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Top Ten (Week of October 6, 2014): Documentation—Do, Die or Just Do It!

Resource Center - Foundation

There’s so much information online that you’re bound to have missed some of it. Here are some of the top items, articles and ideas you need to know so you can keep up-to-date and find success 

1. Fundraising Strategy/Approach: Documentation: Do or Die — Just Do It! (Fundraising Success): Whether you are planning to move to a new job, get run over by a truck (not seriously), or just do your job in a professional manner, you need to document your work in a clear way that others can understand. This article gives practical advice, starting with “Don’t try to do it all at once.”

2. Fundraising Research: Economist finds formula for the 'perfect ask' in online fundraising ( What is the perfect online ask? An economist’s analysis of results from one online fundraising site in the UK found that being a lone fundraiser and setting a target made a positive difference in fundraising results. Would that work for you?

3. Fundraising Research: Organizational Culture Lessons for Nonprofits from the NY Fed (Nonprofit Quarterly): Is your organizational culture at odds with your organization’s mission? This article on why the Federal Reserve Bank of New York failed to “catch the meltdown” leading up to the Great Recession has sobering lessons for nonprofits. As a fundraiser you may not necessarily set the tone of your organization’s culture, but you certainly can influence it.

4. Fundraising Strategy/Approach: Listen Your Way to the (Major) Gift (Fired Up Fundraising): Listening is a fundamental major gift fundraising skill. And it’s so hard. This article outlines mistakes to avoid and offers a proven three-step way to strike up a conversation with a big donor.

5. Year-End Fundraising : Top 10 Year-End Fundraising Strategies for 2014 (Fired Up Fundraising): As you plan your fall fundraising campaign, here are ten current tested and research-proven fundraising strategies to help you raise the most.

6. Fundraising Research: Charity Navigator 2014 CEO Compensation Study (Charity Navigator): These days, more and more people—from donors to reporters, government regulators, legislators, and nonprofit board members—are asking, “How much compensation is too much for a charity’s CEO?” For the sake of your organization (and your job future) this annual analysis will help you stay informed about current practices and issues on this hot topic.

7. Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Templates: The Ultimate List (Content Marketing Forum): A new report says that marketers that have a documented strategy are more effective than other content marketers. One essential element of a documented strategy is an editorial calendar. Of course, mapping out a detailed editorial calendar can be extremely time-consuming, which is why this nice article has rounded up a list of editorial calendar templates that you can download and start using today.

8. Donors: Giving 2.0, The MOOC (Coursera): “Giving 2.0: The MOOC” is a Stanford University-sponsored online course. It is intended to teach givers of all ages, backgrounds, incomes and experiences to give more effectively. Donors willing to take the time can learn a lot from this serious, online course. So can you. And it’s free.

9. Technology: How Security Breaches Happen at Your Nonprofit (Tech Soup): We all now know that we have to guard our donor data, but do you know how to do it (or to be sure your organization’s staff knows how? This article spells out (in text and an infographic you can use to train others) how data breaches occur (not just from hackers) and what you can do to protect your precious donor information.

10. Technology: The Unavoidable Decisions You Will Face with Donor Data Migration (NTEN): Migrating donor data to a new system is anything but easy. This article describes seven tough decisions you can’t avoid and what to do about them—How many years of donor data do I migrate? What do I do about lapsed donors? And what do I do about data that won’t import?

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