Why not-for-profit organisations must embrace technology

An in-depth review of Access’ whitepaper, The Future of NFP Technology,  with selected highlights giving you a taster of the full report

There is an encouraging increase in growth and awareness amongst not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. While many factors contribute to such growth, essentially awareness is key.

One thing is for certain: as we move deeper into a predominantly digital age there are other areas where technology is proving superior, far beyond the reach of social media’s dramatic influence on word-of-mouth.

In 2014, Access Group’s NFP Division hosted the ‘Technology Think Tank’, bringing together 10 key influencers from across the NFP sector including consultants, clients and journalists.

The results of the consultation concluded that there are five key trends that are likely to influence the NFP sector over the next three years; Personalisation, Integration, Insight, Mobile and Cost Control.

The research

“Personalisation was acknowledged as a major issue by membership organisations with the lack of ability to enable online personalisation being seen as one of the top challenges and unsurprisingly one of the goals linked to member acquisition and engagement.” Richard Gott, chair of Memberwise who published new research entitled ‘Harnessing the Web to Drive Membership Value and Growth (2014)’

The Memberwise research was further supported by details revealing that 51 per cent of organisations surveyed had managed to integrate their CRM and content management systems.

These integrated organisations can better understand their audience as a result, with insights and integration from technology that contributes to the personalisation of their service.

Personalisation and Badgification

We’re living in a time-poor, attention short world. As a result, personalisation and relevance will prove hugely important to audience engagement in the coming years. NFPs will need to develop more strategic and focussed communications with their audience – and will need the support of technology to achieve this.


With NFPs increasingly tasked with replacing legacy CRM software, the need for system integration across the whole of an organisation is greater than ever. Personalisation requires a solid CRM system, but without the integration in place it is difficult to accurately segment and profile the data in a manner that makes intelligent personalisation a real possibility. But it does not stop there.


With integration comes accessible insight. It’s this critical intelligence which enables NFPs to base decisions, plans and actions. With an overwhelming amount of data available today, analytics is essential to making it meaningful, to help drive the organisation forward and ensure the best use of time, resources and funds.


The continued rise in the use of mobile technology means there is an increased need for donors, supporters and members to be able to interact with organisations regardless of the device they use.

Mobile is fast becoming core to all website and applications, providing accessibility from anywhere and on any device, including non-PC, smartphone and tablet.

Cost Control

The NFP sector has a duty to ensure that the funds given to them are put to best use for the case(s) that they serve. Subsequently, one of the main issues for NFPs is to keep control of overheads and reduce them if at all possible.

The future of tech in short

As these top five trends cited by 10 key influencers gain further momentum, leaders within NFP organisations would do well to ensure they are considered as part of their planning process.

Having the vision and foresight of the challenges ahead will help NFPs to manage change, taking a more systematic and agile approach.

By embracing technology and its impact on the broader society, NFP organisations will be better placed to driver greater growth and enhance the quality of their service as they take on opportunities to support their respective causes.

 To read and download the full report, The Future of NFP Technology please click here.