John Gillespie over at Social Edge took out the crystal ball for 2011 and provided these trends. I think this is a pretty good list. What do you think?
- Demonstrate & Differentiate – With more social ventures and nonprofits vying for a slice of the ever-shrinking financial pie, organizations must work harder than ever to distinguish themselves by communicating clearly to potential donors and funders through a variety of tools – from donor packages and newsletters to social media (such as Twitter and Facebook) and websites. We’ve seen an increased emphasis on program results and performance metrics with 61% of nonprofits surveyed listing it as a top priority compared to 46% last year.
- Cut Through the Red Tape – While government funding has been cut or depleted, there are grants and other sources of revenue that still exist. Mission-oriented organizations should take the time to learn more about the grants that are available as well as the application process—the time will be well spent.
- Reward your Talent – Nearly 40% of nonprofits surveyed reduced staff and salaries in 2010, which means remaining teams are working harder than ever. Leaders need to recognize the efforts of their employees and spend more time with their stars—66% of those surveyed list retaining and motivating staff as a top priority and 53% plan to focus on improving organizational culture.
- Assess your Team – Fifty percent of the organizations surveyed had less than 20 employees. With teams this size, there is no margin for error—every employee must possess the skills to execute their role. Taking the time to evaluate your staff will have a major impact on your organization in the long run.
- Entrepreneurial Growth Strategies – Much of the growth in the mission-oriented sector will stem from innovative, entrepreneurial strategies. Seventy percent of organizations surveyed list new revenue generation as their top priority for 2011—up from 58% in 2010 – and 28% plan to pursue earned income ventures. We’re also seeing organizations start another 501(c)(3) under the parent organization and more social ventures starting B Corps and L3Cs (low-profit limited liability companies)—allowing them to pursue more innovative revenue generation strategies and differentiate from their peers.