by Mark Leonard
Happy New Year, everyone! Hand on my CommitChange heart, we’ve been so happy to have worked alongside you in 2016 and we truly do look forward to working with you even more in 2017!
Going into the new year, nonprofits are going to be more important than ever. In the past few years, both locally and internationally, the actualization of the collective nonprofit mission statement has become even more critical. New Year on New Year, nonprofit resources have been stretched. The good news is, the ways by which a NPO’s champions can support a cause is now limited only by the extent to which a nonprofit can imagine new ways that it can be supported.
As a matter of priority, we actively listen to you, our community. And we bring your feedback to bear on our service. In turn, you have been able to listen to what we think is important, too. And you have also used this listening to adapt your service. One example of how you have listened to us, of which we are exceptionally proud and grateful, stands out.
As long as we have existed, we have nudged our nonprofits to adopt more sustainable revenue streams i.e. to emphasize recurring donations. Some nonprofits have really taken this message onboard. In 2016, we are thrilled to see that you have bucked the industry trend... and then some. Of all donations processed in the United States, the national average of monthly recurring donations is 2-4% vs. CommitChange, which stands at a phenomenal 18%. All of a sudden, your nonprofit has a predictable budget. This is transformative.
Where public-private partnerships have foundered, these organisations have broken new ground:
SOIL is a Haitian nonprofit that empowers the local population through ecological sanitation infrastructure, as well as disaster relief. They have increased their recurring donations to 30%;
PRX is an indie podcast/radio exchange that has run two phenomenally self-sustaining campaigns resulting in 69% recurring online revenue. Their unique strategy has been to get a large number of low-amount recurring donations ($4.66) that add up to a large net amount (>USD$1M). This has been the result of mobilizing their passionate and loyal fan base;
and the Congolese Panzi Foundation has been able to respond to 400,000 victims of an international humanitarian crisis by increasing recurring revenue to 10%. See The New York Times report on their unprecedented efficacy and Nicholas Kristof's recent endorsement of their work.
What ground will be broken next year?
As advocates for social reform, we encourage you to embrace the opportunities that tech presents. They abound. And in 2017, they’re there for the taking.
Happy New Year!