Best of the Web: June 2016

Technology can often feel abstract—you know there are benefits to the Cloud or that pages on your website can do more to bring in donations, but it’s hard to imagine how you’ll actually do it.

We need examples and stories to put ourselves in that place and try out the idea before taking the leap ourselves. Of course you’ll still need to do demos, read reviews, or consult with experts, but to take that imaginative leap there’s nothing better than a good story to help you see what you’re missing.

Many of the most popular posts this month provide stories and examples of organizations that are succeeding with a particular technology or process. Check them out. I hope you find something useful here.

All Best,

Best of the Web: June 2016

An Easy Way to Build Your Email List (Joan Garry)
Building an email list is not about putting a box on your website. As Joan Garry points out, it’s a mindset. It’s about putting your audience first and providing them with something they want. In this post she shares a few examples of nonprofits that have found interesting ways to entice people to join their email lists.

Why WordPress? (NPTechProjects)
Birgit Pauli-Haack outlines her experience with WordPress and the benefits she’s discovered over the years.

Nonprofit’s Cloud Migrations Boost Business Agility (TechImpact)
I think some nonprofits have been reluctant to move to Cloud-based technology because it can feel like stepping off the firm ground of servers and cables and into the ether. This case study outlines how the Muscular Dystrophy Association made big changes and converted its core technology to the Cloud. Will it convince you to move to the Cloud? Should it?

5 Tips for Building a Strong Events Page (TechSoup)
There are a lot of common sense tips here that are easy to overlook. For example: Less is more. Packing your page with links or additional calls to action will only lead to less action, so don’t do it.

Investing in Infrastructure: What Holds Foundations Back From Funding Technology? (Idealware)
A few weeks ago a group of organizations that support nonprofit infrastructure wrote a letter to foundations asking them to commit to applying at least one percent of their funding to technology infrastructure. In this blog post, Karen Graham, Idealware’s Executive Director, points out that foundations do want to fund technology. But there are barriers that so far have been difficult to remove. Karen shares what program officers have told her about those barriers and adds context to this important discussion.

The 150 Best Nonprofit Websites (Elevation Web)
Looking for inspiration? There are so many great nonprofit websites out there. Take a look at these to see what’s possible.

16 Must-Know Stats About Online Fundraising and Social Media (Nonprofit Tech for Good)
Here’s just one of the many great stats in this post: “Millennials most inspired to give by social media. Gen X and Baby Boomers by email. Prediction: Gen Z will prefer mobile apps.” It will be interesting to see whether the app prediction pans out. It might, but it will likely take a shape we haven’t yet anticipated. Certainly we’re not seeing the rush by nonprofits to create apps that had been anticipated a few years ago.

4 A’s of Nonprofit Data Management (Sidekick Solutions)
Collecting data is great, but if you don’t have a process in place to accumulate, analyze, apply, and act, then it’s not going to be very valuable. Sidekick Solutions outlines that process to help you get organized.

10 Signs Your Small Nonprofit Excels at Social Media (Nonprofit Tech for Good)
Does your donation “Thank You” page include calls to follow your social media channels? Do you use graphics to promote events? Do you have a social media fundraising plan in writing? Then your organization might be a social media champ! (If not, then read this article.)

New Study Examines Facebook Sharing Habits by Generation (Social Media Today)
>Who is most likely to share cat videos? Who prefers memes to policy memos? This infographic breaks down the sharing habits of specific demographic groups and finds a few surprising results.

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