CHARLESTON, S.C. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the leading global provider of software and services for nonprofits and creator of The Blackbaud Index today announced key technology trends that will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector in 2014. Top technology trends to watch include: Mobile will continue to play more and more of a key role; analytics will provide greater insight for nonprofit organizations; software will become smaller and more focused; the cloud will provide cheaper and more secure alternatives for nonprofits; and social media will become more integrated.
“In 2014, technology will continue to have an even greater impact on nonprofits,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, Blackbaud’s vice president of product development. “Tremendous opportunities exist for these organizations to use technology to deliver on their missions in a very effective and scalable way, both when engaging with supporters and when managing back-end operations.”
Key Technology Trends to Watch in 2014:
Mobile will continue to be an essential part of how nonprofits engage with supporters and expand the reach of their staff. Nearly half of emails are now read on mobile devices. This means having a mobile-friendly approach to engaging donors has never been more important. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the platform of choice for computing and collaboration versus sitting behind a desk, and will change how organizations leverage data and drive mission delivery.
Data is the most valuable asset in any nonprofit organization. Consider how much additional web, social and interaction data is now being gathered by organizations. This ever-increasing amount of data means nonprofits must shift from collecting to analyzing. Nonprofits will use this data to understand what communication channels are most effective, how to better fundraise (who to ask for how much), how to effectively facilitate events or peer-to-peer fundraise, how to increase recurring giving, etc. Understanding where other nonprofits are successful, how individuals respond to different communication (marketing) channels, and a supporter’s overall propensity and ability to give will be integrated into software to make it “smarter.” This will ultimately enable nonprofits to be much more successful.
Software will continue to shift away from the importance of the underlying technology to the quality of the user experience. Deep knowledge of how nonprofits need to run their business and the mission-critical processes they depend on will trump the bits and bytes. As the switch to mobile devices for computing continues to gain momentum, solutions will be developed for mobile devices, tablets and traditional desktops by default. Information and functionality will be available to users in any environment without having to tab through monolithic apps or go through extensive training. And, data will be shared among these apps. This will also accelerate a move away from on-premises installations of software to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)/cloud-based implementations.
The cloud provides a secure, highly-available, managed, cheaper and less cumbersome environment for organizations. There will be less need to maintain applications and data in-house when the cloud provides a higher quality of service and accessibility in a far more cost-effective manner. The move to the cloud becomes even more critical due to the pervasive nature of mobile devices. The two environments were made for each other to share vast amounts of data and information from any place, anytime in a simple way. Ultimately, the cloud will serve as a game changer for many nonprofits, providing access to a multitude of services that were otherwise too costly even three years ago.
Social networks are the communication channels of choice for the emerging generation and will become more pervasive for business and personal use. Networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter provide access to networks of potential donors, volunteers, members, alumni, patrons, supporters, etc. Applications will more seamlessly integrate with social networks and enable peer-to-peer and direct communication with constituents. The benefits and options for leveraging this integration are limitless.
“Technology continues to change our world in very dramatic ways,” said Westmoreland. “The organizations that understand and embrace these changes will be best positioned to succeed for the foreseeable future.”
Serving the nonprofit and education sectors for 30 years, Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) combines technology and expertise to help organizations achieve their missions. Blackbaud works with more than 29,000 customers in over 60 countries that support higher education, healthcare, human services, arts and culture, faith, the environment, independent K-12 education, animal welfare and other charitable causes. The company offers a full spectrum of cloud-based and on-premise software solutions and related services for organizations of all sizes including: fundraising, eMarketing, advocacy, constituent relationship management (CRM), financial management, payment services, analytics and vertical-specific solutions. Using Blackbaud technology, these organizations raise more than $100 billion each year. Recognized as a top company by Forbes, InformationWeek, and Software Magazine and honored by Best Places to Work, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com.
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks related to our dividend policy and share repurchase program, including potential limitations on our ability to grow and the possibility that we might discontinue payment of dividends; risks relating to restrictions imposed by the credit facility; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov or upon request from Blackbaud's investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.