When people think of software and technology for the non-profit sector, they generally think of Blackbaud, and more recently, Salesforce.com. Blackbaud is the biggest player in non-profits for sure, with over $546 million in revenue over the past twelve months, but Salesforce.com (which gives software away to small non-profits through its charitable foundation) is coming on strong, having already been implemented by 23,000 non-profits to date.
But these two organizations are only scratching the surface on this multi-billion dollar market. Facebook campaigns for American Red Cross (think Tsunami and Haiti Earthquake) have raised hundreds of millions, and today, most marathons and charity fundraising events use social media and online donor management software to process millions of transactions per year. Google Docs is now in use by most non-profits for everything from event scheduling to sharing the minutes of the board meeting.
Innovative new software from Evertrue, NuBay, Netsuite, Aplos, Z2 Systems, Kindful and others are providing quality low-cost solutions for donor management, fundraising, volunteer recruiting, accounting, program management and grant administration (and if you are in the market, I recommend this site for a detailed list with reviews and comparisons: http://www.softwareadvice.com/nonprofit/). But that’s not the half of it. For every dollar an organization spends on software, it will spend 3x to 4x as much on training, implementation, and customization. Organizations such as 501 Partners, Round Corners, Imperio, Heller, Acumen, and Slalom Consulting are among the hundreds of consulting firms in the U.S. who are now specializing in NP Tech.
Why? Because the U.S. is the most generous country in the world, donating over $700 million last year in cash and volunteerism – and as a result, the organizations on the receiving end of this generosity are expected to operate in a professional manner. That means incorporating technology into their operations like any business would do.
The market for NP Tech is growing quickly, in part because of the convergence of cloud computing, social media, and traditional business applications. This convergence has made it possible for social media savvy non-profits to identify supporters from social media campaigns and convert them into donors and volunteers. … and even the most tech-averse directors in the non-profit sector can’t afford to miss out on that!