7 Trends Defining the Future of Nonprofits

  • Contributors:
  • Lisa Sherman

What will the future hold? This is a question asked by every leader in nearly every industry post-pandemic. For nonprofits, a world of new opportunities, challenges, and perspectives on the industry has opened up.  

To discover which trends have the power to stick, Sage Intacct surveyed over 900 nonprofit leaders representing a variety of causes—from human services and education, to community improvement, healthcare, and more. Their answers have revealed seven focus areas for nonprofits that want to ensure good financial health, improve their decision-making capabilities, and pave the way for future success. 

Here are the seven trends defining the future of nonprofit organizations:   

1. Revenue And Donor Bases Are Expanding

Donors can be choosy about where to allocate their charitable funds, and a majority of donors complete their research online. They want evidence of solid financial stewardship and a strong mission impact—otherwise they may take their donations elsewhere.  


2. Individual Giving Is on The Rise

Nonprofit leaders are cautiously optimistic about future funding. Government funding and individual giving are the top two funding sources, and over the past 12 months they’ve seen more than a 25% growth. 


3. Organizational Efficiency Remains a Serious Pain Point

Uncertainty around in-person events and program disruptions are the top two external frustrations for nonprofits. The biggest barrier to meeting external challenges is a lack of internal innovation within the nonprofit organization.  


4. Frustrations Mount Regarding Budgeting and Planning

Organization leaders listed budgeting and planning as the third most common pain point. In turbulent times, planning has become nearly impossible. Many organizations are turning to technology as a way to make their reporting, budgeting, and planning capabilities more efficient.  


5. Remote Work Is Here to Stay

Nearly one-quarter of survey respondents said remote work was an unexpected positive effect of the pandemic. This has led to better cost effectiveness, higher employee productivity, and expanded opportunities to hire the best and brightest people. 


6. Finance Helps to Build a More Compelling Mission Impact Story

Two-thirds of respondents said their finance team is involved in telling their impact story. The steady increase of finance’s involvement shows the growing importance leader place on tying financials to their mission impact.  


7. Technology Grows in Importance

Organizations that pivoted in terms of technology got more done and impacted their communities on a deeper level post-pandemic.  

As a nonprofit organization that may be questioning the future, outsourced accounting and advisory services can give you financial peace of mind, delivering both the expertise and modern technology to help your organization flourish. While the seven trends from the survey show where nonprofits are heading, the pressure is on for organizations to set up and meet these trends. Don’t get left behind! 


Want to learn more about the seven trends, and the steps you can take to set your nonprofit organization up for success?