11 Jan 2024 What’s on the Horizon in 2024? Association and Nonprofit Trends in the Coming Year
For many of us, it’s hard to believe 2023 is almost over. Now, it’s time to look ahead to 2024, where we’ll certainly see more change. Here are seven association and nonprofit trends you can expect to see next year.
Increased Use of AI
There has been so much discussion about artificial intelligence this year that we dedicated an entire post to it — so be sure to check it out. You can bet there will be more opportunities to incorporate AI into your organization’s operation, from chatbots to the metaverse, but you want to make sure it’s right for your mission and membership.
On the one hand, AI can help you cut costs, improve efficiency, and make everything more accessible to staff and members with disabilities. However it can come with a price, particularly in the liability category, so it’s essential to understand the potential for security risks and misinformation.
More and more organizations are turning away from old-fashioned fundraising methods. In addition to accepting credit and debit card payments for donations and membership fees, they’re allowing third-party payment managers like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App. That’s a smart move if it makes it easier to collect income.
Investing in Training and Technology
To capitalize on AI and other innovations, businesses of all kinds, including associations, are ramping up their commitment to training and new technology. This might mean classes for staff or even board members, as well as investing in equipment and corresponding security and insurance to stay on the cutting edge of your industry.
Several trends emerging related to this include microlearning via short videos and podcasts and the gamification of education. Both of these can be integrated into either internal training or courses for members and industry professionals.
Mergers and Partnerships
This past year has been rocky in many sectors, leaving some organizations struggling to survive financially. We always advocate for building resiliency, resourcefulness, and agility. One of the most creative ways associations and nonprofits are surviving is by forming collaborations with other groups, whether through legal mergers or less formal partnerships that can yield symbiotic and synergistic effects.
Expect to see more of this in 2024. If a collaboration serves your mission and your members, it’s wise not to reject it out of hand, even if it might mean joining forces with a competitor.
Emphasis on DEI and Accessibility
This year saw more focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and you’ll witness more organizations emphasizing this throughout the decade, as well as accessibility. If your association has been slow to adopt accessibility and DEI initiatives, now is the time to get current. It will make you more attractive to members, donors, and volunteers, while also protecting you from discrimination claims.
Focus on Sustainability
With the wild weather the planet experienced in 2023, climate change and sustainability became more important than ever to many associations. As extreme weather events are only predicted to increase in 2024, many organizations are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and go more green, both in daily operations and with major events.
Some solutions in this area include:
- Relocating or switching to virtual headquarters (see more below)
- Implementing work-at-home or hybrid policies for staff
- Reducing print products in lieu of digital versions
- Hosting meetings online to reduce travel
- Offering digital swag rather than physical gifts at events
- Providing online mentorship events for young members
Continued Hybrid and Virtual Everything
Hybrid or remote conferences and virtual offices offer more than gains in sustainability. Employees have discovered that they like doing without a stressful commute every day, and associations can now hire anywhere in the country, or even globally if they want.
Operating in a digital world lets organizations save money and reduce wasted time, such as travel to board meetings. For members and thought leaders who have jam-packed schedules or who prefer to be cautious about what have become inevitable spikes in contagious illnesses, virtual options can increase engagement and revenue. Plus with online choices, your association can offer year-round or self-paced courses for greater enrollment.
If your association needs help navigating to a hybrid or remote world in 2024, Jaffe Management is here to assist you. We can provide a headquarters for your organization as well as multiple other services for membership, email list management, event planning and more. Call us at 212-496-3155 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to take your association or nonprofit to the next level.