Growing up, 4th of July wasn’t exactly my most anticipated holiday. The fireworks were too loud. I wasn’t all that crazy about BBQ. I was always obnoxiously lathered in sunscreen. And (I’m embarrassed to say this) there were no presents, or even make-believe.

What kind of holiday was this? I didn’t get what all the fuss was about.

But I’ve gotten past all of that—except the BBQ thing— and have come to appreciate July 4th for things beyond the hoopla and commercialized hype. I realize the incredible privilege it’s been to grow up in place where opportunity is mine to take—where education has been my right.

I’m not proud of our government all the time, or of the things we ignore while we’re caught up in the politics. But I am proud of the men and women who fought and who continue to fight for my freedoms. I’m proud of the nonprofit organizations that are working nonstop to make this world a better place. And I’m proud to be American.

Here are this week’s nonprofit highlights:

  • Yes, The Donor Pyramid Is Really Dead, says Claire Axelrad in her open letter response to Andrea Kihlstedt’s recent argument that the pyramid is alive and well. The digital landscape is rapidly changing, and with it the path to donor loyalty. Maybe it’s time to leave past strategies in the past and begin integrating new ways to  engage your donors.
  • It only takes 5 seconds for a website visitor to choose whether or not to engage with your nonprofit. What is your organization doing to capitalize on these few critical moments? npENGAGE’s Mike Snusz outlines what not to do in his post 8 Ways to Make Your Nonprofit Website Unwelcoming to Potential Donors.
  • Exposing ourselves to new ideas is essential to growth. As a nonprofit leader, you’ve made it your mission to grow. With this in mind, Marc Pitman has highlighted An unlikely summer reading list for nonprofit leaders. Maybe summer isn’t the leisure experience we once knew, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few minutes here and there to dedicate to a few new pages.
  • Charitable gifts were up 3% last year, and 87% came from individuals. The recession is over, but the post-recession donor still has very specific wants and needs. Gail Perry outlines the Top 10 Major Donor Fundraising Trends for 2014-2015 to help your organization achieve major fundraising success.
  • If you have Millennial employees, READ THIS! This year’s Millennial Impact Study, which seeks to better understand the giving and volunteerism habits of Generation Y, focused specifically on researching why cause+work= happy employees. The results of the study offer a really interesting layer to the argument about “Why Corporate Social Responsibility” should matter to you. Check it out, and think about how your organization can partner with corporations looking to give back.
  • Do your donors feel like ATM machines? If they do, it’s unlikely they’ll stick around for much longer. It’s time to make them feel valued. Show them what they mean to your movement. On care2’s nonprofit marketing blog, Allyson Kapin suggests 5 Ways To Make Your Donors Feel Like Heroes. They deserve it.

Happy 4th of July, y’all.

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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