Long after the economy recovers and consumers get back to work, there will be one sector that will struggle with financial challenges: the nonprofits. One industry watcher, Fenton Communications, predicts that 2/3’s of consumers will either level-fund or decrease their giving to nonprofits in 2010. At the same time, these organizations must begin to shape giving habits of younger consumers as the older generations begin to die off.

And shaping these giving habits may be a challenge. Currently, 85% of consumers age 50+ have a positive view of nonprofits while only 74% of consumers under age 35 rate these organizations as excellent or good. When deciding whether a nonprofit is doing a good job, the following criteria are key:

  • Demonstrates good stewardship of donated funds: 79%
  • Provides factual and objective information: 76%
  • Provides valuable services beyond what the government offers: 74%

Traditionally, consumers have said that they rely on sources like TV and radio to determine whether a nonprofit is doing a good job. But that may be changing. These days, up to 39% of consumers voice their opinions on important topics through Facebook.

And while overall giving at nonprofits is likely to be down in 2010, 54% of consumers under age 35 indicated they planned to increase donations this year. More nonprofits may be developing their social media platforms to take advantage of this trend.

[Source: 2010 Fenton Forecast. Fenton Communications. 2010. Web. 21 May 2010]