Best of the Web: July 2015

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.

2015 Digital Adoption Report (NTEN)
More than 60 million Americans do not have internet access in their homes, but 60% of organizations report that constituents need to use the internet to participate in their services. In collaboration with Mobile Citizen, NTEN surveyed nonprofit organizations to learn more about digital adoption within nonprofits and how the digital divide might be affecting the delivery of services to their communities.

What’s Data Got to Do with It? (JustGiving)
This beginner’s guide to data and fundraising shows how SolarAid, Parkinson's UK, Friends of the Earth, and Marie Curie are using data in exciting and insightful ways.

How to Have a Data-Led Approach to Fundraising (The Guardian)
You know data is important to your fundraising efforts. And you probably have a lot of it. This article breaks down four area of focus for getting more fundraising mileage from your data.

Tech Heavyweights Take on Human Trafficking with Big Data (Upstart)
Data analysis, image recognition, and mapping programs—powered by Palantir, Google, and Microsoft—are helping anti-trafficking nonprofits not only locate victims in real time, but predict their victimizers’ next moves.

Advocacy & Fundraising Emails ( and
Mass email can be an effective way to reach constituents—as long as you stay out of your own way. Epolitics warns that your emails might be getting intercepted by spam filters and shows you how to increase the chances of landing in the inbox. It also looks at email design and finds that less is more when it comes to readers opening messages and taking action.

3 Keys To Selecting The Right Nonprofit Cloud Vendor (Tech Impact)
Cloud-based technologies can seem a little scary for a first-time buyer. This short blog post walks you through the three most important steps when considering which Cloud technology to choose and how to make sure you get what you really need.

Creating A Data-Informed Culture: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater And Leading For The Future (Arts Management & Technology Laboratory)
We talk a lot about using data to market your organization and develop fundraising campaigns, but the lessons can sometimes seem a little abstract. This case study shows how one organization put theory into practice by centralizing patron management and learning how to deepen engagement across its entire network.

Seeing Beyond Facebook & Twitter for Social Media Advocacy (
There’s no better way to reach a mass audience on social media than through Facebook or Twitter, but that doesn’t mean other social media platforms don’t also offer opportunities. Check out these innovative approaches to social apps from Tumblr to Tinder.

Measuring Return on Investment for Technology (NTEN)
Our own Karen Graham explains how you can calculate your return on investment when weighing which technology project to pursue first.

5 Questions to Help You Integrate Mobile in Your Fundraising (The Nonprofit Quarterly)
The number of people who donate through a mobile device doubles when the page is designed to be responsive to mobile formats. Debbie Laskey runs you through the questions you need to ask yourself to better prepare your organization for mobile fundraising opportunities.

Database Management Tips (NTEN and Sunlight Foundation)
Choosing and implementing a database can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. NTEN and Idealware teamed up to offer five steps to get you on the path to being a data-driven organization. One important part of that process is cleaning and maintaining your data. The Sunlight Foundation examines why clean data is such a big challenge and what you can do to keep the mess to a minimum.

Google's Guide To Designing With Empathy (Fast Company)
Have you ever thought about how blind people might use your website? What about other disabilities? Google designers explain some of the ways you can make your site accessible to more people.

4 Ways to Use Your Smartphone for a Good Cause (Gizmodo)
Looking for new, innovative ways to harness the power of your constituents’ mobile phones? Check out these examples of apps that make a difference.

Businesses Are Hanging Up On Voice Mail To Dial In Productivity (NPR)
Voicemail seems to be going the way of the telegraph. Will anyone miss it?

Outputs, Outcomes, and the Meaning of “Impact” (Idealware)
The terms we use to talk about the good we do can get confusing. We break down what outputs and outcomes mean to us and talk about our recent report outlining outcomes management systems at larger nonprofits.

The Remote Worker’s Guide to Office Etiquette (Lifehacker)
If you work thousands of miles away from the rest of your team, how do you remain a good teammate? It’s not always easy, but these tips should help.

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