Fundraising

Top 10 North American Nonprofit Blogs
Posted by Mical on July 20, 2018

There are hundreds of blogs on a variety of nonprofit topics, but do you ever wonder which ones are the top nonprofit blogs you should be reading?

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  1. The Storytelling Nonprofit: To kickstart this list, the Storytelling Nonprofit blog provides readers with very touching personal growth and productivity pieces. Because the nature of nonprofit work (especially in soliciting funds) is emotion-based and philanthropic is many senses, it is important that companies hone their storytelling skills. Its founder, Vanessa Chase Lockshin who is a nonprofit consultant, speaker and author started the Storytelling Nonprofit in order to help organizations articulate the impact of their work and their goals. Through her blog, readers will learn different narrative techniques aimed at generating personal interest and accountability. Lockshin’s writing style is also very much concise and organized in a way that supports reading comprehension. The site is also aesthetically pleasing to peruse and offers category buttons for searching particular topics.
  2. Social Velocity: Similar in many ways to the blog Nonprofit AF which will be discussed, Social Velocity focuses on ‘big picture’ ideas of the nonprofit industry. Main contributor and editor Nell Edgington pays special attention to many of the challenges faced by nonprofit organizations and works through intelligent solutions. Not to mention his recruitment of interesting guest contributors and interviewees provides a holistic perspective for established as well as up and coming organizations. Although the website is a little dated and doesn’t necessarily have intuitive subject-based categories, there is a customizable search feature for target title or subject searches.
  3. NonprofitAF (formerly Nonprofit With Balls): Perhaps one of the most interesting reads in terms of entertainment value and the applicative information is Vu Le’s Nonprofit AF (formerly known as Nonprofit With Balls). His takes on nonprofit issues have been praised for their very matter-of-fact approach and extremely accessible writing. Another notable feature of this blog is Le’s focus on the media portrayal of nonprofit work in mainstream media as it relates to public engagement in charity work as a whole. As an executive director of Rainer Valley Corps in Seattle, Le is unafraid to use his quirky humour to deliver sometimes uncomfortable and unpopular insights on the world of nonprofits. As a site, Nonprofit AF is very similar in structure to the typical blog, especially when it comes to the division of blog subjects.
  4. Philanthropy 2173: Next, on the list, we have Philanthropy 2173, a very introspective blog run by Stanford University scholar Lucy Bernholz. Written in a very freeform manner, Bernholz’s blog shares her thoughts on philanthropy and civil society. However, her primary area of interest has to do with digital innovation in the nonprofit space and sort of exploring futuristic endeavours that are made possible through it. Lastly, the placement of the blog on the ‘blogspot.com platform’ means that the template for its presentation is very standard but her thoughts on a variety of topics are easy to locate.
  5. Pamela Grow: Known within the nonprofit industry and among the big nonprofit consulting players, the Pamela Grow blog provides concise and to the point content for smaller-scale nonprofit organizations. The Pamela Grow blog utilizes a series of segments in which readers’ questions are answered and nonprofit business news is reported. For instance, the ‘Power of Storytelling’ segment provides testimonials of individuals who have started their own nonprofits and outline the common pitfalls and misconceptions of nonprofit organizing. Additionally, the segment ‘Fundraising Friday’ is a series of strategies to raise money that is updated on a weekly basis.
  6. Nonprofit Marketing Blog: Network for Good’s blog The Nonprofit Marketing Blog ranks amongst the highest resources for philanthropic marketing information. This is due in large part to having a vast network of industry contributors, Liz Ragland and Nancy Schwartz, which is curated by editor Caryn Stein. Navigating the website is pretty intuitive because of its simplistic structure and its substantial use of images.
  7. Techsoup: TechSoup is yet another highly sought after nonprofit blog but is particularly important for its focus on nonprofit technology strategies and tools. It can attribute its impactful footing in the nonprofit sector to the active quest for social good technology projects that are making a wave in the digital space. Depending on one’s place of residence, TechSoup has alternate sites to cater to region-specific limitations and availability of products. The structure of both the global and Canadian TechSoup sites are relatively uniform and offer many of the same layouts as the aforementioned blogs. However, featured upon opening the site is a list of the most popular software products for the digital management. Additionally, some unique points of coverage within the TechSoup site include cybersecurity and cyber law which are topics seldom discussed in nonprofit blogs. As far as supplying much-needed information on the technical aspects of cyberspace, TechSoup should be nonprofits’ go-to.
  8. Guidestar Blog: Third on the countdown is none other than the Guidestar Blog which comprises of articles written by industry leaders such as Derrick Feldmann and Claire Axelrad. Outsourcing articles from leaders in the nonprofit sector ensure the maintenance of high-quality information that is both practical and innovative. Guidestar is known for their consistency in providing a wide variety of written content which allows for nonprofits to engage with many perspectives of fundraising, leadership styles, and practices, communication techniques, etc. Relative to its competitors, the Guidestar website has a very simple aesthetic which boosts its user-friendliness and allows for viewers to sort of explore their array of subject fields with ease. For specific articles, Guidestar offers a custom search feature along with ‘recent posts’ as well as blog ‘archive’ and ‘posts by topic’ section.
  9. Nonprofit Quarterly: Established as a print journal in 1999, the Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) services the needs of nonprofit leaders, charitable foundations, educators, independent activists, and others involved in the civil sector. One of the main draws of NPQ’s articles is the fact that it doesn’t hesitate to address the complex variables surrounding religion and politics. In addition, their articles are well grounded in analyzing the current socioeconomic climate of North America and outlining what this means for nonprofits of today. At first glance, the website can seem a bit overabundant in information, but fear not, many of the articles are easily accessible via the toolbox of subject headings and its subheadings. Another notable feature of their site is that it offers webinars pertaining to non-profit management, fundraising, governance, and finance.
  10. John Haydon: Last but certainly not least, the John Haydon blog comes highly recommended from almost all existing non-profit blog charts. The website’s creator, who shares the namesake, is a well sought-after digital marketing expert for non-profits and charities and author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies. His website is relatively user-friendly and offers a plethora of articles that are categorized into five sections; donor communication, online fundraising, content marketing, email marketing and facebook marketing. The blog also features guest posts from some of the sector's best and offers a ton of additional free resources for nonprofit marketers. Not to mention the website makes very liberal use of imagery and has very focused, concise writing which makes it that much more appealing for on-the-go reading. Thus, Haydon has been able to provide burgeoning non-profit organizations with easy-to-read step-by-step instructions to cultivating effective content on many different digital mediums.