While nonprofit work requires knowledge, finesse, and a bit of grit, there’s enough support out there to take you to the end of the universe (or at least, the end of the internet).
Overwhelmed by the vastness of it all?
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best resources out there, from blogs to read, podcasts to tune to, and conferences to attend.
Think of this guide like your towel: Keep it close (bookmark it), and turn to its resources for practical advice and psychological solace. No promises on whether it will help you evade the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, but it will help you on your way to being a hoopy frood.
With more than 30 years in the nonprofit field, Beth Kanter writes guidance on how nonprofits can be most successful, with best practices for reaching an audience and managing the ins-and-outs of an office. Also an author and influencer in the industry, Kanter shares news and relevant resources.
Marc A. Pitman is the founder of FundraisingCoach.com, bringing his experience as a fundraising trainer for nonprofit boards and staff. The blog features guest posts as well as Pitman’s opinions and tips on fundraising, engaging board members, and trends in the industry.
Kivi Leroux Miller, the author and trainer behind Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com, heads up this blog, which has strategies for nonprofit communication, fundraising, and management. Every Friday you can find Mixed Links, a sampling of interesting links from the last week to sip on over the weekend.
npENGAGE is a hub of nonprofit resources, presented by the nonprofit software company Blackbaud. Its blog is divided up by category (technology, fundraising, marketing, management, and news) and each offers research and advice by the Blackbaud team and authors from the industry.
Tech Impact helps nonprofits use technology to achieve their missions. Its blog offers how-tos and tangible tips on nonprofit technology, such as social media, security, and donor relations.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy has published news on fundraising, grants, and other aspects of nonprofit work for more than 25 years. While the monthly print publication and some web content require a $79/year subscription, The Chronicle does offer daily or weekly email newsletters for free.
The NonProfit Times focuses on the business side of nonprofit management. It has free email newsletters, and publishes articles and other resources online in addition to its subscription: 17 issues in a year, at $19.95 for digital, $49.95 for print, or $59.95 for both.
Individuals and organizations contribute reporting to Nonprofit Quarterly, with readers acting as correspondents to fuel the collaborative journalism website. The journal, which publishes articles daily online in addition to the magazine, hopes to promote “an active and engaged democracy” through researched pieces that put issues into context. One year’s subscription (four print issues and unlimited access to the archive) is $49.
Joanne Fritz, Ph.D. writes About.com’s section on nonprofits, giving her expert insight into industry news and reports. She also answers FAQs about nonprofits, and has advice on starting one, working at one, and keeping one running.
TechSoup is a nonprofit that connects other such organizations with technology solutions. It also has a website with a robust resource section to help groups learn, make informed choices, and reach their potential. There are articles and how-tos, plus webinars (check out more below), all for free.
A donor management software company, Bloomerang offers free webinars on a regular basis, with registration open to the public. Its website also has a large archive of past webinars on a range of fundraising subjects available anytime.
Idealware, an organization offering software resources to nonprofits, caps its webinars at 25 participants to let them ask questions with individual attention. Some of the 90-minute sessions are grouped in sets while others stand alone, covering topics like social media, fundraising, advocacy, events, and more. Many of the recorded past webinars are free; others are $20 each.
Geared to helping nonprofits raise more money with their resources, Network for Good’s webinars are free and feature its staff and industry experts. Download archived presentations, or register for an upcoming event – new sessions are held about twice a month.
In addition to webinars on its membership software products, last year Wild Apricot launched a series of expert webinars for staff and volunteers of small membership organizations. You can also check out videos, slides, and summaries from past expert webinars online.
In this weekly podcast, Joe Waters and Megan Strand discuss news and techniques in the area of cause marketing – partnering nonprofits and corporations to benefit both – with a guest. Marketing executives, communications pros, and nonprofit leaders come to the virtual table for an energetic and light-hearted discussion.
Joe Garecht is the personable host of “The Fundraising Authority,” where he talks with authors, consultants, and nonprofit fundraisers. Some episodes run less than 30 minutes, and all are intended to give action-items to make a difference in your organization.
Since 2010, Tony Martignetti has hosted a podcast to share his first-hand knowledge of the nonprofit industry. On “Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio: Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%” he gives his take on things to smaller nonprofits with smaller budgets. A lively speaker and interviewer, Martignetti chats with other experts on board relations, technology, volunteer management, financial issues and other topics each week.
The nonprofit software company Blackbaud brings nonprofit leaders and staff together with its staff every year for bbcon. The event has networking, interactive demos, speakers and software training.
This year, bbcon comes to Austin, Texas in October, and Blackbaud is offering up scholarships for 10 nonprofit professionals to attend for free. Get a peek at the types of presentations by looking at the slideshows from 2014’s conference here.
This annual conference is put on by the American Marketing Association, and focuses on how to best engage constituents and meet goals. It’s designed for nonprofit marketers, but welcomes representatives from groups of varying size and field, like charities, hospitals, and museums.
NTEN, a membership organization for those who use technology for their missions, has more than 10 years’ experience presenting the Nonprofit Technology Conference. Held in different U.S. cities in the spring, it drew more than 2,100 – record attendance – in 2014. Programs include talks by experts, educational breakout sessions, and the chance to connect with peers.
Although 15NTC just wrapped up its three-day run in Austin, Texas earlier in March, you can read a recap here, or check out a Storify of the conference’s social media presence by Nonprofit Tech for Good.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals has been around since 1960, and now boasts more than 30,000 members in chapters across the globe. Members adhere to a code of professional and ethical standards and practices, with AFP offering research, advocacy, education and certification programs.
Membership at the professional level (young professional, retired, collegiate, and associate memberships exist as well) is $250 plus chapter dues ($20 to $120, depending on region) annually. Organizational memberships are also available; they start at $150 for small groups, and for larger organizations, start at $2,000 for eight members.
With more than 25,000 members, the National Council of Nonprofits labels itself a resource and advocate for charitable nonprofits. It works through a network of state associations (with dues varying throughout), which are currently in 36 states, aiming to help local groups enact positive change. State association members get access to hands-on training, data and trends, networking, special discounts, and more.
For more than 30 years, the Society for Nonprofits has served organizations with resources, including its quarterly magazine Nonprofit World. The Society also gives members access to a grant database and other funding information, plus webinars and a national career site for posting job openings, board positions, and volunteer opportunities. Membership runs from $49 to $69 each year for individuals, and $150 per year for organizations.
What are your most valuable resources? Feel free to leave a comment below!
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