Compilation of Nonprofit Sector Predictions for 2013


Crystal Ball


I always find it interesting to read predictions for the new year. Here are some of my favorites:

Ch-Ch-Changes: Nonprofit Sector Predictions for 2013 - Nonprofit Quarterly

As the activities of nonprofit and for-profit organizations continue to blur with the commercialization of charities and the growth of socially purposed taxable entities, we’ll see stronger push back from regulators and critics. The IRS will place greater scrutiny on whether nonprofits are properly reporting unrelated business taxable income and paying unrelated business income tax. Nonprofits will respond with increased use of taxable subsidiaries. Critics of the ‘hybrid’ entities like the benefit corporation will be increasingly vocal, warning legislators not to give preferential treatment to such entities because of the ease of greenwashing and encouraging attorney general oversight. – Gene

We will see an increase in three-way public-private partnerships among municipalities, for-profit software and technology companies, and nonprofits centered around organizing local grassroots hackathons for developing tools that address local community issues. There will still be many hackathon-created tools that fail to have long-term sustainability or have only limited applicability. However, we will also see the first nationally-recognized mobile technology platform in the environmental space that was initially borne out of a community-based hackathon and subsequently developed by a public-private partnership. – Emily [separately published in the daily NPQ Cohen Report email blast]

A dramatic increase in collaborative international grantmaking. Proposed regulations released in September, which can currently be relied upon, allow private foundations to rely on a single equivalency determination to make grants to international charitable organizations. Previously, the equivalency determination procedure required a private foundation to secure an opinion from its own counsel or that of the grantee (unless it relied upon an affidavit of the foreign organization). The new regulations will promote more efficient grantmaking by private foundations and public charities that elect to follow the same safeguards. NGOsource appears set to be the first national repository for equivalency determinations. – Gene [my unpublished second prediction]

Trends & Predictions – Hurwit & Associates

Grasp of the "Nonprofit" Idea. There will be increased understanding of nonprofits, as more business-like management approaches are adopted, advanced nonprofit degree programs are further formalized, and the industry is further professionalized.

At the same time there will be increased misunderstanding of nonprofits as the public, still vague about the negative and inaccurate connotation of the word "nonprofit", finds more of them in different settings, some with huge wealth. Media portrayals, often misleading or simply wrong, will add to the confusion.

Ten Technology Trends to Watch in 2013 - Stanford Social Innovation Review

Measurement and transparency. What gets measured gets improved. The 2012 NCQA “State of Health care Quality” report reveals that measurement and transparency around health care performance are at an all time high. It also shows that the more people know about health care quality, the more power they have to make informed choices and support systems that work. Nonprofits should not only capture data about their own performance for reflection internally, but also consider how sharing that data with people who use their services can positively affect their area of work—whether it’s health care, education, energy, or another issue.

Ten Predictions for the Nonprofit Sector in 2013 – Toscano Advisors LLC

Nonprofits will combine in specific substantive, geographic or demographic categories to consolidate information on clients into single more powerful “big data” units, perhaps merging back office and development record functions. Outsourcing will continue to increase in scope and size for larger nonprofits. Overall effectiveness and efficiency will replace overhead as important in measuring success of an organization.

And for something completely different …

Philanthropy à la Sauce Béchamel: Predictions for 2013 and Beyond - White Courtesy Telephone 

You'll have to read it yourself. 

Last, but not least, the sector's most famous prognosticator, Lucy Bernholz, has made her annual forecast (Philanthropy and the New Social Economy: Blueprint 2013) available on January 7, 2013 at GrantCraft for free! Check it out.

UPDATE (1/1/13):

5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2013Nell Edgington

The biggest trend I see is a growing demand for nonprofits to 1) articulate what results they hope their work with achieve and 2) track whether those results are actually happening. Nonprofits have long discussed the outputs of their work: # of people served, # of services provided. But the sector is increasingly being asked to articulate and track the outcomes they are achieving. How are people's lives changing because of the work a nonprofit does? Social change has become an increasing demand of funders and other supporters. That means nonprofits must develop their own theory of change (how they use community resources to create change to a social problem) and then measure whether that theory is becoming a reality.