ICYMI: Last Week’s Nonprofit News, Today | Mar. 31

This week sees some discouraging numbers from the Combined Federal Campaign, but some encouraging confirmation from Blackbaud; harsh criticism for the work of the Georgia legislature, and praise for the country’s “Most Social Small Business”; methods for bringing back that mid-level donor, as well as for undoing your organization’s hard-won reputation; reasons why “charity” should be excised from your vocabulary, and your next annual report should be a postcard; a long list of innovative ideas for the sector, and a targeted approach for open-source collaboration; and more.    


100 Cities Will Soon Have Their First-Ever Chief Resilience Officers
(Co.Exist / Fast Company)
The Rockefeller Foundation has issued a challenge, backed by $100 million in funds, to make 100 cities “future proof”--that is, able to bounce back from natural and man-made disasters--through the efforts of a new, department-spanning, silo-busting position called Chief Resilience Officer.  

Combined Federal Campaign Pledges Dramatically Plummet by 19% in 2013
(Nonprofit Quarterly)
The workplace-giving program for federal workers reports a 19% decrease in giving in 2013—amounting for $49 million—due to a “perfect storm” of problems: sequestration, pay freezes, and the partial government shutdown.


Georgia Legislature Moves to Keep Poor People Poor
(Beyond the Numbers / Georgia Budget & Policy Institute)
On the blog of Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, policy analyst Melissa Johnson only begins telling us what she really thinks about the latest session of the Georgia state legislature. In the first of a series, she profiles two bills: one requiring drug testing for some food stamp recipients, and one preventing contract workers at schools from collecting unemployment benefits during school breaks.


How Sevenly Became America’s Most Social Small Business
Sevenly is a three-year-old company that teams with nonprofits to raise money through t-shirt sales. Find out how they’ve used online social networking—especially faith-based platforms—to build a thriving business and win Mashable’s first America’s Most Social Business Challenge.

Infographic: 2013 Charitable Giving Report
Blackbaud recently released its annual report on national charitable giving, confirming some of the good news put out by other sector researchers. This brief but informative infographic puts together some of the top-line takeaways, including a 4.9% increase in overall giving and a 13.5% increase in giving online.

This Just In: What is Fueling the Abysmal Donor Retention Crisis 
(Lori Jacobwith)
Fundraising coach Jacobwith shares what she learned at the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference about mid-level donors, why they get left behind, what makes them the best target for your retention efforts, and 8 habits that keep them coming back.


Reflections on 14NTC: Technology Experimentation and the Ad Hoc Open Source Society
Fresh off the NTEN’s latest Nonprofit Technology Conference, one participant reflects on the promise of an “open source” philosophy for developing processes—not necessarily for hardware and software, but for working collaborations among nonprofits—and what a small group of nonprofits were able to dream up, in the space of a few days, as an “ad hoc open source society.”

Best Ideas and Strategies to Disrupt the Nonprofit Sector
(Rad Campaign)
For those with some time, this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival roundup features a compelling list of ideas to shake up the sector, from tapping into the “Lean Startup” philosophy to reframing employee burnout as a fund development problem to taking full advantage of the mobile technology revolution.


The Playbook for Destroying Your Own Work
(Nonprofit Quarterly)
Lessons from Vancouver’s Portland Hotel Society, a well-respected anti-poverty nonprofit with a $28 million budget and a recent audit uncovering pervasive corruption.  


Five Ways to Build Your Nonprofit Brand’s Buzzability
(Nonprofit Hub)
Smart methods for getting people talking about your organization, both online (recruiting excited followers to share your content on social media) and offline (equipping volunteers to be in-person brand evangelists).

Postcard Annual Report—Great Example of How it Can Work
(Kivi’s Nonprofit Communiations Blog)
For several years, Leroux-Miller has pushed the idea of publishing the annual report on a postcard—it’s easy to distribute, easy to read, and easy to keep at hand. Now, she welcomes a staff member at one nonprofit who’s taken her up on the idea, and found much success with the format.

Leave Your Charity at the Door
(Social Velocity)
A thoughtful examination of the word “charity,” what it implies in the minds of the general public, and why we should be ditching it as a term for describing the social change that our sector works for.

What Madison Avenue Ad Agencies Know About Facebook That You Don’t
Actually, this you might already know: “Facebook’s screwing them over.” As Facebook changes the rules, again, regarding what content reaches whom in your audience (and how much money it’ll take to reach more), your thoughts might turn toward creating an online community network of your own. This detailed post gives you the reasons why you should, and ways to get started. It may not be easy, but “the ROI is higher and more predictable.”


Nonprofit Voice: Street Grace on Atlanta’s Sex Trade
A new report from the Urban Institute found that the Atlanta area sex trade brings in annual profits of $300 million—making it, by far, the largest in the study. Driving the state’s progress toward ending that trade—including tougher penalties for offenders and increased law enforcement awareness—is the work of organizations like GCN member Street Grace.

Marc Schultz is contributing editor at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. 

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