In our recently published article, “Hiring and Retention, and Succession Planning for Nonprofit Stability” by Schultz & Williams Project Manager, Maurisa Warren, we explored some of the common trends that we observed through our strategic planning projects in 2023. As a follow up to that, we wanted to share some of our predictions on what nonprofits can expect to see in 2024.
As the landscape of the nonprofit sector continues to evolve, organizations are likely to encounter new challenges and opportunities. From embracing technological advancements to navigating shifts in philanthropic preferences, the coming year holds a spectrum of environmental factors that can shape the strategies and operations of nonprofits.
- A stronger focus on workplace culture and DEI initiatives is expected. Nonprofits are increasingly prioritizing initiatives that promote equity and inclusion both internally and externally, with many looking to show true commitment to these issues. This involves not only internal efforts to create diverse and inclusive teams but also extends to external engagement, as many organizations are actively seeking to embed DEI principles throughout their broader community outreach.
- Embracing new technology and exploring the use of AI to streamline processes and aid in data analytics will likely be a prominent trend. As nonprofits increasingly recognize the transformative potential of cutting-edge technologies, there is a growing emphasis on integrating AI into their operations. Organizations will also (hopefully) be creating intentionality around their use of AI, addressing inherent biases, privacy issues and transparency.
- As workplaces continue to focus on employee well-being, a growing number are likely to adopt hybrid work models. By offering flexibility in the form of remote work options, organizations acknowledge the importance of accommodating individual workstyles and personal circumstances. This not only addresses the challenges of a changing workforce but also reflects a commitment to creating a work environment that prioritizes employee well-being, fosters a healthy work-life balance, and maximizes productivity through a thoughtful integration of remote and in-person collaboration.
- An increased focus on community engagement and community-led initiatives is expected. This strategic shift will involve proactively aligning programs and services with the actual needs of the community. This evolving focus on community engagement signifies a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the community, reinforcing the idea that impactful change is most effective when it arises from within the very fabric of the communities being served.
- Through 2045, the transfer of wealth will be significant from the silent generation and boomers to their descendants. Those who will have access to that wealth are expected to have five times as much as they do today. In light of this substantial generational wealth transfer, nonprofits will place a strong emphasis on donor cultivation among millennials and Gen Z.
- The current landscape of high inflation will continue affecting nonprofits, particularly those with a mission centered around providing essentials such as housing and food. Despite economic challenges, nonprofits are expected to intensify their focus, recognizing the need, now more than ever, to either develop or rely on a clear strategic and business plan. This emphasis on strategic planning aims to guide organizations in delineating their goals and the paths required to attain them in the face of economic uncertainties.
As we navigate the dynamic landscape of the nonprofit sector, the road ahead in 2024 presents both challenges and exciting opportunities. From fostering inclusive workplace cultures to harnessing the power of technology and addressing the evolving needs of communities, nonprofits are poised for a transformative year. As we delve into these predictions, Schultz & Williams remains committed to supporting organizations in navigating these changes. We look forward to witnessing the innovation, resilience, and impact that nonprofits will undoubtedly continue to bring to our communities. Stay tuned for more insights and updates throughout the year as we embark on this journey together, shaping a future where nonprofits thrive and make a lasting difference.