Tendenci – The Open Source AMS, an international Open Source provider of Association Management Software‘ to global organizations (languages), today announced that it has joined the Stripe Partner Program as a Verified AMS Open Source Stripe Payment Partner. With only 3% of GDP online, Stripe’s goal of the program is to increase internet commerce by helping NGOs and companies start, run, and scale their businesses.
Each year in January, I spend time researching different market reports from 2012 to identify the upcoming trends within the technology industry. I use this information to predict what technology and marketing trends will most likely matter to the nonprofit association and open source community so I can give you insight without having to spend the time researching all of this data yourself.
I’m really excited about 2013 because I see a dramatic shift coming this year in the way we all interact with and think about information technology. Knowledge that was once proprietary or extremely difficult to gain is being pushed out onto the web in a volume that we can’t consume fast enough.
Take Coursera.org, for example, where you can take courses from Universities like Stanford, CalTech, and John Hopkins. For Free!!
Coursera is just one of dozens of online education platforms that have free (or nearly free) classes on virtually any topic. Add to this the important details that because the classes are offered through your web browsers – you also can access them anytime and any place with the added bonus of an online community from connecting with the other students who’re taking the class. Personally, I prefer the learning experience I get when I’m on Lynda.com or Codeacademy to that I received back in college. I predict that as more people gain access to the web through cheaper and faster mobile devices, more people are going to these online learning sites instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.
Knowledge is Freedom
Knowledge is power when someone else knows how to do something you need done and don’t know how. When you know how to manage your own website, for example, then you can choose whether or not you want to pay for someone to manage your site. You also have the choice of how much you want to manage and how much you want to outsource.
Schipul Technologies has always believed that education is key, and provides tons of free training and resources for our employees and our community. This year, we’re really ramping up our training opportunities for clients and web developers looking for more Tendenci training. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar to find new webinars, in-person workshops, and other classes we’ll be adding this year. We’ll also be sharing more nonprofit website success stories and technology tips and tricks in our email newsletters and here on the blog.
What topics do you want to learn more about? Tell us in the comments below or send us an email. Now, here’s the 3 tech trends I predict will be the biggest nonprofit boosters in 2013.
Avoid the “ooh shiny!” Syndrome in 2013
All three of my top trends are going to be familiar to you. There’s no surprise tech hidden in this blog post… and that’s because 2013 is going to be the year we all focus on simplification and education. Marketers are overwhelmed trying to produce enough content and users don’t have time to read it.
This year, instead of creating a new account for every “next big social media app” – spend time looking into your analytics to see what’s not working that well and cut it out. That’s why each of my predictions include some of the things to consider before you jump into the newest web trend. You’ve got a lot on your plate this year if you’re going to change the world, so be selective with your time.
Trend #1 – Online Video Becomes Mainstream
In the 2012 report released by the NPD Group, 45% of people in a survey said that the TV was their primary screen for watching online videos. In 2011, that figure was 33%. The report also discovered that online video viewing from PCs is declining, because more people are watching internet videos on their TV’s, instead of watching traditional television and cable programs. It’s pretty obvious to me that in 2013, we’ll see that number rise well above the 50% and online video becomes something families watch together.
Google’s been preparing for this for years and you can apply for the Google for Nonprofits program to get a premium YouTube Brand channel that offers additional tools to customize and promote your stories through video. If you already have a YouTube Brand Channel and are trying to figure out how to better utilize it, then check-out this cool YouTube Brand Channel Interactive Show And Tell Google and TED developed. Download the Playbook Guide: Youtube for Good to get started with Youtube for your nonprofit with great tips, examples, and advice specifically developed for nonprofit’s seeking to boost their engagement online through videos.
Should You Focus on YouTube This Year?
Videos are a great platform for telling engaging stories and driving action from people and are a perfect tool for nonprofits. Videos also take time, money, and a fair amount of expertise with filming and editing. Before you dive into a YouTube Brand Channel, you’ll want to evaluate your resources and compare them to the costs involved with managing the production process to create new and engaging videos regularly.
Large organizations probably want to get serious about allocating a portion of your budget for video marketing and make this the year you commit. Smaller and mid-sized organizations who haven’t done any online video marketing yet may want to start with making one video that they can embed on your website and share on your Facebook page to get an idea of what an ongoing video campaign would entail.
