Five Nonprofit Industry Trends in 2016

For today’s nonprofits, technology has increased access to constituents, and empowered fundraisers, donors, and volunteers like never before. While the digital revolution is transforming the way nonprofits fundraise and deliver services, however, it is also presenting significant challenges — especially for those organizations relying on multiple, disparate, and legacy systems to manage increasingly complex operations. 

2016 Nonprofit Industry Trends

Based on our experience in nonprofit Netsuite consulting, here are five the biggest nonprofit industry trends we’re facing today:

Mobile Fundraising

A recent survey found that 60 percent of donors report using mobile devices to research nonprofits before making a donation, so it’s critical that nonprofits take advantage of opportunities in mobile fundraising. That means creating applications that leverage responsive design, so the user experience is intuitive and consistent across all devices. According to the same study, donations made on “mobile-friendly pages” are 38 percent higher than those donations made on non-optimized websites.

This nonprofit industry trend is further boosted by social media and crowdfunding, as a new generation of donors, volunteers, and activists harness new technology for social good.


Not only is mobile the name of the game for nonprofit fundraising in 2016, but it’s also imperative that organizations take a more holistic view of the user. Today’s constituents are truly multichannel users, engaging with branded and non-branded content alike across all types of devices: desktops and laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Implementing effective donor and constituent engagement strategies means not only designing a multichannel experience, but also accounting for how and when your users are engaging with your content, whether at home at an event, or on-the-go.

It is increasingly important that nonprofits take a 360-degree view of the user, and move beyond the transactional model of fundraising and service. Today’s donors, volunteers, and constituents are more involved than ever before — engaging and interacting with the organization at multiple (often shared and social) touch points throughout the process.


More sophisticated digital fundraising, data collection, nonprofit CRM solutions, and marketing solutions mean nonprofits have greater opportunity than ever before to maximize impact with highly targeted, personalized marketing, communications, and user experience. The most effective nonprofits in 2016 and beyond will collect, organize, and leverage data to personalize outreach and tailor campaign messaging to the individual.

nonprofit industry trends

Big Data

With the rise in digital fundraising and advances in technology for constituent relationship management (CRM), nonprofits have access to more data than ever before. Yet, a recent survey reveals that 57 percent of nonprofits report that they are not effectively leveraging this data to improve marketing, fundraising, and communications. Too often, available data overwhelms nonprofit administrators, whose insight into real-time performance is limited by legacy, on-premise solutions. End-to-end solutions for nonprofits like NetSuite ERP, on the other hand, offer leadership real-time reporting and analysis for strategic, data-driven decision-making.

Cloud Technology

From accounting to fundraising, constituent relationship management to enterprise resource management (ERP), today’s nonprofits are moving to the cloud — on-demand applications, accessible from anywhere, available at a fraction of the cost of traditional on-premise systems. For nonprofits looking to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and cut costs, cloud-based software is transforming the industry. According to a survey by npEngage, 64 percent of CFOs indicated that adopting cloud solutions would cut operational costs as much as 20 percent.

The shift to the cloud is particularly welcome news for nonprofit organizations hamstrung by multiple, disparate, and legacy systems that are not easily (or affordably) managed by in-house or outsourced IT.

Interested in taking advantage of opportunities in cloud computing for your organization?

Nuage Consulting Group is a Certified Partner for NetSuite — the world’s #1 cloud solution for nonprofit management. Recognized with NetSuite’s 5-Star Award for Customer Service and Satisfaction, Nuage offers comprehensive NetSuite consulting for nonprofits customized to the unique needs of your nonprofit organization, including implementation, optimization, training, and support.