I had a surge of utter panic when my hibernation  holiday break came to a hault. It was like waking up from a nap in what I thought was my childhood bed, only to find that it was 3:00 p.m. and I was actually in my cubicle, drooling on my laptop.

I made all of these New Year’s resolutions- I was really going to rock it this year. You know, start 2014 off with a bang. Kick down some doors and stuff. But somewhere between me lacing up my combat boots and pulling into the work parking lot, I lost my mojo.

Maybe what threw me off was the realization that the pecan pie and countless naps were done with me – over– and I was back to the days of nail biting and alarm clocks. Or maybe it was because I realized that the moment I busted through the glass doors on Daniel Island it would mean game-time and I was severely out of shape. I mean, did I even remember how to do my job?

Spoiler Alert: I’ve gotten my groove back

But I’ll be honest- it took longer than expected and I’ve yet to bust down any doors. I guess the reality is that a new year means new challenges, new expectations, and a whole lot of caffeine; the slate might be clean, but your calendar sure isn’t. The great news is that there’s no other industry I would rather be trading naps and pecan pie for, and the resources below are proof that I’m not the only one.

Here are this week’s nonprofit highlights:

  • Nearly 3 out of 4 new donors leave and never come back. Really. In this npEngage post, One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014, Frank Barry has rallied some of the industry’s brightest minds to weigh-in on the #1 key to a successful donor retention strategy. Take a look. It’s time to flip that statistic on it’s head.
  • John Haydon said This Scientifically Proven Fundraising Technique Will Shock You, and he was right. This simple technique conflicts with the majority of fundraising advice you’ll find, but the meta-analysis of over 22,000 (42 studies) suggests that giving the option of NOT donating can actually boost your fundraising results.
  • It’s here – the 4th annual edition of Nonprofit Communications Trends Report by Nonprofit Marketing Guide. And it’s stacked with useful data derived from the 2,135 nonprofits surveyed. From big picture goals to hot topics (like Retention), the report offers benchmarks and statistics to help you validate and navigate your nonprofit’s communication in 2014.
  • This week, Beth Kanter shared 7 Practical Tips for Engagement with a Higher Purpose on Social. The post shares slides, resources, and a break down of how alumni networks can nurture long-term relationships through social channels. Whether it’s celebrating the accomplishments of individuals in your network or using nostalgia to spark a trip down memory lane,  social media is a platform to connect with your Alumni and establish a path for long-term support.
  • npHub’s Lyndsey Hrabik counts down the 14 Keys to Nonprofit Branding to ‘Do More Good’ in 2014 by Bill McKendry. Each number points to the reality that your nonprofit’s success is deeply rooted in brand marketing. It’s not just about doing good work; it’s about making your organization and the work that you do recognizable. It starts with awareness.
  • On Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s blog, Impatient Optimists, we’re given the 8 Social Media Predictions for Nonprofits in 2014. While Jennifer James points out that the majority of nonprofits aren’t exactly pushing the creative envelope on social media, she nods to the sector’s ever-growing use of social for supporter engagement. How will your organization capitalize on the platforms to connect with your audience this year? Will it be your nonprofit that reallyfigures out Snapchat?

What other resources are kicking off your 2014?

Do tell.

I’ve got one on my mind. We’re releasing the next installment of npEXPERTS – “Show the Love: Thoughtful Engagement to Retain Donors” this week. Don’t miss the Free eBook written by 14 nonprofit experts. Check back here to download it as soon as the fundraising resource is availible.

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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