ICYMI: Last Week's Nonprofit News, Today | June 23

This week: research from Giving USA and Blackbaud show giving is on the rise (and that Atlanta is no. 3 in online giving!), measuring the value of your data team, smart questions for prospective donors, strengthening the fundraising-marketing relationship, measuring the influence of women on the net, making effective videos on the cheap, a new approach to complex collaboration, and more. Plus: GCN wants your ideas for a very special issue of Georgia Nonprofit NOW.

HEADLINES

Annual Philanthropy Numbers on the Rise: U.S. Giving Nears Pre-Recession Levels
(Forbes)
As the U.S. nonprofit sector finally approaches levels of top line support not seen since before the Great Recession, it is once again American individuals powering that comeback, according to the annual analysis Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy produced by the Giving USA Foundation. Huffpost: Wealthy donors are lavishing money on their favored charities, including universities, hospitals and arts institutions, while giving is flat to social service and church groups more dependent on financially squeezed middle-class donors, according to the latest comprehensive report on how Americans give away their money. The Chronicle of Philanthropy: As the economy improves, it’s the right time to woo new donors, says Lon Swartzentruber, chief advancement officer at Grand Rapids Christian Schools. "In a recession, someone might give to five charities," he says. "Now we see that coming back to five to 10 charities, and we want to be one of them."

The Most Generous Online Giving Cities in the U.S.
(npEngage / Blackbaud)
For many years now Blackbaud has published data on the most generous online giving cities in the United States. For the 2013 edition, we made the decision to significantly expand the amount of data in the analysis. ...In 2013, donors in the 265 cities raised more than $822 million online—a whopping 61% increase from 2012. Additionally, online donations grew by 31% from 2012 to 2013, from nearly $6.4 million to more than $8.3 million.

 

DATA

Eight Ways to Find Out Whether Your Analytics Team is Effective
(MarketingProfs)
No matter what type of data puzzle you're trying to solve, it is vital to seek out a strong analytics team, whether internal or external to your organization, if you are to make sense of all the key trends and patterns hiding in your data. So, how do you know whether your analytics team is effective? Here are eight key indicators.

 

FUNDRAISING

14 Must-Know Stats About Fundraising, Social Media, and Mobile Technology
(Nonprofit Tech for Good)
Spring is report season in the nonprofit sector. This year the emerging theme is that online fundraising is rapidly rising, especially on mobile devices. Nonprofits... can use the new data to help convince executive staff and board that a new mobile-compatible website should be high on their priority list.

Prospecting and Asking the Right Questions
(A Small Change)

Each time I attend a donor event or go on a donor visit I find that they are looking for some kind of relationship. They want to know you care about them and want to know how best to plug them into the organization. When I talk with donors I am doing two things: trying to learn things about them (interests, capacity, family, etc.) and trying to create a two-way relationship.

Fundraising + Marketing = Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts
(Nonprofit Marketing Blog / Network for Good)
You’ve worked long and hard to grow a strong relationship with your communications colleagues (or, if you’re on the communications side, with your fundraising colleagues). ...But all too often, once we get some satisfaction, partners begin to take each other for granted. This happens in the vital fundraising-marketing partnership as well as in love. Here are four ways to keep the fundraising-marketing partnership alive and productive.

 

INNOVATION

Is Your Nonprofit Living in the Past? Nine Outdated Ways of Thinking that are Hurting Your Organization
(Know Your Own Bone)
It’s time to retire these obsolete practices once and for all: 1) You separate marketing and digital marketing because you think they are different. This is generally indicative of an organization that thinks “digital marketing” is more about mastering tools and platforms (e.g. Facebook) than mastering a long-term engagement strategy.

 

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Infographic: Women’s Influence Online
(Frogloop / Care2)
Did you know that women make contributions to twice as many charitable organizations as men do? Furthermore, women are expected to soon control 70 percent of all planned giving assets. ...Interestingly, 36% said that they use blogs to help make purchasing decisions, 21% used Twitter, 18% used Pinterest, and 17% used Facebook. Could women also use these channels similarly to help inform their decisions on what charities to donate money to?

6 Video Marketing Tips for Fundraisers
(Lori Jacobwith)
Video in email can boost open rates by 20% and increase click-through rates two to three times. GiveMN.org reports that fundraising and nonprofit pages with videos get on average four times more in donations than pages without video. ...The good news is you can find ways to produce videos you can actually be proud of with your smartphone, tablet, or point-and-shoot camera IF you keep it simple.

 

PARTNERSHIPS

Accelerating Civic Innovation Through “Strategic Doing”
(Stanford Social Innovation Review)
In Flint and Lafayette, people are creating new value collaboratively using strategic doing. It represents a discipline—a set of rules—to generate strategies for complex collaborations. The process enables people to form action-oriented collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes, and make adjustments along the way. Strategic doing yields replicable, scalable, and sustainable collaborations based on simple rules.

 

PHILANTHROPY

Overcoming the Limitations of Scale in Philanthropy: Some Suggestions for Bill and Melinda Gates
(Nonprofit Quarterly)
As in other lines of endeavor (as Bill Gates would surely realize), there are often practical limits to the effectiveness of dominant, large-scale enterprises. For Pete’s sake—no one has ever attempted to operate a global philanthropic enterprise granting the equivalent of a $100 billion foundation (making it more than seven times the size of the distant second Ford Foundation)... Despite the challenges of over-scaling, there is no need to despair so long as the Gates Foundation is willing to accede a modicum of control and share some responsibility for the ultimate distribution of its largesse.

 

ON GCN.ORG

Wanted: Your ideas for a special issue of Georgia Nonprofit NOW!
(GCN)
We're excited to announce a special summer issue of Georgia Nonprofit NOW in the works—our very first IDEAS issue. And we need your help to discover the best and brightest ideas keeping Georgia nonprofits and philanthropies energized, on the cutting edge, and maximizing mission impact.

 

Marc Schultz is writer/editor at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and managing editor for Georgia Nonprofit NOW.

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