Slalom's 2024 Nonprofit Outlook contains the leading trends impacting nonprofits. We’ve identified obstacles that may slow us down, and opportunities that have the potential to propel us forward, along with responsible uses of AI to explore.
…comes optimism and a belief that tomorrow is better than today, and that by working together, we’ll make it so. We plan to do things we’ve never done before or do the same things better.
Our 2024 public and social impact industry outlooks are written for the mission-focused government, education, and philanthropic organizations committed to addressing the most pressing civic, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of our time, often at a hyper-local level. If you’re reading this, you’re likely part of one of these organizations (collectively, what we call the public and social impact sector). We understand that your mission guides your path, whether public safety, transportation, energy, public health, or higher education. Those of you who work for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations fill gaps in these essential services and act as the social glue that binds communities together. All of you play a central role in creating, shaping, and sustaining the well-being of people and communities around the world.
There’s no denying that our government, education, and philanthropic organizations face many complex, systemic challenges—from the urgent need to increase the resiliency of our aging infrastructure to the historic skill gap in the workforce and rising cost of housing driving up rates of homelessness nationwide. Many of the complex challenges facing us this year are not new, but the need to address them is getting more urgent.
One way to address these systemic challenges at scale is by breaking down the organizational, data, and technical silos. It requires us to connect the dots—across jurisdictional and geographic boundaries—
in ways that weren’t technologically possible a decade ago. The road we must navigate to address the world’s biggest problems requires greater cooperation, interoperability, agility, transparency, and accountability between all of us and the communities we serve.
What’s different this year is the momentum that propels us forward. We see a convergence of factors that haven’t coexisted in recent decades, making rapid progress possible. This momentum comes from building greater interoperability, accelerated by the crisis of the pandemic, the federal funding streams still available for infrastructure investment and modernization projects, economic stimulus, and pandemic recovery. We're more equipped to tackle these challenges because we carry with us the learnings and wisdom of years past and are re-energized by your organizations’ mission and purpose.
In each mission area we serve, we’re seeing more effective cooperation and collaboration within and between cities and counties, and replication of programs that work across states. Take justice and public safety as an example: the vision of integrated justice is no longer just a concept; the technology exists today to make it a reality. We’re seeing momentum across justice and public safety agencies to build more timely, fair, and effective integrated service delivery models because they’re connected and interoperable. When law enforcement, courts, and victim service nonprofits can securely share data, victims have a more seamless and human experience as their case moves through the justice system.
Take higher education and workforce development as another example: our existing 'learner-to-worker' pathways aren’t matched to the workforce skills needed for local economies to thrive. When education institutions partner with businesses, students get more real-world experiences, such as apprenticeships and training on 'soft skills' like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, which are crucial for career success. This empowers our students to quickly and effectively transition into the workforce with the right skills that industries need.
Slalom's public and social impact team's mission is to amplify your mission. We focus on the long-term goals that fulfill your purpose and ensure short-term project success. We connect the dots across government, education, and nonprofits to help you do things you can’t do alone. We’re woven into the fabric of our communities through our hyper-local operating model at a global scale, making us equipped to address systemic problems with you.
We believe technology is more than a tool, it’s a catalyst to a brighter future. As we explore the possibilities of emerging technologies, such as digital twins and responsible uses of artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI (GenAI), we’ll co-create the future together.
To get us ready to address what’s coming, we’ve identified some obstacles that may slow us down, and opportunities that have the potential to propel us forward. We've focused on the biggest factors that will shape the year ahead, along with actions, models, and responsible uses of AI to explore.
We’ve broken down these obstacles and opportunities for you by the mission areas you serve. Explore our complementary outlooks for more insights beyond nonprofit and philanthropy:
You can also view our forecast for private sector industries on Slalom.com.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts about what lies ahead for you in 2024, and beyond. Find a simple form after the conclusion to get in touch.
Insights shared by Slalom’s public and social impact teams across 44 markets in 8 countries.