Forbes: Nonprofit Trends That Will Dominate 2024

Read the insights from Forbes Nonprofit Council leaders as they share their predictions of top trends they believe will dominate the nonprofit sector in 2024.

Source: Forbes

1. Nonprofit Collaboration

In 2024, collaboration between nonprofits will become paramount, both to move the needle on entrenched issues and to create the infrastructure needed to support the social sector. There is an urgency around so many issues, from attacks on human rights and historic global learning losses caused by the pandemic to humanitarian crises from climate change. We need to innovate the sector—and fast. – Kyle Zimmer, First Book

2. Growing Role Of Community-Based Organizations

As the socio-political environment becomes more tense and polarized ahead of a U.S. presidential election, community-based organizations will continue to play a key role as trusted messengers within civil society. Organizations will strengthen their capacity to engage in advocacy to ensure that community members are informed and their interests are uplifted and heard. – George Hsieh, Community Resource Exchange

3. Integrative Thinking

Whether an organization is addressing homelessness or equity in education, we must think through solutions integrating intuition, reason and imagination to develop and deploy strategies, tactics, action and evaluation. Engaging in this type of mental exercise is the only way to create a continuum of holistic approaches that successfully bring together various systems and players. – Jennifer Friend, Project Hope Alliance

4. Consultants

The trend that will dominate the nonprofit sector in 2024 is the use of consultants as subject matter experts. The change in hiring trends over the last few years has been met with a number of people going into consultancy roles, even with their former employers. It works well for both parties, granting expertise for hire when needed and the freedom to choose when and how to work. – Kimberly Lewis, Goodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc.

5. Artificial Intelligence

One trend I believe will dominate in 2024 is the use of AI, along with people who can hopefully help nonprofits find and implement the best tools to amplify their efforts and impact. For example, we’re already seeing success with several tools being used by our fundraising and programming teams including Gravity and Jobscan. These tools are freeing us up to do what only humans can do—build meaningful relationships with our scholars in real life. – Romi Lassally, Ready to Succeed

6. Digital Marketing

I believe the power and cost savings of digital marketing will dominate in 2024. Organizations must gain a better understanding of programmatic, geofencing, SEO, SEM and social media paid advertising. Research indicates consumers spend over 6.5 hours per day online, so you have to connect and engage with them there. Find a trusted digital marketing agency partner. We have partnered with Fasturtle and Gigawatt for 4.5 years. – Nancy Padberg, Catholic Education Arizona

7. Digital Fundraisers And Initiatives

I believe digital fundraisers and initiatives are the path forward and will dominate the nonprofit sector in 2024. Being able to involve your entire supporter community is imperative, but that community is limited to in-person events. The organizations that are able to conceptualize creative ways to grow their mission in the virtual space will see greater success than those that do not. – Amber Barbach, The Glioblastoma Research Organization

8. Innovation

Gone are the days when we can rest on what we’ve always done or what’s worked before. Many nonprofits are leaning into innovation, technology, innovative partnerships, brand collaborations and more to move their missions forward. As we move into 2024, innovation across all areas of a nonprofit’s work will be critical and more prevalent. – Jennifer Thompson, Hope Loves Company

9. More Focus On Grassroots Funding And Advocacy-Based Work

State and national elections will dominate the nonprofit sector in 2024, creating a deeper focus on grassroots movement funding and advocacy-based philanthropic work. Along the lines of advocacy funding, we will also see a growing focus on funding nonprofit media organizations to amplify diverse narratives and stories without a profit-centric tilt. – Christina Engel, Magic Cabinet

10. Trust-Based Giving

I believe trust-based giving will continue to grow, allowing nonprofits to be more flexible and innovative in how they leverage money to increase impact. More philanthropic partners need to consider this model of support. – Jamee Rodgers, Urban Neighborhood Initiative

11. Diversified Revenue Streams

Non-dues revenue will continue to dominate the attention of nonprofits this year. Organizations continue to be hyper-focused on diversifying revenue away from membership or contributions and creating value in new ways. Given the relatively high possibility of a recession in 2024, there are added pressures on nonprofits to add non-dues programs or services for possible shortfalls. – Devin Jopp, Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology

12. Sustainability And Fiscal Planning

Sustainability and fiscal planning are more important than ever as we move further beyond Covid. Nonprofits saw significant funding via ARPA and other pandemic response programs, but those dollars have now been spent or those programs have sunset. While that boost in funding has faded, the level of need has not. Nonprofits must double down on their sustainability efforts to ensure they continue their mission-driven work. – Cortney Nicolato, United Way of Rhode Island

13. Increased Storytelling

2024 will bring forward all the many ways storytelling and narrative are used to inspire people to action and influence change. From blogs and short-form video to podcasts, the hearts and minds of people will be changed by storytelling. This ancient way to create community, call people in and create action is now seen each day in different forms and weaves together the power of story. – Maureen Sedonaen, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco

14. Impact Communication

Organizations that rely on contributions from donors and members will strengthen their impact communication. It’s no secret that donors are often motivated by the impact of their donations. Nonprofits will communicate successes year-round, not just at the end of the year, using compelling storytelling to demonstrate the tangible outcomes of donations and be more transparent about where the funds go. – Dr. Sherry McAllister, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

15. Generative AI

The introduction of generative AI last year will snowball in 2024 within the nonprofit sector, adding to the growing menu of technology available to help nonprofits increase their efficiency and their ability to contain costs. As more nonprofit professionals learn how to utilize AI effectively, it will become an integral component in the tech stack that supports many nonprofit organizations. – Victoria Burkhart, The More Than Giving Company

16. Influencer Marketing

In 2024, the nonprofit sector will begin to see broader adoption of influencer marketing. Organizations of all sizes will begin integrating influencer marketing into their marketing mix. The reach, trustworthiness and storytelling skills of influencers will aid fundraising and engagement, while data-driven insights and grassroots connections will play pivotal roles in amplifying nonprofit causes. – Nick Lynch, Collidescope IO, Inc.

17. Individual Giving

Individual giving is a trend that will dominate the nonprofit sector this year. Despite what many analysts report, individual giving is rising throughout our communities. In 2024, individual donors will be more strategic and intentional about where they give, how they give and who they give to. – Erin Davison, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana

18. Demonstration Of A Return On Investment

We are already seeing more and more worthy efforts competing for a relatively level pool of philanthropic dollars. It is insufficient to focus on the worthiness of our mission. The sector needs to do a far better job quantifying impact and demonstrating results. We must show we are worthy of the trust and financial support of our donors and that we share their concerns. – Patrick Riccards, Driving Force Institute

19. A Desire To Learn

The quote “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows” is where I believe we’re headed this year. It’s a powerful reminder to be receptive to learning, acknowledging there’s always room to explore, question and expand understanding. For the nonprofit sector, 2024 will be a year of learning and adaptation. – Steven Rhines, Noble Research Institute


Scroll to Top