I wrote about nonprofit video storytelling in a blog post last year with great advice that still holds true. In addition though, new online video tools have been popping up almost daily that are inexpensive and easy to use. Here’s a few video apps I recommend that will introduce you to online video production and marketing:
- Animoto – I love how EASY it is to use Animoto and they offer free upgraded features for nonprofits. Check out the Animoto blog to watch other nonprofit videos created with Animoto.
- GoAnimate! Videomaker – Sign-up for their basic plan (it’s free) and try your skills at making animated videos. GoAnimate also has a ton of Video Maker Tips on topics like selecting animation software and directing voice overs in your videos.
- Wistia – Host your online videos here instead of YouTube when you need to keep your videos privately accessible by members or specific people. Wistia has a free plan that includes 5 videos, and integrates with other tools you’re already using like Salesforce, Google Analytics, and many social sharing sites, including Facebook.
Trend #2 – Leave Your Wallet at Home, Just Remember Your Smartphone!
Mobile Payments just might be the biggest disruptive tech in 2013. This technology is changing the economy in Africa at a pace never before seen, and Africa isn’t the only economically disadvantaged country that’s benefiting from mobile technologies. Ironically, the U.S. is one of the slowest countries to adopt mobile payments technology, primarily because the US banking industry already had a very large technical infrastructure in place that wasn’t compatible with mobile payment tech.
Americans are gradually adopting mobile payments, and Starbucks, in a partnership with Square, is leading the pack of businesses who’ve discovered how to profit from mobile payments, with a reported 7 million users paying for their morning cup of coffee with their smartphones. Mobile and web merchant account providers have been learning from the early adopters, like Starbucks, that the key to increasing consumer adoption of mobile payments means designing a better experience via “virtual wallet” apps for iOS and Android devices.
Things to Consider Before Jumping into Mobile Payments
Of the three trends I list here, mobile payments is the one that you definitely shouldn’t ignore. Why? Because it’s relatively cheap, easy to set-up and manage, and you don’t want to ever miss a donation opportunity. Gen Y and Millenials are growing up and growing ever more attached to their mobile devices, and they don’t have the barriers towards adopting new technology.
If you haven’t been taking online payments through your website, then this could be a great opportunity to jump into digital payments for donations. That being said, you still want to do the research to determine if and how your organization can benefit from mobile payment adoption. Here’s some tips to help you evaluate mobile payments:
- If you aren’t able to or don’t need to accept financial contributions, then it’s probably safe to say you don’t need mobile payments.
- You probably don’t need to spend the money to have a custom mobile app designed, however if you’re looking for options then you might want to check out LevelUp’s white label option which saves you time and money by giving you a custom designed app built on a pre-existing platform.
- Sixrevisions has a great article that provides an overview of online payment processing including definitions of commonly used terms and reviews of 10 most common online merchant account providers.
- If you’re looking for SMS (text) donation options, Wikipedia provides a great overview of SMS giving platforms with examples of nonprofits that have had success with text donations.
- MobileCause develops mobile fundraising tools for nonprofits and has a great collection of nonprofit mobile donation success stories.
Trend #3 – Tablets are More than Just Mobile, They’re Everywhere
Many nonprofit organizations have been using tablets for engaging with their constituents over the past couple of years. Museums, like the Smithsonian and Children’s Museum of Houston, incorporate tablets into their exhibits to increase interactivity with their members. Humanitarian organizations, like the Red Cross and FEMA, are using tablets for their mobile staff who need access to email and online tools while working in remote locations or regions that have had their infrastructure destroyed from natural disasters.
Should You Invest in Tablets and Mobile Tech?
I highly recommend you head over to Beth Kanter’s blog to find the in-depth answer to this question in the post: How and When Should Your Nonprofit Organization Invest in Mobile. It recommends you look at your site’s traffic sources and if you’re getting more than 20% traffic from mobile devices, then you should prioritize getting a mobile-friendly website design. If you’re getting less than 20% mobile traffic but the vast majority of your online community is reporting issues with using your site on mobile devices, you might also want to look at a redesign.
Tablets come with an entirely different interface from other devices, navigating the web using gestures. Finger swipes and taps interact with web pages different than a mouse and keyboard. Most websites, even those with responsive or mobile stylesheets, weren’t designed to engage with visitors that way. A recent survey done by Compuware.com on tablet user web experience expectations shared that not only did tablet users expect a website page to load in 2 seconds or less, tablet users also expected their tablet to perform as well as their laptops.
