ipad-tablet-technology-touchConfused about the Internet of Things (IoT)? You’re not alone. Broadly speaking, when we use the term IoT, we are referring to the technology that allows countless devices to communicate with one another and carry out sets of instructions. There are thousands of devices already on the planet that use IoT to follow our commands, from your smartphone to smart appliances and other gadgets located throughout offices and homes. This technology is in the early stages of development, but it’s already simplifying and automating, many tasks in our daily lives.

Current IoT Impact on Nonprofits

IoT technology is already making itself felt in far-reaching ways, and its impact can only grow. Right now, nonprofits that are involved with disaster aid are using the tech to improve the delivery of emergency supplies to victims of war and natural disasters. In the medical fields, patients can have their vitals continuously monitored by remote sensors, and medications can be ordered and delivered instantly, based on the results, without interaction with another human. The possible applications for this technology are only limited by our imaginations.

IoT Advances That Will Affect Nonprofits in the Near Future

Smart speakers and virtual assistants allow users to make phone calls and purchases, simply by speaking and issuing a command for it to be done. It is only a matter of time before one of the latest tech advances, making donations via tap and go payment processing, is replaced by voice commands over IoT enabled devices. Similarly, nonprofits will soon be able to use virtual assistants and voice commands to accomplish other tasks, such as creating and managing their member and donor lists and sending fundraising appeals.

IoT will also have a significant impact on big data and analytics, allowing nonprofits to easily learn even more about their supporters. Then, they will be able to use this information to create complete donor profiles and further refine targets and messaging to increase the success of fundraising campaigns.

Using IoT to Reduce Costs and Drive Growth

Another way that IoT is changing the not-for-profit sector is that it is allowing NFPs to use and deploy their resources more effectively. As the field grows, it’s very likely that nonprofits will need fewer resources to accomplish their work. This includes needing less support staff and volunteers to accomplish the mission.

These changes will drive down the time and cost that nonprofits must expend to create positive change. It will allow more of their revenues to be invested in building capacity and expanding the number and type of services that they offer their beneficiaries.

Perhaps one of the best changes that IoT will bring about is that it will level the playing field for nonprofits of every size and stage of development, and make it easier to cooperate with one another in third-party collaborations that allow all parties to create a more significant impact and advance their causes forward.