Charitable organizations worldwide report that digital fundraising capabilities and strategic financial planning are among the most crucial skills they need to remain resilient. The findings appear in the sixth volume in a series of reports, Future-Proofing Nonprofits for the Post-Pandemic World, The Voice of Charities Facing COVID-19, Volume 6, released in February by CAF America to highlight the needs of charitable organizations and inform donor giving strategies.

“Charities need to be focused on future-proofing themselves for the post-pandemic world,” said Ted Hart, CAF America president and CEO. “The resilience of charities relies on the key competencies of nonprofits in organizational management. Our goal is to ensure that long-term resilience and bolster the ability of nonprofits to face the unforeseen challenges ahead and advance their mission in the face of future adversity.”

The research polled 805 charitable organizations serving 152 countries to learn about the skillsets they rely on to sustain their operations through these challenging times and others that they must further develop to survive the pandemic and emerge stronger. Key findings include:

Capabilities in organizational management are needed to build resilience, including advancing DEI, strategic planning, and digital fundraising strategy.

Three in four (75.60%) of 787 respondents indicated interest in learning new ways of using digital technology for fundraising and 61.25% indicated a need for better digital tools to connect with stakeholders.

Although a large majority (72.22% of 799 respondents) have a communications plan in place, nearly as many (71.05%) indicate they want to learn how to communicate more effectively for fundraising and 62.83% need guidance in impactful storytelling to achieve their objectives.

The majority of charities (69.95% of 792 respondents) feel they are equipped to remain financially sustainable amid the uncertainty created by the pandemic and its impact on the economy.

Although future implications of the pandemic are unknown, 90.86% of 788 responding charities say they are confident they have effective leadership and governance in place to help them successfully navigate the crisis.

Published in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI and The Resource Alliance, the latest report identifies and explores skills specific to digital technology, communications, fundraising, financial sustainability, DEI, and executive management that charities both rely on and need to develop for greater resilience during and after the global pandemic.

“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with CAF America to enhance global research on philanthropy and COVID-19, and to translate that research into practice by providing insights into how philanthropic organizations can successfully overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic, as well as how donors can support these endeavors globally,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “It’s more important than ever to understand how organizations worldwide can adapt to this new environment and prepare for the future.”

Hart and CAF America senior vice president of external affairs Jessie Krafft shared data and research findings from the new report released today during CAF America’s February 11 webinar, Future-Proofing Nonprofits for the Post-Pandemic World, The Voice of Charities Facing COVID-19, Volume 6.

A leader in international philanthropy, since 1992 CAF America (Charities Aid Foundation of America) has been assisting corporations, foundations, and individuals in making strategic, effective, and tax- advantaged gifts internationally and domestically. Whether supporting organizations working worldwide, providing swift responses to major disasters, or helping build connections between global communities, CAF America turns donors’ visions into impact. CAF America’s worldwide reach translates into more than $1 billion in donor funds and over 1.8 million eligible organizations in 110 countries.

The full report is available at cafamerica.org.


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