What did you accomplish in 2019? What about the last decade? And what are your plans for the one that begins tomorrow, so full of promise and hope? Personally, the last decade has been one of change for me, including two cross-country moves and a mix of wins and losses. Like most people, I’m charging into the new one with optimism and hope. Hope is the horse I ride.

It’s been a decade of change for Idealware, too, from the departure of our founder to our merger with Tech Impact. We put out more publications and presented more courses and webinars than I can count. We’re heading into the next decade stronger than ever, with the knowledge and expertise of our larger organization and a killer lineup for research and training in the coming year. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting our work, and an extra special thank you to all those of you who sent links for Best of the Web this past year. You may notice some changes to our email calendar as we move forward, but you can count on us continuing to provide the resources that help you meet your missions.

Whatever your own plans are for 2020, whether your resolutions include getting more exercise or taking more naps (like my dog, Shakes, above), I hope they all come easily for you. Thanks for all you do to make the world a better place.

Without further ado, here’s the final Best of the Web of the decade…

The Good, Bad, and Not-Sure-What-to-Think about Giving in 2019

Writing in the Nonprofit Quarterly, Rob Meiksins looks back at some of the year’s trends in nonprofit giving. The news is a little better…but it’s not great.

A Bookstore Goes to the Museum: Mad Collaborations that Make Great Sense

Also in the Nonprofit Quarterly, Ruth McCambridge has an upbeat story about the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington taking in the 9th Street Bookshop, which closed after 41 years amidst a wave of corporate flight from the area. The union “it augmented the museum’s commitment to serving the community in an inclusive way,” she writes. It’s an interesting read, and there may be a bigger lesson to be learned.

Disaster Preparedness: Let’s Talk About Go-Bags

Writing for Tech Soup, Cameron Jones talks about disaster preparedness for nonprofits—just as residents of fire-ravaged California and storm prone states should keep a “go bag” in case of an emergency evacuation, so should nonprofits. “What’s in that go-bag can depend on what kind of nonprofit you are and whether you’re able to operate remotely,” Jones writes. “But generally a go-bag (also sometimes called a disaster box, which is much scarier sounding) is a compilation of critical information about your organization, operations, and staff. It should enable you to set up shop elsewhere if your normal place of operation becomes inaccessible.”

Tech Impact’s own security experts have made similar recommendations in the past. Jones breaks it down in this useful post.

The Worst Passwords of 2019

Speaking of security: Cybercriminals have upped their game in recent years, and it’s time you did too. If your password is on this list, stop whatever you’re doing and change it now. NOW.

A Paranoid Guide to Fighting the ‘Bugging Epidemic’

With surveillance gear cheaper and easier to use, security experts say checking your environment for cameras and microphones is not a crazy idea. Writing in the NY Times, Kate Murphy tells you how to go about it.

Amid a Flood of Superheroes, Billie Eilish Stands Apart: Wikipedia’s Most Popular Articles of 2019

Which English Wikipedia entries got the most views this year? Spoiler alert: Marvel Comics and other superhero-related films account for five of the top 25, and nonprofit-related topics account for none of them.

Raising Davendra

This NPR podcast asks and answers the question, “What happens when you treat Artificial Intelligence with unconditional love?”

The Catastrophist’s 2019 Tech Gift Guide: Because nothing is just a gadget anymore.

Christmas may be over, but John Herrman’s one-of-a-kind gift guide is still useful from a cultural perspective. 

“The optimistic view of the last 10 years of consumer technology is that hundreds of millions of people used unbelievable new devices and services to take part in explosive new economies and cultures. The savvier take is to note that consumer tech—most of all the smartphone—has been a force for change, but its benefits have not always been distributed in ways that are equitable, safe, or desirable. Or maybe you are filled with dread by the devices you have allowed into your life over the last decade, all but paralyzed by the knowledge that the nightmare of surveillance, invasion and exploitation in which you live was the direct result of a few thoughtless choices you made in a Best Buy or clicking around on Amazon…. This is the gift guide for you.”

What Does California’s New Data Privacy Law Mean? Nobody Agrees

With the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) taking effect in January 2020, companies have limited time to get a handle on the customer information they have and how they need to care for it. If they don’t, they not only risk being fined, but also loss of brand reputation and consumer trust — which are immeasurable. The statute was meant to standardize how companies disclose their consumer data-mining practices. So far, not so much. Natasha Singer takes a closer look in the NY Times and Dmitri Sirota does the same over at Tech Crunch.

I mentioned that we put out a number of publications at Idealware this year. Here are a few that you might have missed:

  • Recruiting Nonprofit Volunteers: The Landscape of Platforms and Services
    How can technology help recruit volunteers? This report will show you how volunteer opportunities inform recruitment methods, what tools and services are available to organizations of varying sizes and budgets, and how they align with recruiting best practices.
  • Digital Skillsets: An Imperative for Today’s Nonprofit Leaders
    Digital skillsets will be essential to the success of tomorrow’s leaders, tomorrow’s organizations, and tomorrow’s social sector—and that’s just as true for today’s. We spoke to a number of leaders with expertise in technology, human resources, and related fields for this report.
  • Nonprofits Are About People: The “R” in CRM
    CRM is not just a way to store data—it’s also a way to use that data to build relationships. In this article we look at what that means and how your organization can use CRM to build, nurture, and grow the relationships that matter most.
  • The Nonprofit Leaders Cybersecurity Handbook
    It’s easy to think that your organization is safe, and that hackers are only interested in big corporate targets. But if you collect data on constituents, that data is at risk. Leaders who remain complacent about that risk make their nonprofits more attractive targets. We researched and published this 40-page book in partnership with The NonProfit Times. Purchase your copy and get access to a recorded webinar with a cybersecurity expert Q&A and a one-year subscription to The NonProfit Times.

As always, if you have any links you think might be of interest to our audience, please send them along to me at info@idealware.org. Happy New Year to all of you!