What's Trending As We Move Into 2023
Welcome To 2023For months now, change has become a constant, and the way we embraced it has defined our future. So many shifts have occurred and all we could do is shift with it. If someone would have told me three years ago that I would live through a pandemic, I would have thought they’d watched too many dark movies. I’ve heard technology experts state that we have been thrust 20 years into the future with advances toward virtual acceptance and artificial intelligence. Nonprofits have done an amazing job of rising to the occasion and reacting to serious circumstances. Now, as we enter into 2023, we can become more proactive and find our groove.
Here are six trends to pay attention to as we enter 2023.
FundraisingThe approach to fundraising continues to transform. The days of picking up the phone to share information and build relationships have passed. The idea of dropping in on somebody without an appointment is an unwelcome concept. Even scheduling for facility tours has changed. Funders (nonprofits too) have retooled their structure to be more intentional and inclusive about their philanthropy. Inflation and the markets are affecting the number of resources they have to infuse into the community. Corporate sponsors are setting boundaries on how they support galas and fundraisers. As we know, good fundraising requires different approaches and must be customized to each organization. This year, consider fee-for-service as an opportunity to expand. Be creative and explore opportunities to acquire fees for the products and services you provide. The benefits include acquiring resources that are unrestricted and help with sustainability. I realize it is easier for some organizations than others however I hope you give it some consideration. Ensure the service aligns with your mission and is not categorized as an unrelated business expense that would be considered taxable. Events will remain a vital fundraising resource for many nonprofits. This fundraising approach will continue to evolve with new techniques and appeals that integrate virtual and in-person. Events, love ‘em or loathe ‘em, not only bring in revenue but enhance visibility and awareness too.
Register for our ‘Understanding & Unlocking Planned Gifts’ webinar on January 25.
MarketingGood marketing is key to building momentum and public awareness. So much effort has been directed to social media and it seems the nonprofit sector is using it effectively. However, what has been neglected are websites. We haven’t refreshed our websites in several years. We still use pictures from the last decade, our deliverables are different with the infusion of virtual benefits or work structures. And, the people (board and staff) who have guided the operation have transitioned. This year we’ll see websites reflect more of what our organizations have grown into and who we are today. It’s time for a website makeover.
Our Marketing Manager, Colin Bennett, will be hosting a webinar on February 16 called ‘Marketing Your Mission with Nonprofit Connect’. This will be a great program to gain insight into how to utilize Nonprofit Connect to get your mission more awareness.
Need a website makeover? Check out our Member Directory to find nonprofit focused marketing firms that can help you streamline your website facelift.
Strategic PlanningDo it! A strategic plan is as important as ever. This is the perfect time for the organization's staff and board to collaborate and align on the goals for the coming year. We’ve spent the past few years reacting now we can catch our breath and be intentional about where we go from here. We have new employees, different board members, and the structure for how and where we conduct our work has changed. How do we infuse virtually into our future operations? What are we doing to ensure we are more equitable? What are we doing that specifically improves the lives of people in our community? Your strategic plans don’t need to be far-reaching or extensive but they do need to outline a path for the future that everyone can rally around.
Need a hand? We’ll come to you. Nonprofit Connect’s Chief Operating Officer, Sidney Smith, is now offering custom coaching on strategic planning. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your session today.
WorkforceThe unemployment rate in metro Kansas City is at 2.7%! If you’ve been seeking more coworkers and challenged to get candidates after posting a job, it’s because fewer people are seeking employment. In addition, the pandemic occurred right at the time boomers were reaching retirement age and they are ready for their break. This propelled a shift in retirement which has contributed to the labor shortage. The reduction of this workforce will continue to make an impact throughout 2023 and into 2024. We have some good shifts occurring in our city with the opening of a new airport, large-scale national events approaching (NFL draft and FIFA), and warehouses popping up throughout the city. As these opportunities expand where will the workforce come from? Expect frequent transitions with the workforce. Continue to streamline your operations, take care of your employees and help them develop the skills they need to be more confident and effective.
Our nonprofit job board is here to help you find the right candidate for your needs. Learn more and post your job here.
Board of DirectorsNonprofits are structured with the board sitting at the top of the organization's chain of command, yet they work outside of the organization with a role that is responsible to those working inside and serving the outside. They accomplish this while working a few hours a month and as unpaid volunteers. We’ll see a shift in board service in 2023 as boards seek to change systemic inequities. Shifting away from traditional ways and prioritizing purpose. It’s time we all recognize that power isn’t who leads the organization or who has the most money, or who speaks the loudest. The power is in the purpose and it must be authorized by the people we are aiming to impact. This will require recruiting more members from the community it serves. Focus on creating a working harmony between the board and staff which sets egos aside and allows thoughtful discussion on making a positive impact in the ecosystem of our communities. Organizations must acknowledge that each of our nonprofits is a part of collectives working to address societal challenges and their choices and actions impact the overall strength and success. Shifting from competitive to collaborative approaches and partnering with other organizations that align or complement our services.
We’re now offering specialized coaching for boards and executives, custom-tailored to your organization. Contact me, Nonprofit Connect's CEO, Luann Feehan at email@example.com to learn more or click here.
Shift from me to weWe’re coming out of a time that has forced us to isolate ourselves. Define our boundaries and draw a line in the sand for what we believe protects us. (Without regard for how that affects others.) We’ve lived through a time of scarcity where we fought for the last roll of toilet paper, kept a vigilant watch for clean wipes to get replenished on store shelves, and worked to maintain our housing. We were thrusted to work on the front lines of serious, life-threatening situations and many worked at home interacting with just a computer and monitor screen. You did it! Now, in 2023, we will shift and let down our guard of protection and embrace the joy that comes from building relationships and human interaction that takes place live and in person. You can enjoy a Chief’s game by watching it on TV but you experience it when you’re at Arrowhead in person. You can be soothed by music when you listen to it but you can be moved by it when you go to a live concert. You can imagine the smell and taste of food by watching a cooking show but you can emotionally connect to it when you taste it. You can be productive working virtually and crossing items off your to-do list but you build comradery by being in the office with coworkers and will feel the impact of your work by interacting with the people you serve. Whether we are introverts or extroverts we need human connection to find love and peace. This year, let down your guard, be vulnerable and embrace the joy that comes from connecting with others, in person.
CommunityPeople working together with a shared goal and a common purpose can make the impossible possible. The accumulated decisions and actions made daily as we volunteer, donate, do our jobs, and advocate for what we believe in actually shifts our world in rather dramatic ways. We have the opportunity to become much more intentional about contributing to the world in which we currently aspire to live by transforming one community at a time.
As an organization that connects with nonprofits, foundations, and community leaders, Nonprofit Connect has a front-row seat to just how the turmoil of the last few years has changed the way our organizations function, our leaders approach their responsibilities, how teams embrace their roles and how our communities must manage the change. I think we’ll reflect back and acknowledge how the nonprofit sector courageously stood strong and came to the aid of people in our community. Collectively we addressed health concerns, social justice, education, democracy, food insecurity and worked with humility and compassion. How each of us thinks about our individual needs, our relationships and our rights informs our outlook on life and guides our actions.
I look forward to a year that offers a fresh approach and I know that together we are making a difference and we are truly better.
Have a joyous new year filled with kindness and purpose.
President & CEO
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