This week Laura Richard, EVP and Managing Partner at TACK10, takes the helm and shares the insights developed from the trends she and her team have uncovered through research and their work within the cause and charitable sector.
As we start a new decade, there is much ado about what the future has in store for the charitable sector. There are a number of trends which point to disruption in the sector, many of which TACK10 digs into within our seminar titled The Paradigm Shift: The Ecosystem of Brand, Cause and Consumer™ and the associated content we have published on the topic.
- Decrease in revenue from fundraising channels traditionally relied up by the sector including peer to peer and event fundraising
- Increased mechanisms for individuals to contribute to issues of personal importance including crowdfunding and social enterprise
- Stagnation within the base of Canadian donors who make registered charitable contributions annually
- A decrease in the number of organizations that corporate funders contribute to, with increasing emphasis on focused contributions, including specificity to the programs that are funded through corporate contributions
- The emergence of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector’s report which includes a number of recommendations for the modernization of legislation governing the sector to ‘take the handcuffs off’ in order to drive innovation and change
- Social impact investing has opened a new channel of fund development for the not-for-profit sector which focuses on returns and results that can be monetized
All told, a topic of conversation at the water cooler and over coffees as of late has been what lies ahead for the charitable sector in this next decade. While I have some broad predictions and insights, as the creators and architects of SPaaS™, TACK10 has a very specific point of view on the future of the sector and the role that strategic partnerships will play in writing this next chapter.
Each of these trends deserves, and will receive, a post of its own – I would like to begin this new series with a broad overview of what we see in store for the charitable sector.
Mergers and Acquisitions
This has already begun with the most high profile mergers and acquisitions coming in the health charity sector, particularly among cancer charities. In the past five years we have seen the amalgamation of four leading organizations in cancer research and support services, moves which allowed the Canadian Cancer Society to turn around its financial position through a merger with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and which are structured to increase impact by eliminating duplication, sharing best practices and creating operational efficiencies.
As charities struggle to maintain commitment levels from individual and corporate donors, the need to assess the unique competencies of the organization and translate those competencies into new earned revenue channels becomes an increasing priority. One of the Nine Core Value Drivers of Strategic Partnership™, Non-Traditional Revenue, is going to become a priority for charities and not for profits as they seek to differentiate and grow within an environment of increasing resource constraint.
Outcome Oriented Ecosystems
The term ‘business ecosystem’ originates from James F. Moore, who in the early 1990s introduced the strategic planning concept of a business ecosystem. More recently it has been defined as a “dynamic network of entities, interacting with each other to create and exchange value for all participants” (Gartner). The basic premise of this concept is that no organization can successfully go it alone. Ecosystems have matured in digital business – just think of platforms like Google and Amazon – and as we look forward in a world where businesses are recognizing and harnessing the power of purpose to meet their own business objectives, ecosystems will emerge where charities and businesses leverage their respective strengths to deliver the greatest outcomes on issues of priority.