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Top Ten (Week of December 17, 2014): You Need Data Nerds!

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. Technology: Help! My Nonprofit Needs a Data Nerd (Markets for Good):  In this blog post, Beth Kanter says, “If I was running a nonprofit today, I would put together an advisory group of data nerds to help with my data and measurement needs.” She offers 10 practical suggestions for how to find volunteers and others to assist with the nitty-gritty data skills.

2. Younger Donors/Gen Y/Millenials: ’Tis the Season: Find Out What Motivates Next-Gen Givers (Nonprofit Quarterly): A recent university research report identifies five main motivations behind the giving practices of today’s younger donors.

3. Fundraising Approach/Strategy: Accessibility Teaching Resources (WebTeacher): This is a teaching resource with a variety of tactics you can use for a short class on web accessibility.

4. Fundraising Research: Third Annual #GivingTuesday Raises $45.7 Million for Charity (PhilanthropyNewsDigest):  If you are wondering how much Giving Tuesday raised for charity this year, here is the complete breakdown of facts and figures.

5. Fundraising Research: Can we all just admit there is no such thing as nonprofit sustainability? ( When you apply for a foundation grant, the foundation always asks how your nonprofit will sustain itself in the long run if you get the grant. Here is one man’s reasoning why nonprofits always have to ask for money. It’s a rant, but it makes some good points.

6.Fundraising Research: Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2014 (Foundation Center): This report is the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the Foundation Center’s first effort at an annual report on the state of disaster philanthropy. The project’s goals are to dig deeply into existing data and, over time, create new data streams that have not previously existed; provide interactive online tools to the nonprofit sector and the general public; and “develop a robust and comprehensive data gathering network of those donors and nonprofits active in disaster philanthropy.” This is a start. Stay tuned for more data and insights in future years.

7. Technology: 5 Falsehoods That Keep Nonprofits From Making the Most of Social Media (  Starting with “The world is overflowing with whackadoodles,” this opinion piece from the Chronicle of Philanthropy debunks 5 myths that may be spooking your organization’s leadership about using social media in your fundraising program.

8. Fundraising Strategy/Approach: When Should Nonprofits Consider Making a Transformative Change? (HuffPost Business): Sometimes a nonprofit’s problems can’t be “fixed” by simply raising more money or making a new hire; the organization needs a fundamental change. This thoughtful blog post from an experienced practitioner presents 7 conditions that signal the need for a transformative change and discusses three changes that, while always slow and painful, can produce positive results.

9. Fundraising Research: What Social Media Analytics Can’t Tell You About Your Audience (Beth Kanter): Want to know how your target audiences use social media? Beth Kanter reports on a study based on integrating survey data with consumers actual social media usage versus self-reporting. She says, “…when you look solely at your social media analytics — say for example what content gets the most views or engagement — the data represents only one part of your audience….It’s crucial to understand what you’re hearing and whose voice is missing.  That means recognizing that ‘social media users’ aren’t a monolithic group… people use social in different ways.”

10. Fundraising Approach/Strategy: White Paper:  Six Degrees of Major Gift Fundraising.  Cultivating the Connection Potential of Your Organization's Staff, Volunteers and Board Members. (AccuFund): What can we do to empower staff to identify and engage their network? How can we elevate the amount of giving by our current supporters? And, why is it important to track multiple constituent networks in our database? The white paper supplies answers you can use. (Registration with AccuFund required to download.)

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