Predictions for 2015
As the year draws to a close, we tapped leaders in the association and nonprofits worlds to get a handle on the biggest trends this year and what to look forward to in 2015.
1. Going Mobile
Congress was one big dysfunctional family, but it didn’t fell associations. ASAE CEO John Graham says the industry is nearly back to pre-recession health. They spent the year grappling with an evolving business model, particularly around membership. One of the trends forcing associations to look at membership is mobile technology. It’s changing the way associations are now required to communicate and conduct business with members and customers, says John.
2. Uncertainty About Government Meetings
The meetings business continues to develop and grow, but government travel is still affecting those focused on topics like science, medicine and defense. John says travel cost reduction may continue, considering much of the push for restrictions came from Republicans, who now control the House. On the other hand, Republicans oppose regulations, so some may be curtailed for some industries. Republicans also tend to impose fewer regulations on lobbying, adds John.
3. Nonprofits Evolve
Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington managing executive director Amy Fishman Kurz says the work of nonprofits continues to be in great demand around the DC region. But it hasn’t been an easy year for funding as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae wind down their foundations and other DC-based funders close their doors.
Nonprofits started important conversations this year to reframe the conversation about overhead expenses and educating stakeholders about what it takes to run a nonprofit as a business. Also, more education is needed about the relationship between a nonprofit’s resources, the complexity of community needs and outcomes. The Nonprofit Roundtable wants to carry the message that community needs like housing, childcare, education and workforce training are connected to each other.
So what’s the outlook for associations and nonprofits in 2015? John says as the economy grows, associations benefit down the road. Given that 2015 projections are robust with 2.5% to 3% economic growth projected, it bodes well. Amy says nonprofits will be focused on addressing the widening gap between low-income families and high earners in the region, including working with partners to identify solutions. These connected priorities are all related to current economic trends, adds Amy.