Non-Profit Outlooks for 2013

Guest blogger Ashley Halligan of Software Advice on what the new year may bring for NPO:

Nonprofit Outlooks for the Remainder of 2013

As reports are finalized from companies within the nonprofit technology, financial, HR, and job trends segments, much speculation is encircling the sector as analysts and organizations make their predictions for the remainder of the year. With many factors stirring conversations like a recovering economy, the recently passed fiscal cliff, and President Obama’s second term, there’s much projection about what this year has in store for NPOs. Based on recent research, this is what we can expect to see over the next 11 months. 

1) Increased Adoption of Mobile Technologies and Social Giving Campaigns

Though we expect most industries to continue along the path of technological advancement, there’s particular expectations this year for nonprofit deployment of said technologies. 

In particular, a Blackbaud study identified that two-thirds of organizations who took part in their study said they planned to do one or more of the following: enabling their websites for mobile browsing, using QR codes to make giving easier or to build mission awareness, and optimizing their emails for mobile devices. 

Additionally, nonprofits will likely deploy more technology as vast options emerge for organizations seeking a system to help manage and boost their mission. 

2) Nonprofits Will Hire More and Give More Attention to Succession Plans

In 2013, 44 percent of surveyed nonprofits said they planned to create new positions, primarily within direct services and fundraising. But, 70 percent of organizations said they didn’t have a formal succession plan. Given that those who said they did have a succession plan said it brought their organization peace of mind, emerged talent, and boosted retention. 

Because organizations like The Alliance For Nonprofit Growth and Opportunity have labeled succession planning as a critical area of focus, they’ve begun offering workshops for nonprofit professionals to help educate them and help implement strategic succession plans. 

3) Tax Issues Leave Some Hopeful, Yet Others Concerned

With the American Taxpayer Relief Act in full swing, some think its long-term effects could boost charitable giving by $3.3 billion. However, others fear if President Obama’s proposed charitable tax cap were to pass at some point, that donations could be reduced by as much as $3 billion. 

This cap would only affect those in the highest tax bracket, though many organizations relying on major gifts from private donors would likely take the biggest hit in this scenarios. 

Additionally, the Pease provision, imposing limitations on itemized deductions have led to an upcoming hearing scheduled for February 14 giving nonprofit professionals the opportunity to testify those limits. 

Barely into the new year, much is still uncertain for nonprofit’s success for the remainder of the year. Technology and hiring are sure to continue to be on the rise. But only time can really give a fair perspective on long-term tax implications. What’s your take on proposed and implemented reform? 


Ashley M. Halligan
Software Advice