5 Nonprofit Ideas for 2014

There are lots of site out there that take a stab at trends for the upcoming year. To fit in, I thought I’d take a stab at some potential nonprofit/communications ideas for 2014. I may not be correct, but I can guarantee that I’ve eaten way more chocolate covered marshmallow Santas than any of those other punk trendsters!

Mind/Mine Your Data 

What does it mean to give seamless service to your donors? Generally, more data collection. Truly, you can’t make someone feel really loved unless you know a thing or 100 about them. But seamless shouldn’t be scary. And I think we’re all a little more aware/leary about just how much we’re being watched after a certain someone leaked some certain documents about a certain government’s peering into pretty much whatever they want.

Remember, great customer service doesn’t need to mean hideous amounts of data mining. In 2014, you’re going to see a lot more questions being asking about the kind of data being collected, and groups who pride themselves on little/no data collection. Your challenge will be to balance the two in a way that’s right for your organisation. I’m not saying Big Data is going away. I am saying regular people are going to start having a lot more questions about it.

Farewell Facebook

People look at me like I have seven heads when I tell them I’m not on Facebook. I’m simply not interested. In 2014, more people will be abandoning their profiles in search of a new time suck/engagement toy. This tool simply isn’t titillating enough anymore.

Organisations, if you’re just starting to get social media figured out, skip Facebook. For those who are already using it, start looking for the next thing. And I do hope you’ve put an adequate amount of effort into ensuring your website/mobile strategy doesn’t suck.

Generation C Bends Itself

A decade ago, the term “Generation C” started getting thrown around, and before that was Web 2.0.  Online content marketing is nothing new, and exploring the ease of which individuals and organisations can create content in a meaningful way certainly isn’t either. We’ve all been doing it all along (shit, as a bright-eyed 19 year old in her first nonprofit job, I pushed for what was essentially a content marketing strategy) so instead of thinking we need a fancy new gadget, look at what we’re already doing and simply push to do it better.

Whatever we’re arguing it’s called, or means, or requires, 2014 is going to see us all do it better and more actively. Stop trying to bend the spoon – realize there is no spoon, and bend yourself.

Rise in Slacktivism/Need to Vanquish It

Social media makes it pretty easy to associate yourself with a cause without having to actually do anything about it. One step up from apathy is slacktivism, where a like, a share, a retweet or a pin is as far as people will go in supporting an organisation or cause. Turns out like-hunting was a dumb idea afterall?

As we feel the need to focus on social media without a clear idea of what exactly we want to get out of it, we feed slacktivisim. So our challenge in 2014 is to fight it. How can we have clearer priorities when it comes to our social media strategies so the support we garner is meaningful?

The Guilt Free Demand

My parents did this amazing thing when I was a kid: they demanded a certain kind of behaviour in a way that never made me feel guilty. Say what you will about hippie farmers, but their freaky totalitarian beatnik approach worked. I strove for greatness, it was all my idea, and I somehow never had that horrifying feeling of child guilt when I fell short.

Wouldn’t it be sweet if we could be just as demanding of our supporters, without alienating them or making them feel guilty? It’s about sincerity and transparency in our actions as organisations, ensuring our calls to action are powerful, meaningful and confident.

What do you think is going to be big in 2014?