Best of the Web: December 2015

Time always seems to accelerate as the end of a year approaches. We’re busy here designing next year’s courses, researching new publications, and putting the finishing touches on our annual fundraising campaign—and we know you’re just as busy meeting your own missions.

There never seems to be enough time to do all that we want to do at Idealware, but I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you how much I appreciate the work all of you do at your own organizations. I talk to so many of you each year, and I’m inspired by your enthusiasm, your desire to learn, and your willingness to work to overcome any obstacles to meet your missions.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place, and for all you do to support Idealware.

Happy holidays—I’ll see you next year.
All best,



On a ShoestringIdealware
Like a lot of nonprofits, Ideaware was founded as a response to a frustrating situation and a little spark that said, "What if?" In this post, I remember the first days of Idealware and how, over the past 10 years, we've been able to grow into an organization that helps tens of thousands of nonprofits make smart technology decisions.

Technology Helps Food Banks Handle Holiday SurgeWSJ
“Each year, food donations coming in to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee surge from November through December to nearly double what the charity receives in the rest of the year. … To handle the rush, Second Harvest is relying on the sort of technology that retailers and other private companies use to manage the spike in activity that comes with the holidays.” (At Idealware, we love examples of nonprofits using technology to innovate service delivery.)

Facebook Launches Dedicated "Fundraiser" Pages for NonprofitsMashable
Facebook recently announced its new cause-focused fundraiser pages and improved Donate buttons for nonprofits. “Fundraisers are dedicated pages where nonprofits can raise money for specific campaigns, whether it’s for the refugee crisis, to help eradicate malaria or to build a clean water well. The Donate button, previously reserved for ads on the site, will now appear on nonprofits’ Pages and posts, allowing users to contribute directly from their News Feeds.” Mashable tells you what it means for you.

Why Great Event Registration Software MattersLindsay Martin-Bilbrey
Friend of Idealware Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey tells us about her organization’s recent exploration of event registration software and its top three systems.

How Nonprofits Should Define
“Nonprofits work on some of the toughest issues facing the world, ranging from ending poverty to reversing the environmental effects related to climate change,” Allyson Kapin writes. “While nonprofits may not be able to solve these problems in our lifetime, we must be able to show impact and show degrees of success with our advocates and donors. We also need to engage the public at large on these critical issues and illustrate how we are moving the needle.”

Next Decade Tips from Our Board Members and Expert TrainersIdealware
As you’ve probably heard by now, Idealware is celebrating its 10th birthday this month. Milestones like this lead to a lot of reflection, and one question we’ve been asking ourselves a lot lately is: “What will nonprofits need to know over the next decade?” We asked our board members and expert trainers what they thought nonprofits of the future needed to know. Here’s what they said.

A Click Too Far: Why Using Social Media Isn't That Great For FundraisingNPR
“The 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge ended up raising more than $115 million for ALS research and reached an unprecedented bar for a charity social media campaign—unprecedented and inimitable.” Inimitable seems to be the key word here, as NPR considers the odds of lightning striking twice.

10 Ways People Power Can Change the
“People Power can take many forms, depending on what kind of change you’re looking to achieve and who has the power to make that change happen—whether it’s a government, company, community or individual.” came up with a list.

How Tech And Social Media Changed NonprofitsTechImpact
"Nonprofits are inherently social. They deal with some of the most pressing and the highest of profile social issues facing our societies today. For this reason, and dozens of others, nonprofit organizations are attached at the hip with social media." See how technology and social media have transformed the nonprofit industry, one tweet at a time, in this TechImpact infographic.


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