If you don’t own a tablet, I recommend heading to your local Best Buy or Fry’s and playing with some of the different models. Find one that has access to websites and go look at yours and other sites and try clicking through the sites and performing the same functions you would normally perform from your PC and Smartphone. In particular, try making a donation on your website from a tablet and see if you run into any roadblocks.
Did you run into problems testing your donations form using a tablet? If so – you probably will want to look at updating your site to a responsive designed theme. Want to go more in-depth with tablet design for websites? Here’s some great articles I recommend:
- Find out the “Do’s and Don’ts” for tablet website design in this article on 1stwebdesigner.com, which includes tips like keep your website design simple, don’t use flash animation, and consider the information tablet users are looking for when they visit your site so you can highlight this on your homepage and in your site’s headers or footers.
- Webdesign.tutsplus.com has a great article that teaches the 6 tips to remember when designing for tablets. The article gives realistic advice like how to design for fingers instead of mouse clicks, and designing for multiple orientations.
- Here’s a Collection of Mobile Smartphone and Tablet Stats and Trends reported in 2012 via Mobile Marketer that you might want to check out if you’re interested in looking for at trends in mobile marketing.
- Check out the results of a 2013 Consumer focused survey by Accenture which evaluates the devices that are going to be the most popular, and shares the best tactics to use based on your audience’s preferred devices – download the PDF of the Survey and Read the Full Article on TechCrunch.com.
What Trends do You See Coming in 2013?
My predictions are based solely on my experience and research, and you most likely have a different perspective that I haven’t thought of yet. What trends do you see coming in 2013 that nonprofits should be paying attention to?
Tell us in the comments below!
Last week, I attended SURGE Day 2012, a day-long graduation celebration for 10 new Technology Start-ups that just graduated from the SURGE Accelerator incubator program.
Jason Dorsey, noted author of “My Reality Check Bounced” and expert on communicating across generations, was the morning keynote speaker. Jason shared his advice on how to gain a better perspective on how each of the other generations view the world.
StartUps and NonProfits
I often think that startups and nonprofits have a lot in common. In both cases, the founders are incredibly passionate about their ideas and missions, incredibly overworked, and spend a lot of time asking people to give them money for their organization.
At the heart of both startups and nonprofits, funding and passion are the keys to success.
As Jason talked about the best ways managers and executives in older generations could support and get along with the younger Gen Y crowd, I saw correlations beyond just the workplace.
A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation shared that more than 54% of Gen Y’s are either already entrepreneurs or plan to start their own company and one thing Gen Y definitely has in abundance is passion!
Gen Y’s Spending Power Now and in the Future
On the other hand, most Gen Y’s don’t have an abundance of money – something that’s been true for all generations when they’re still in their 20’s. Gen Y startups often seek outside funding from angel investors and VCs before seeking to bootstrap their ideas. As Jason explained this trait: “Most Gen Y’s are willing to take a substantial paycut just to get their idea off the ground – after all, their parents are still supporting them.”
Gen Y’s Catching Up Fast
Jason Dorsey’s company, The Center for Generational Kinetics has done a number of studies across generations to identify the key traits that distinguish each generation from the others. Gen Y is the fastest growing demographic in the energy, software, and marketplace and by 2017, Gen Y will be outspending Baby Boomers.
Until now, no other generation has matched Boomer spending. Boomer spending accounts for 94% of spending on consumer packaged goods, 80% of luxury travel spending, 62.5% of annual new car sales, and they even account for the majority of online spending according to a report by boomer marketing expert Nancy Padberg
Gen Y is going to have a significant economic impact in the U.S. in the coming years. There are some absolutely great tips on Jason’s blog “What the Gen” about Gen Y’s consumer purchasing habits and I encourage anyone selling something to check out the blog.
Capture Gen Y’s Attention
The key to reaching Gen Y’s to grab their attention and motivate them to spend money with your organization is to communicate with them in their space. Jason Dorsey shared Gen Y’s most preferred ways to communicate:
- Gen Y’s most preferred method of communicating is text messaging
- Gen Y’s 2nd most preferred method of communicating is email
- Gen Y’s LEAST preferred method of communication is talking on the phone
A really interesting fact about the my generation is that 51% of Gen Y’s are more likely to trust the opinions of a stranger who shares a review on a social media network than if their friends and family verbally make a suggestion. This is a significant difference from other generations, who tend to be more skeptical of the people they run into on the Web.
