Best of Web: December 2014

The Idealware “Best of the Web” is a monthly roundup of the top nonprofit resources from the Idealware blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed to help you make the right technology decisions. Please forward it along to anyone you think might benefit from it.

Data! Data! Data! Where to Start? (Nonprofit Marketing Guide)

If you have already implemented donor-centric newsletters and built a strong communications calendar, but are still looking for that extra edge in nonprofit communications to help you raise more dollars, then don’t look further, look inside your world of data. Even Sherlock Holmes once said, 'Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay.' The Nonprofit Marketing Guide points you in the right direction.

A/B Testing for Small Nonprofits & Political Campaigns (ePolitics)

A/B testing your communications is frequently referred to in a way that makes it feel like drawing a line in the sand, separating simple outreach techniques from the sophisticated. This explainer from ePolitics will show you where to begin with A/B testing to help you take your outreach efforts to the next level.

#GivingTuesday: Just One Piece of the Puzzle (Frogloop)
Giving Tuesday has established itself as a huge success in a small span of time, but it’s still just one day of the year. With 364 other days on the calendar, there are 364 more opportunities to engage your donors. Frogloop has some tips on how to fill that time to keep you going until to next Giving Tuesday.

Infographic: How Data is Helping to Stop Violence Against Girls (The Guardian)
By now, most nonprofits have heard that data is important to the work they do. What remains less clear iswhy data is important, and how to transform it into action for good. This case study shows how Unicef, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the government of Swaziland have been able to work together to turn data into innovative approaches to protect that country's children.

Facebook Friends Ebola Relief; Google Searches for Donations (NPR)
Charities have struggled to turn the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa into an enthusiasm to donate to the cause. Last month two tech titans, Facebook and Google, both decided to use their platforms to reach potential donors in a way that charities simply couldn’t on their own. NPR documents this new marriage between tech, charity, and corporate philanthropy.

Scary Tactic Emails (Frogloop)
We’ve all received them, and likely resented them: emails that turn prophecies of doom and gloom into calls for cash. A scarier fact? Just how effective they can be. Frogloop compares these type of messages to their positive counterparts, and reaches some potentially frightening conclusions about what works, and what doesn’t.

The Big Password Mistake that Hackers are Hoping You’ll Make (State of the Net)
Almost no one likes to think about passwords. They tend to slow things down, prevent productive work, and generally make life frustrating. But with the increasing sophistication of hackers and inevitability of security breaches, strong passwords are increasingly essential in preventing serious security crises. State of the Net busts some common password myths, and give you some tips on how to stay safe.

From Mushmouth to Morgan Freeman in Eight Steps: Absolute Beginner's Guide to Voiceovers (Idealware)
Gaining a new media proficiency is like adding another tool to your communicator’s toolbelt. It lets you get you spread your message in ways more unique, and sometimes efficient, than previously possible. Idealware’s own voice-over guru, Kyle Andrei, shares his insight on how he’s been able to use that skill over the years.

Five Quick Fixes for a More User-Friendly Website (Wired Impact)

If you’re involved with managing the content on your organization’s website, it’s also likely that you have a wishlist of usability improvements. While major revamps are few and far between, small tweaks can still give your visitors a friendlier experience. Here are a few proposals from Wired Impact.

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