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Joanne Fritz

Nonprofit Blog Carnival: A Flying Leap into 2014

By January 3, 2014

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Acrobats leaping through the air.

Surprise! We're publishing the December Nonprofit Blog Carnival in January. I figured most of us are just too busy during December, so I waited until we were all back to our desks and focused on the New Year.

The theme of this Carnival is "The Nonprofit Ride in 2014 - Scary or Fun?" I invited a wide range of approaches and, consequently, rounded up an assortment of predictions, reviews of 2013, and best practices for the New Year.

Thanks to all who contributed and to those whose work I "found" and brought into the Carnival.

Scanning the Future: Predictions, Trends, Resolutions

  • 2014 predictions for the non-profit sector - Bankruptcy is not a word we typically connect with nonprofits, but one of Erik Anderson's (Donor Dreams) predictions for 2014 involves that very idea. Erik forecasts an intense focus on revenue models as nonprofits continue to struggle for adequate funding. As Erik says, "Our revenue strategies that worked well prior to 2008 no longer work very well. We want to course correct, but the people sitting around our boardroom table were recruited with an old revenue model in mind. Can we ask these people to help us make the necessary changes?"

  • Mobile for Nonprofits in 2014: What We Learned in 2013 and What's Hot in 2014 for Mobile - An incredibly useful post about mobile and nonprofit communications and fundraising from Jenifer Snyder of mGive. For instance, Jenifer says it's now "goodbye desktop, hello mobile." She has stats from mGive's research, tips for the new year, lessons learned from 2013, and what nonprofits need to get right in 2014. Honestly, this is a mobile 101. Who can't use these insights?

  • Predicting Trends in Nonprofit Finances for 2014 - Brian Mittendorf of Counting on Charity has nailed the zeitgeist as it applies to finances and nonprofits. Want the latest on the tax deduction debate, how program lending and direct cash transfers (already popular in international aid) might play out domestically, or what the feds might do to curb telemarketing abuses? This is a fascinating read with lots of implications for all kinds of nonprofits.

  • 5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2014 - Nell Edgington of Social Velocity identifies the growing disparity of wealth as a major trend that drives many others. This will stretch nonprofit resources, but also put them front and center in the battle to fill the gaps. Nell says, "As problems get worse and money gets tighter the social change sector will take center stage."

  • 4 Things to Expect of Cause Marketing in 2014 - Joe Waters (SelfishGiving), guest posting at ForMomentum. Reading Joe's post is a great way to brush up on what cause marketing terms even mean. His predictions include "point-of-sale campaigns," "signature cause products," and "pay it forward." Joe says cause marketing is changing: "The real opportunity in business and nonprofit partnerships isn't in corporate giving, as many people think. It's in creating opportunities for customers and employees to pay it forward to the people and causes they care about."

Looking Back: Wait, What Happened Last Year?

  • 2013: The Year Nonprofit Social Media Grew Up - Debra Askanase of CommunityOrganizer2.0 is so right on with her realization that social media is no longer working in a silo. She calls it "socializing the organization." For every 2013 trend Debra points out, she also has a prediction for 2014. The one that really stands out is "...in 2014 ... the employee who isn't fully on board with digital will continue to become marginalized within the organization."

  • 2013 Year in Review: Winners & Losers - Ann Laura of Monsterful wraps a wonderful analysis around two biggies: the "Underdeveloped" report and the "Overhead Myth campaign." Of the first, she says, "Change is hard, and the establishment rigorously defends the status quo." Of the latter, Ann says, "...fundraisers have some very useful fodder with which to make a strong case for operating support and realistic indirect costs."

  • 5 Viral Videos from 2013 That Will Wow You - Allison Kapin of the RAD Campaign sent me this post from CraigConnects. These are videos that have social messages. They range from Code.org's "What Most Schools Don't Teach" to the "Homeless Veteran Timelapse Transformation" to the fabulous "Batkid" video. All great examples of wonderful causes and of what goes viral.

  • Lessons Learned in 2013 - Lori Halley, posting for Wild Apricot, writes, "...while it's important to pay attention to trends, when I thought about messages that stood out this year, the old saying - 'the more things change, the more they stay the same' really applied." Lori circles her post around three perennial themes - keeping it personal, making connections, and sending clear messages. There are tips and an abundance of links to more resources.

  • A Year in CSR: The Top 10 Trends of 2013 - Alison DaSilva for TriplePundit. Cone Communications put together this list of trends, and they are fascinating! Lots of implications for the nonprofit sector. Guerilla (Cause) Marketing is one trend and Alison cites Unilever's hand-washing campaign and a Whole Foods Market message about endangered species. Another trend is the "add to cart" for good that online retailers are flocking to.

Getting Nonprofit Fit: Best Practices and Productivity

  • Nonprofits, 2014 is the Year of the Blog. Here's Why You Can't Afford to Wait Any Longer - Marc Koenig, Nonprofit Hub. Did you know that your blog can satisfy many types of donors, followers, readers? Marc knows exactly who they are too. How about the True Believer (he loves galas!) or the reluctant tagalong (Who are you again? I gave to WHAT-now?). This is great reading that will make you laugh, but with some seriously good tips to try tomorrow.

  • 8 things nonprofit communicators will stop doing in 2014 - Nonprofit MarCommunity. Marlene Oliveira compiled answers from nonprofit marketers to the question, "...what is one thing you will STOP doing in 2014?" In other words, how will you clear space to be more innovative, productive and results oriented? The answers are fascinating and range from less multitasking to saying no more often to less focus on vanity metrics. Let these suggestions stimulate your choices for the New Year.

  • 4 Ways to Make Your Fundraising Plans for Next Year Better and More Effective - Joe Garecht, of The Fundraising Authority, has such practical suggestions. My favorite is "Visualize Your Goals." Joe says, "...if your goal for the year is to find 100 new prospects, put up a chart ... so that you can track weekly, monthly, and yearly contacts with new potential supporters. If your goal as a team is to make 20 planned giving asks per month, put up a monthly thermometer that tracks the number of asks you have made."

  • What to do AFTER they give? - Lori Jacobwith, Withisms from Lori. We all know that retention is the key to fundraising success. Lori says, "Donor retention is the go to, reliable, smart choice when determining where to spend your precious fundraising time." She suggests the first order of business for 2014 should be a retention plan for the entire organization, the board included.

  • 7 Tips for Nonprofits to Avoid Social Media Burnout in 2014 - Julia Campbell for About.com. If there might be one thing most of us had by the end of the year, it is a feeling of being overwhelmed. Social media can do that. But Julia has a litany of tips that should make the new year a bit easier. She writes, for instance, "Remember why you do this work. Why are you tweeting and posting? To get people to learn more about your program and services, of course! Pretend that you are the donor. Play with the animals if you work in a shelter; visit the kids if you work at a school. Get out of the office and put your boots on the ground."

After you've gorged on this New Year's feast, head over to Beth Kanter's blog for the January Nonprofit Blog Carnival's call for submissions. You know Beth! It's going to be good!

Want to know more about the Nonprofit Blog Carnival? Check out its history, the archives, and subscribe for our twice monthly reminders by email.

Have suggestions for the Carnival or responses to this post? Please leave a comment.

Photo: Getty Images

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