Tech Trends in Philanthropy

Technology is changing the way that nonprofits and potential donors interact. Although there are many new ways technology is making its mark on fundraising, here are a few of the latest trends.

Transparency Reigns.

Today’s donors want the nonprofits they donate to be transparent with their finances, according to The Giving Institute. If your organization does not have its records and organization information up-to-date on GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and BBB Wise Giving, it needs to do so ASAP as these are where donors today are going to find out whether the organizations they’re donating to are using their funds wisely. Also, publish your financial reports on your website, and send them out to your donors and potential donors via email and social media.

Data is In.

Every organization has tons of data to sift through, and the smart ones are using all kinds of data to help them plan for their futures, including donations, feedback forms, and volunteer sign-up forms. Brenda B. Asare, President & CEO of The Alford Group suggests that organizations use services like Target Analytics to help you understand all the data that you have. Wealth screening and prospect research help you gain even deeper understanding of your data. All this data, if prioritized and segmented correctly, can help you better understand your donors and those with whom you engage. It can all support your effort to raise funds for your organization’s work and to further its work well into the future.


Artificial intelligence is one way that you can use technology to better understand your data and get predictive analytics that can help your organization prosper. Maureen Wallbeoff of NonProfitPRO says you should “[i]magine a custom moves management process that uses all publicly available data for your unique mix of supporters, allowing your team to focus their efforts on the right segment of your file.”

You can also use chatbots to encourage donations on your website. Chatbots are a form of AI that can make the donation process personal and friendly. Overall, AI can help your supporters to feel like they’re understood and that the organization is grateful for them and their support.


The Internet of Things is everywhere. Siri on your phone, and Alexa to help you play whatever song you want to hear or to buy some household item you need are examples of the millions of devices that are connected to the internet. Wallbeoff suggests that your organization “[u]se geotargeting to find new pockets of potential donors in areas where you may not yet have a strong presence.” She goes on to point out that you can show program outcomes interactively by adding in sensors that track data and show it to donors, such the number of people who were given food on a given day at the food pantry. This can contribute to data-driven fundraising.