As the baby-boomers start retiring or transitioning out of leadership roles, nonprofits stand in an interesting position. The need for knowledgeable and experienced leaders and management staff in the nonprofit sector is about to become incredibly high. Nonprofits are in a unique position where, unlike the for-profit sector, they are not usually afforded the opportunity to grow their own leaders from the inside due to lack of funds and capacity for development training. (For more information on forecasted leadership staff trends, see the Bridgespan Group’s report “The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership Deficit.)
What does it mean for nonprofit technology?
It means there is a tremendous opportunity for nonprofits to leverage new media tools to take care of many things for them, freeing up staff time and allowing the community to help carry the organization.
Tools that enable online/viral fundraising can let supporters raise funds, support your cause, and campaign for you online without staff time dedicated to outreach or campaign development. These tools include Change.org, 6 Degrees, and Google Checkout for Nonprofits in various degrees, just to name a few.
Tools that enable wide-spread communication can allow staff to relay information in one space instead of many and cut down on repetition of job responsibilities. Using a blog like those I have mentioned before would provide volunteers, interested citizens, media and members alike the same, complete information in a timely manner without adapting the message and using various staff and communications tools to deliver it. Micro-blogging tools like Twitter are also available to make this far-reaching communications option quick and easy.
There are many more tools available but these are just a couple to get you thinking. Are you already using new media tools to free up staff time?