I completed my annual review last week.

And I’ll be honest, I put that thing off as long as possible.

For someone who seems to have no problem talking about themselves, you’d think I would welcome the annual review like a child welcomes Birthday presents or money from the Tooth Fairy.

Surprisingly, that’s hardly the case. I put measuring my accomplishments and failures on the same level as trying to run a mile for the first time in 3 years. Zero fun.

But, like running again for the first time (however painful it might be), there’s reward in looking back on your year in review. You recognize what you’re capable of – reminded of how strong you actually are – and also what work is still to be done. In my case, there’s loads. and loads. And you know what the means? More opportunity to marvel over accomplishments this time next year.

Maybe you killed it this year, exceeded expectations and went above and beyond. Maybe you tried new things and they totally flopped. Either way, it’s February already and there’s work to be done, so I’ll share with you some helpful words from the wise..

Here are this week’s nonprofit highlights:

  • Want to know The real secret to great fundraising writing? I’ll give you this much: it’s built on a willingness to get outside of yourself. Jeff Brooks shares more on the topic and how you can write like Neetzan Zimmerman, in his Future Fundraising Now post.
  • Aretha Franklin spelled it first (well, you know what I mean) and Nancy Schwartz is spelling it again. In her npEngage post, How to R-E-S-P-E-C-T Your Way to Donor Retention, Nancy guides you through the steps of creating lasting donor relationships. The result? Better donor retention.
  • On the #fundchat blog, Brendan Kinney shares BlueHost’s infographic on Social Media for Social Good. It’s no surprise that social media has taken off, but you may be surprised to see the recent trends towards charity. With nonprofit campaigns going viral and celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga using their voices for good, it’s encouraging to see that we’re progressively using the platforms with a bigger purpose.
  • Ignoring Your Current Donors? 75% of Them Will Be Gone Within the First Year. Really. But in the spirit of doing things differently this year, Frank Barry writes for Hubspot and shares a few ways you can leverage the internet and technology to keep more of your donors around.
  • Upworthy Type Headlines: To Like or Dislike? Well, there’s really no denying it. Upworthy has totally nailed the ‘stop whatever it is you’re doing and read this and then go share it with everyone you know’ headline. But is their style a fit for your nonprofit? Allyson Kapin says to start with testing and keep things relevant before amping your content creativity to the ‘Upworthy’ degree.
  • Want to be a bit better in 2014? Start by reading and learning from others. Brady Josephson guest stars on Hubspot’s blog with 7 Must-Read Blogs to Inspire Your Fundraising Efforts. Check it out – be inspired. (Psssst..Brady…thanks for the npEngage shout out)

Did I miss anything?

Do let me know.

Yours truly,

Madeline

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Madeline Turner is the Online and Social Marketing Manager at Blackbaud. Prior to running Blackbaud’s social media and thought leadership blog npENGAGE, Madeline worked as a Managing Editor for Blackbaud’s Content Marketing program. It is her goal to create content and share ideas that challenge the status quo of the nonprofit industry. When Madeline isn’t tweeting or writing blog posts, you can find her drinking coffee out of her ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ mug, wearing giant headphones and singing off-key.

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