3,210.8 miles.

That’s the distance I’ve traveled over the past few weeks.

From Charleston to Austin, Austin to Charleston, Charleston to D.C., and back again.

It was 2 weeks of living out of a bag, sleeping in hotels (and awkwardly on airplanes), waking up early, standing in line to get the best seat, drinking an absurd amount of coffee, networking, taking notes, taking more notes – and loving every single minute.

Why?

Because it’s conference season and I was given the incredible opportunity to attend SXSW Interactive and #14NTC this year. (Spoiler Alert: Conference Roundup is Coming…)

Unfortunately, however, all the traveling, note-taking and networking resulted in me slacking-off in a few areas – compiling the weekly roundup being on the shortlist of things neglected. It’s given me anxiety, but I’m back. And there’s some pretty killer content below to prove it.

Here are this week’s nonprofit highlights:

  • In 2013, an estimated $5.1 Billion was raised through peer-to-peer fundraising. That’s a 60% growth since 2012. This Cracking the Crowdfunding Code  infographic presented by Craig Newmark paints the picture pretty clearly – crowdfunding is exploding.
  • Nancy Schwartz calls  Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation a 5 Star Storytelling Success Story. A year ago, they were proud to have 408 Facebook followers. Today,  they have 1,145 followers, a 30% engagement rate, and were awarded the Gold Award for social media from Fundraising Success magazine – all because they took her advice and started telling stories differently.
  • This may be a tough pill to swallow, but what your board members think about your newsletter is not nearly as important as what those on the receiving end, your donors, think about it. Kivi Leroux Miller’s post, Your Nonprofit’s Newsletter: You Are Not the Target Audience, confronts the situation and offers guidance for crafting messages that speak to the people you’re really trying to reach.
  • AFP International starts today. If you’re going, Lyndsey Hrabik’s breakdown of The Top 5 Sessions You Can’t Miss at AFP International 2014 is a necessary read. If Lyndsey’s list is any indication, the lineup of speakers at this year’s conference is top notch.
  • Your hard work – your hours spent crafting messages and cultivating supporters, it’s all build up to one thing: the ask. It’s the moment that haunts fundraisers and leaves them feeling dry mouthed and faint. But Gail Perry’s Five Ideas That Will Make Asking Much Easier and More Successful might help ease the anxiety and prepare you for the next big moment.
  • Retention rates are 27%.Donors staying loyal to your organization is the exception, not the rule. Mazarine Treyz’s guest post on npENGAE, Making Your First Donor Retention Calendar, Step by Step, outlines a strategy to keep your donors around and your head above water.

What else caught your eye this week?

Tell me.

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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