Best of the Web: November 2015

Fundraising season is around the corner and social media is full of articles on how to run a successful campaign. We’ve included a few here that will help you with fundraising emails, social media, and your website.

But what’s always been so interesting to me is the tension between the tactical side of fundraising and the very personal act of asking for something. To bring in enough donations to make a campaign worth your time, you need to reach out to thousands of people. That takes a lot of planning to get right. But you also need to make a connection, show that you consider your donors valuable partners in important work. Not everyone is good at taking all the right steps AND making a meaningful appeal, which is why a lot of organizations struggle with fundraising. However, it’s not hopeless, and I think you’ll find a few tips here that you can use.

This is an exciting time of year. Good luck with your fundraising over the next month and a half and enjoy these stories about digital fundraising, data science, “the Cloud,” making visually-interesting content, and more.


20 Must-Know Fundraising and Social Media Stats (Nonprofit Tech for Good)
Did you know that 12% of donations are made in the last three days of the year? Gain insight into donor behavior with these fascinating stats and graphics.

A Fundraising Success Checklist for Nonprofits (Nonprofit Tech for Good)
Do you ever feel as though you’re forgetting or overlooking something in your fundraising? This checklist covers all the different channels you might use to ask for donations and is the easiest way to make sure you’re maximizing the opportunity to reach every audience.

Overlooked Tactics and Website Mistakes That Undermine a Great Digital Presence (NTEN and Network for Good)
Chad Capellman outlines a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re getting the most out of your content. And Network for Good lists nine mistakes that nonprofits frequently make that can significantly damage their online brand.

Why Email Addresses Matter For Nonprofits (Tech Impact)
Social media has not replaced email. In fact, it’s only reinforced the need for direct communications.

How to Take Full Advantage of Mobile Technology (Tech Impact and Tech Impact)
Lately, Tech Impact has been offering a lot of suggestions for how to turn mobile devices into valuable tools for nonprofits. Read its 14 tips for why mobile should be factored into your social media and fundraising strategies. Also take a look at how mobile technology can enhance your volunteer program.

Hate Facebook Events? Soon It’ll Actually Be Useful—Really Useful (Wired)
Facebook Events has finally shifted out of maintenance mode and now offers features that are more in line with how people want to receive and interact with this information. For nonprofits, this means Facebook events might actually be a useful platform for getting your community involved with your programs and activities.

Why IT People Need to Know a Little Bit About Marketing (NTEN)
Our own Karen Graham reminds us that IT is about more than technology. IT professionals now play a consultative role within an organization, which means to do their job well, they need to know how different people within the organization need to use technology and make recommendations with those factors in mind.

Lost Without Data (Data Analysts for Good)
Visually clever, insightful, and fun-loving—you’ve probably never seen a conference promo video this good or that paints such a vivid picture of the data challenges and opportunities nonprofits face.

How the Metaphor of “the Cloud” Changed Our Attitude Toward the Internet (New Yorker)
“How did we come to place our faith in a symbol that is so ephemeral—all vapor and crystal?” asks Hua Hsu. His essay is a thoughtful look at the paradox within the metaphor.

3 Benefits of Enabling Technology For Nonprofits (LinkedIn)
Bryan Breckenridge, the Executive Director of, lays out the three biggest reasons why it just makes so much sense for grantmakers to fund technology.

Crazy Data Science Tutorial: Classification and Clustering (Data Science Central)
How can beer help you analyze your data? Check out this clever take on classification and clustering.

Use Technology to Disrupt Poverty (Medium)
Larry Irving of Mobile Alliance for Global Good issues a call to action for all techies, especially in Silicon Valley. “The opportunity is clear,” he says. “Our technology companies and their leaders can help change the world for billions of people.”

Editorial Training (NPR)
Want to write stories, create social media posts, or produce podcasts that people come back to again and again? Learn from the best. NPR has published dozens of articles on how to create audio content, social media best practices, how to create visually interesting content, and tips for translating content into digital spaces.

5 Great Free Apps for Making Your Videos Pop (Fast Company)
It’s never been cheaper and easier to make videos.

Idealware Turns 10 (Idealware)
There’s been a lot of excitement around our anniversary this month. Laura kicked it off with a look back at how Idealware got off the ground. Then Karen wrote about her vision for Idealware’s future. All this fall we’ve been leading free panel discussions on nonprofit technology trends. The last one, covering program results data, is on December 3rd.

10 Nonprofits to Follow on Instagram (Care2)
Instagram is not often thought of as place for nonprofits, but its members love the platform because an image can so succinctly capture so many thoughts and emotions. If you’re thinking about getting on Instagram and are looking for inspiration, start here.

7 Big Trends That Will Change Your Social Media Marketing Strategy (Social Media Today)
Social media is always changing. These are the trends to watch as we transition into the new year.

Have technology questions or want to learn more about how Tech Impact can help your nonprofit?