Latest Articles & Reports

  • By Laura S. Quinn and Kyle Henri Andrei,
    January 2015
    Updated January 2015 Adding visuals to a phone conference can make a big difference in your audience’s engagement level. Sharing a document, software application, or slides helps your audience follow along more closely and get more information then they would just by listening. If you want to conduct a more formal online seminar—sometimes called a webinar—there are a number of affordable software packages that can help you communicate more effectively. We talked to five nonprofit professionals about the tools that have worked for them.
  • By Ethan Drigotas,
    December 2014
    Should your organization be sharing the information it gathers about programs and services? There are benefits to doing so—and there are risks. Generally, sharing data is not common practice, but as funders increasingly demand information about the effectiveness of the organizations they support, more and more nonprofits are doing so. Strictly speaking, open data is information that’s accessible, standardized, and reusable, which in this context are defined as follows:
  • November 2014
    Whether you’re updating an existing website or building a new one from scratch, you’re looking at a major project with a lot of moving pieces to consider. What content stays, and what goes? How can your website address the needs of the people who matter—constituents, donors, funders, clients—and still be easy-to-use? Who will be responsible for making sure everything happens on time?
  • November 2014
  • By Laura Quinn,
    November 2014
    UPDATED for 2014! If you need an inexpensive software tool that’s not particularly strategic for your organization, traditional software selection techniques can seem awfully complicated. Here’s a simplified six-step process that can help when you just need to make a simple choice quickly.
  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    October 2014
    Updated for 2014Are you embarrassed by your organization’s website? (Come on, you can admit it.) Was it built in a volunteer’s nephew’s basement — or does it look like it was? Does it feature events or breaking news that are sadly out of date? Are you still trying to get around to adding that program you started last year?
  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    October 2014
    Updated for 2014. Constituent Relationship Management systems allow you to track a 360 degree view of all your interactions with constituents. What’s more, all the available options—including, CiviCRM, SugarCRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM—are relatively inexpensive for nonprofits, or even free. Sounds ideal, right? 
  • September 2014
    When people who need your nonprofit’s programs look for information about them on the web, will they find the information they need—and will it be compelling and clear enough for them to reach out? When potential donors visit your website, what will they find? Will it inspire confidence or impress them enough to write a check?
  • August 2014
    Tracking and measuring data can give nonprofits a better understanding of the populations they serve and how they serve them, and help them identify areas to improve their reach and the efficiency of their programs. But many nonprofits struggle to track data--or even to define what data they should be tracking.
  • By Colin Pizarek and Chris Bernard,
    August 2014
    Updated for 2014! Neither “snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” might stay the U.S. Post Office’s couriers from delivering the mail entrusted to them, but it’s a cold fact of the digital world that email has no such steadfast guardians. Some electronic mail will simply never reach its destination—it might go to a bad address, get caught in a spam filter, or routed to a “junk” folder where it’s deleted or overlooked. This can be frustrating for nonprofits who work hard to nurture a list of email addresses.