Generation Y trusts technology more than previous generations, and we trust the people who are using technology the same way that we are more than past generations would. Organizations that recognize this and customize their messages to Gen Y differently from their other constituents and donors will see better results from the next generation.
Here’s 5 Tips to Increase Donations from Gen Y
Even though NonProfit organizations aren’t specifically selling something, you are asking for money in exchange for the benefits you offer your donors and members. Give your fundraising a boost by using these tips to talk to Gen Y’s in their language this year.
1) Keep Donation Amounts Small and Flexible
Gen Y is cash-poor and we aren’t known to save money typically. A donation of even $50 is daunting to Gen Y’s so offer smaller donation amounts. You can also include a “Suggest a Donation” field and let us decide how much we want to give.
That’s one of the reasons that we included the option to allow your donors to suggest the payment amount on Custom donation forms in Tendenci.
2) Accept Credit Card Donations on Your Website
Most Gen Y’s have credit cards and a debit card. Most of us do not have a check handy and we really aren’t fans of having to pay with cash. Make it simple for us to give you money when we are ready and accept online donations via credit cards. The easier you make it for us to donate, the more likely we are to do so.
3) Share Your NonProfit’s Stories on Social Media
Studies show that people don’t like to go to their Facebook Wall or Twitter feed and see organizations asking them to donate. The most successful social media campaigns for nonprofits revolve around storytelling and sharing what you are doing to make the world a better place. Use your social media channels to highlight the kids you fed, the puppies you rescued, and the people who have a better life now because of your work.
Then, make it easy for them to find your website so they can donate and support your cause. Once they’ve donated, let your Gen Y supporter tweet or +1 or “Like” your organization and share that they donated to their network. Talk about others, and let others talk about you for greater results.
4) Don’t call Gen Y’s – Use Text and Email
Remember Jason Dorsey’s report saying Gen Y’s preferred text messaging, followed by email for communicating and save the personal phone calls for your boomer supporters. You’ll need to get permission before you text and email, and then you’ll have a far better chance of getting your message through to Gen Y’s.
In fact- give them a way to donate via text like Mobile Loaves and Fishes did in their campaign to fight homelessness.
5) Give Gen Y’s Non-Monetary Ways to Donate
Gen Y’s often just don’t have the financial resources to give money to a cause. Many of us are still finding our talents and way in life and if you believe one of your Gen Y supporters has skills that could help your organization, ask them to volunteer. We are always surprised and honored by requests to help and our time is something we usually have more of to give than our cash.
Gen Y’s are also more familiar with technology and can help with your email marketing, website, social media, and with text messaging. NonProfits often struggle to find the resources and funds to manage their technology, so find some Gen Y’s who are passionate about your cause and ask if they’ll donate tech and web support!
We have some exciting things happening over here. First, come check out this past week’s software updates for Version 5.0.78 and find out the latest features and functionality added to make it easier for you to manage your website.
Here’s the highlights from this week’s updates:
1) Sortable Fields for Reports – Reports now have sort options using the field headers.
2) Tendenci first will check if an email address is associated with an existing user before it creates a username using the available email address during a membership import
3) WYSIWYG Rich Text Editors have been added for Organizer, Location, and Speakers on the Event Add form
New Summer Training and Events
We are adding several new training webinars, workshops, and events to our Tendenci Training Calendar. We are always looking for suggestions so if you don’t see a topic on the calendar, leave a comment below or contact us with your suggestions!
We made some new updates to our Tendenci software for association website management this week.
- Added Payment Method as a Field Label on custom forms.
- Added Two new search filters for user profile search, allowing administrators to search users to view all users with a specific level of permissions and view all users capped at a specific level of permissions.
- Updated some of the base template code to prevent page display errors when admins forget to upload media to custom page templates.
- Updated the corporate membership module to allow more design option in custom template designs for corporate memberships.
- Updated membership entry approval email that goes to administrators with more links to the membership applicant data.
- Added more information on corporate membership renewal notification.
- Improved credit card payment verification process for corporate memberships.
- All memberships now require a membership type at the database level to ensure content validity.
