What I am Thinking About as 2020 Approaches

2020 is going to be an interesting and challenging year. Continued cyberattacks, technological advances, tax implications on philanthropy, political uncertainty and census results will all impact us every day.


“More than half of nonprofit boards cited cybersecurity as a major concern,” according to Nonprofit Standard, the blog of the BDO nonprofit and education practice. The Fedcap Group is seriously concerned, and we continue to explore and invest in new ways to manage the risks of cyberattacks. We have spent significant time with leaders discussing cybersecurity; we have trained our staff and worked to create a culture where everyone understands it is their responsibility to manage these risks.

When a security breach or cyberattack occurs, we require an immediate response by our IT personnel. The longer it takes to address the threat, the more damage may be done. Studies show that 56% of IT managers take more than 60 minutes to get information about an ongoing cyberattack. But a lot of damage can be done in an hour. Speed is of the essence for effective risk containment. The average cost of a cyberattack now exceeds $1.1 million and 37% of the companies attacked see a diminution of their reputation following the attack. Preventing such an occurrence will remain a serious focus for The Fedcap Group in 2020.


Technology continues to enhance our ability to operate efficiently and effectively, and 64% of nonprofits are planning to invest in new tech this year. The Fedcap Group invested in upgrades to our Oracle System in 2019 with the launch of our new HRIS and financial systems and a significant upgrade in our Salesforce and Blackbaud platforms. In 2020 we will also see the expansion of our procurement functionality within Oracle. While I am pleased with the investment in these upgrades, it is critical to ensure that staff throughout the agency have an equal commitment to using the technology and increasingly move to data-informed decision making.


According to United Philanthropy Forum blog, Philanthropy Can Help Address Challenges of the 2020 Census, “The nonprofit sector relies on accurate census data to assist in planning for programs and services for children, seniors, veterans, and other core populations, and identify community demographic trends that inform long-term plans and grants.” The census, however, faces serious challenges for public launch in April 2020: insufficient federal funding, scaled back preparations, and the fact that it will be online for the first time amid growing community reluctance to share information with government. The Forum has been working with a network of organizations to ensure a fair and accurate count. We, too, are hopeful that the census will accurately count everyone across our footprint as it is critical information in our long-term strategic planning.


John Gilchrist, a blogger for networkforgood.com, said “It looks like the nonprofit sector did OK in the first year of the new tax legislation,” but adds that “donor retention remains a huge problem for the nonprofit sector.” He suggests it is critical for nonprofits to place a concerted emphasis on building monthly giving programs and improve their mobile presence because “25% of donors complete their donations on a mobile device.” He also advises that we “focus on relationships, not transactions!” This is a major focus of The Fedcap Group, and the executive directors across our agencies must continue to play a significant role in building important relationships with a growing number of donors who care about the work within their companies.

What are your major areas of focus for 2020?