United States

The third platform: Increasing insight and efficiency for nonprofits

Leveraging the power of mobility, social media, the cloud and big data


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A new wave of technology is changing the way nonprofits conduct their business, enabling greater ability to gather and analyze data and support decision-making. The third platform is the next step in the continually evolving technology environment, encompassing mobility, social media, big data and the cloud. With third platform technologies giving more insight into key success drivers, organizations must understand how to examine technology resources and priorities to remain current and competitive.

The elements of the third platform that impact nonprofit organizations include:

Mobility–donors and members can view their history and standing from anywhere, and employees can stay connected and share information wherever they are.

Cloud computing–the cloud provides a scalable data storage solution with more security, availability and accessibility than on-premise platforms.

Social media–social media provides an efficient channel to gather feedback, provide necessary information and collect donor or member data.

Big data–organizations can learn how to focus resources better by gathering and analyzing information from a variety of traditional and nontraditional data sources.

The third platform can allow nonprofit organizations to learn more from data, turning that resource into more actionable information. The ability to understand more about trends, share information and accurately forecast activity and need for resources allows organizations to engage and serve donors, members, patients, families or students better.


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