turns out that a majority of nonprofit organizations created and filled new roles. A great sign for things to come within the industry.
Remaining Steady Where It Matters
Sorry to have opened with that word.
We know how difficult it is to meet goals—but fundraising is essential to the sustainability of nonprofit organizations.
With that said, 2016 was projected to show a 4.1% increase in charitable donations, though the actual metrics will take some time to compile for a more accurate view. A distinct uptick is likely, when considering the cumulative growth within the industry.
Interestingly, funds are still best attained through traditional means—even in the age of the internet and instant connectivity. Marketing techniques within the industry proved less effective at generating funds in 2015; while nonprofit emails increased by 2.9%, conversion rates by 11.1%. This trend likely remained constant throughout 2016 too.
Since November, however, distinct upticks following the Presidential outcome proved favorable for organizations who fear a looming strain affecting their productivity throughout the next four years.
The last week of the year also has a tendency to boost donations, inching organizations closer to meeting yearly goals. Charitable reliability will continue to be a concern for nonprofits that have not found a consistent model to drive funds. Most still remain steady and hope to meet yearly goals with end-of-year donations.
Apple Pay Steps Up
Apple recently announced that its payment service will now allow users to make donations to nonprofits, as reported by Tech Crunch.
This is BIG news, especially since the service has found adoption by 35% of companies throughout the United States—with higher projections slated for 2017.
Not to mention that 3.6 million Americans have used Apple Pay at least once; no paltry sum.
But what does this mean for nonprofit organizations?
Prior to the recent news, organizations were exempt from using Apple Pay to collect funds. Generous users on an organization’s app would have to exit the app, use Safari, enter their information, and submit. For many, this simply cost too much time and was left abandoned.
Because Apple Pay is integrated with existing accounts, a “Donate Now” button on an organization’s app will automatically transfer account funds to the nonprofit.
As more organizations adopt the Apple Pay button, it will be interesting to see how this affects the sometimes lengthy donation process and collections throughout the year.
We’re excited to see what 2017 has in store for the nonprofit sector. As always, we’ll keep our fingers on the pulse of any updates that affect our friends in the industry. Your organization is important to making big differences—make 2017 a memorable year!