Last week I published the 112 Nonprofit Blog Posts, Articles, and Stories from 2013 You Can’t Miss that compiled some of the wisest words and insights from across the industry this year. 

The surge of useful and actionable advice that has surfaced in 2013 shows the value of rich content marketing—the creation of resources that provide direction and assistance, and have you, the audience, at the heart of every word and image.

Now, there’s still a lot of work to be done and lessons to be learned, but tomorrow marks the beginning of a new year with unlimited potential for growth. As we begin our journey into the uncharted lands of 2014, it’s only wise that we carry with us the findings and resources acquired over the past 12 months.

npEngage is proud to be a hub of a portion of the industry’s ever growing index of advice, insights and best practices, and it’s our goal (like many of yours) to really step up our game this year.

In the spirit of making new year’s resolutions, here’s ours: produce and provide better content than we’ve ever created before. In order to make this happen, we’ve taken a look back at your npEngage favorites from 2013 – what worked, what didn’t, and what we can do better – and, well, we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Have look..

npEngage’s Top 20 Posts from 2013

  1. Frank Barry get’s right to the point – online fundraising isn’t a fad. As a matter of fact, online fundraising accounts for seven-percent of total fundraising and has seen double-digit growth over the past four years. He outlines how your organization can be a part of this growth in his post:  15 Techniques Used by Top Nonprofits to Boost Donor Acquisition and Online Fundraising Results 
  2. Back by popular demand was Steve MacLaughlin’s analysis of the 200 email subject lines sent to him from nonprofits between December 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Here are some interesting findings, best practices, and the complete list of email subject lines, 200 Email Subject Lines from End of Year Fundraising
  3. Debbi Stanley asked, “Is it enough to simply say thank you to our biggest donors- the Board of Directors?” She pondered this ageless dilemma and offered up some helpful tips for a heartfelt thanks in her post, How to thank your Board? Sing their praises.
  4. What would happen if we combined some commonly *overheard* phrases from the nonprofit sector with the most popular Internet memes? Steve MacLaughin showed us when he created the Top 12 Internet Memes for Nonprofits
  5. If you’re looking for fundraising ideas, the npExperts: Fundraising Ideas and Marketing Tips from the Pros has you covered. Frank Barry gives us a break down of the insight you’ll gain from the ebook with his blog post, 19 Proven Fundraising Ideas from Nonprofit Experts.
  6. It’s very easy to become paralyzed by the variety of opinions about how to optimize donation forms for the purpose of improving online giving and donor acquisition. With this in mind, Amy Bills wrote about the simple things you can do today to have an impact in acquiring now donors. Take a look: Donor Acquisition: 3 Donation Form Tweaks that will Quickly Improve Online Fundraising
  7. Understanding the multichannel preferences and charitable habits of Generation X, Generation Y, Baby Boomers, and Matures could have a significant impact on your nonprofit’s fundraising performance, but it could also leave you frozen, retreating back to the familiar. What’s a fundraiser to do? In mine and Frank Barry’s posts,  The Next Generation of American Giving: Insights, Takeaways, & Suggestions From The Nonprofit Industry  and The Top 5 Fundraising Ideas from The Next Generation of American Giving, we give the break down on how your organization’s fundraising can span the generations.
  8. Aga Suida pulled from her experience of working with nonprofits to write on the importance of social media. The truth is you can turn your social media routine into a revenue generating opportunity for your organization by following a few simple steps. She highlighted those steps here: How To Use Social Media To Raise Brand Awareness and Drive Donations
  9. If major commercial emailers are including symbols in their subject lines, then is the practice of including symbols in subject lines really all that taboo? Robyn Mendez’s Symbols in Subject Lines… Them or Them? shared tips on how to effectively use symbols in the subject lines of your next email.
  10. Steve MacLaughlin confessed that he used to believe that online average gift size was a vanity metric. That is until he learned to love really dig into the data. Read his 5 Facts About Online Average Gift Sizeand you might learn to love the metric too.
  11. Simply getting emails out the door can be a challenge for nonprofits.Sending the right message to the right constituent at the right time can be almost impossible to organize manually.f But, what if it didn’t have to be that way? Mike Snusz’s One Email Tactic Nonprofits Need to Steal From Brand Marketers shed light on the importance of a triggered email campaign.
  12. When done right, infographics are exciting, simple to digest, fact-filled, shareable and all together useful for anyone who crosses their path. But not every infographic is created equal. Frank Barry offered up 7 Tips for Creating Compelling Nonprofit Infographics that get Shared to ensure your next infographic is a huge success.
  13. When it comes to making resolutions to improve, diversify or broaden your fundraising efforts, sometimes it’s best to start small. In Kelley Jarrett’s post, Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Online Fundraising, she challenged nonprofits to try easy and completely doable steps to improve results of online giving.
  14. While nonprofits are challenged with retaining donors, one overlooked cultivation tool may be the Enewsletter. Many nonprofits send one on a regular basis. And although the enewsletter can present challenges of it’s own – time commitment, content creation – the right type of enewsletter content can help strengthen donor relationships. Mike Snusz provided 6 Enewsletter Ideas to Help Retain Donorsthat will come in handy when it comes time for the next ask.
  15. I’ve always heard “If you want something, ask for it”, but I’m not convinced this is the best advice. You can’t just ask; you have to prove that what you’re asking for is worthy of consideration. I say if you want something, start building. Show the value. Build a vision. Prove the impact. And then ask for it. Read what else I had to say in my first npEngage post: Donor Acquisition: The #1 Way to Acquire More Donors Online.
  16. Most nonprofit websites see a donation form abandonment rate of around 50% – 70%. Yes, that’s more than half of the people who have found your website, gotten interested enough to click the “donate now” button and looked at the donation form and decided not to make that donation. In Alissa Ruehl’s post, You have been abandoned, she gave 7 tips to combat the form neglect.
  17. After the 2013 eNonprofit Benchmark study’s findings suggested a steep decline in performance of fundraising emails, Mike Snusz compiled the eight most popular npEngage posts to help improve email management and fundraising results. The result: Fundraising Ideas to Reverse the Trend of Declining Email Response Rates.
  18. Frank Barry drew on the results of the Charitable Giving Report of 2012 to note the 4 Fascinating Facts about Online Fundraising (and some ideas to help boost your fundraising results).
  19. Kathryn Hall used email results from the then soon-to-be-released Peer-to-Peer Benchmark Report  to create her post, Raising Money Using Social Media: Five Ways to Support Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers. With the expansion on online activity, the ways in which nonprofits can empower P2P fundraisers should no longer be constricted to purely email.
  20. Asking is part art and part science.  You must manage your composure and delivery while simultaneously listening for verbal and nonverbal cues from your donor. In Rachel Muir’s post, How to Nail the Soft Skills of Fundraising: The Face-to-Face Ask, she urged that practice truly makes perfect and offered up 10 tips to get you started.


What would you like to see more of in 2014?

We would love to hear from you! Share in the comments below.

 

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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