- Moved the Corporate Memberships Tendenci Navigation Tab to the Membership Entry Application Page, replacing the News Tab.
- Administrators will now see the Total Number of Memberships when they search Membership Entries.
- Added a balance to membership entries, which links to the member’s invoice. This will help administrators better manage their association’s finances and account receivables.
- Updated the Jobs Module to prevent duplicate URL slugs from new job postings that are very similar to previous job postings.
- Improved indexing for the Jobs Module to increase relevancy of Job Board search results.
- Add two new search filters for jobs search to allow you to search job postings by their Category and Subcategory.
- Added a new email notification that will send trial/self sign-up customers an email notification 1 week prior to their trial expiration period to inform them their trial period is ending.
- Currently – trial/self sign-up customers will not have their site disabled when their 30-day trial is over. We will receive a notice and send them an email the day their site has expired and will update them when the Beta testing has ended at least 2 weeks before we would disable their trial website.
Click Here to learn how to improve your email marketing using Tendenci’s Newsletter Marketing Dashboard integrated with Campaign Monitor’s email marketing software and find other resources for email marketing success!
Questions about these Updates?
Back to School week also marks the return of Professional Organizations’ events after the summer break. That’s why our programmers skipped summer vacation and added a ton of great features to the T5 Event Management Module. I have been absolutely loving how much easier it is to create, manage, and update events in Tendenci 5.0 compared to Tendenci 4.0.
Check out some of the ways we’ve made it quick and easy to create and manage your organization’s Fall Event Calendar using Tendenci software.
With Tendenci’s New Single Page Event Form – It Takes Just 2-Clicks to Create an Event
We made our “Add an Event” form just ONE single page allowing you to create each new event from your website without having to sort through multiple page loads. We made it easier to add new events inside the Admin navigation bar and now you can add a new event from any page on your website. Click to add a new event, fill out the event details and then click to create the event – it’s that easy!
1 Page – More Event Options
We may have saved you some pages when creating your events – we didn’t skimp on the features and that page is fully loaded with customizable fields and event options to let you create and price your events in virtually any way you can imagine. Here are just a few of the changes we made in Tendenci 5.0 compared to T4.
* Add multiple speakers to your event summary.
Simply click to add another speaker while you are creating the event, and without ever leaving the page – a new speaker box is created instantly. After you add the new speaker’s details in, just click to add another speaker and another speaker box is revealed. Repeat until you’ve added your entire panel without ever leaving the event form.
*Automatic addition of Google maps to help show your guests how to get to your event.
Just fill in your event’s address on the event form and when you save it, Tendenci will automatically add a Google map to your event summary. Registrants can view the venue on a map, click to get directions from their location, and all the cool extra map functions that Google Maps includes like street views and searching for nearby places.
*Add multiple ticket prices based on membership types.
Tendenci Events lets you set a different price for members than non-members, and you can segment your ticket prices by membership types, students, and corporate levels to create as many different ticket prices as you want.
*We listened to your requests and have added bundled ticket packages.
Tendenci now has the ability for you to sell Ticket Bundles for special group events like a Golf Tournament or Table Sponsorships. You decide how much the bundled package costs AND how many tickets are in the bundle. And you can create as many different ticket bundles as you need for your event – in the same single page event form!
Tendenci 5.0 includes the ability to create custom discount codes for events that allow you to offer special promotional discounts. Have a little fun creating unique discount code names, then easily track where your registrants are hearing about your event and signing up by tracking registration based on discount codes used.
*Manage the entire registration and payment process on your website with our payment integration options.
Your Website Guests Will Love How Easy it is to Register for Events Too!
We know that creating the event online is only one part of event management and that’s why we included tons of new features in Tendenci for administering the event after you’ve created it.
These features will save you time and frustration before, during and after your event.
*New Reporting tools for you.
We included event reporting tools that allow you to easily find invoices, see who has paid and who hasn’t, calculate totals and more.
*Communicate with your event registrants about any changes or announcements via email quickly with our event email tool.
You can select all registrants, paid registrants, or unpaid registrants and immediately send an email update for your event to your attendees.
These are just some of the new features that Tendenci 5.0 includes for managing events. If you want to know more, then check-out our upcoming Event Management with Tendenci 5.0 Free Webinar or just Contact Us to schedule a demo of all of Tendenci 5.0’s capabilities.