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Take the Lead: Evolution Is Critical for Organizations to Thrive

Take the Lead is a new blog series from Teri Nestel, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In this leadership-focused series, Teri will share her insights and leadership lessons alike.

Nonprofits have been pushed into new territory because of 2020, whether shifting annual events from in-person to hybrid for better donor experience, exploring AI testing for new participant recruitment through social media, or the increased usage of multimedia storytelling. We’re on the precipice of a major shift in charitable giving experiences. 

Call us crazy (we’d prefer inventive), but these are blessings in disguise. 

Like how our hospitals are continuously looking at advancements in treatments and care, we mirror the same innovation in the fundraising sector. Our member hospitals are the experts of patient care and wellness, and CMN Hospitals is here to ease their ability to do it well and with innovation.  

CMN Hospitals is focusing on two areas of innovation and exploration: technology & impact. 

All-In on Data & Technology. The rise of digital technology has profoundly changed the way people connect and interact with nonprofits over the past decade. We’ve entered a world where people expect customization of their experience with an organization or company (think of all the different touchpoints you receive after buying an item online). While cash accounted for 27% of in-store transactions in 2019, the latest global payments report from processing company Worldpay found that it had fallen to 13% last year. The report predicts usage will continue to drop over the next three years. So, we ask ourselves, what’s next? QR codes are one area of current exploration for CMN Hospitals relative to the increase in mobile giving. It certainly supports contactless payments in a post-COVID world, but more so for educational purposes. What would be the added value(s) for our partners and donors if tailored to the fundraising side? 

Expanding the Definition of Impact. Because of the rise in technology and data, the insights and opportunities uncovered directly impact the donor journey. A better donor journey typically results in individual brand loyalty – which collectively leads to significant change. Here at CMN Hospitals, when a donation funds pioneering research, it collectively transforms how we care for children in their youth and throughout their lives. Looking further, how do healthier communities now impact society overall? 

While we continue forward with discovery, it’s imperative not to lose sight of an organization’s strengths. Many nonprofits have a mission supported by core programs and resources, like CMN Hospitals, peer-to-peer fundraising programs and corporate partnerships. It’s essential to build upon these successes while being adaptable to weather a crisis like the pandemic.  

We’re determined to set our sights higher – explore further – go bigger – inspire change on a deeper level. 

How have your companies and organizations built upon their legacies over the past year?