It’s time I made a confession: I’m a huge literature nerd. Most flat surfaces in my apartment are covered in stacks of books, and I’ve cried in public after reading that a beloved fictional character died. I also might have canceled plans with friends once because I couldn’t put down an especially engrossing novel. Yep, the nerdom runs deep.

I get so nerdy about classic literature for a couple of reasons—because I love the way it incorporates archetypal themes like the hero’s quest, the dangers of ambition, or the conflict between society and individualism. These implicit themes serve as a lens to help readers hone in on the most important parts of the story. They help us make sense of the details and focus on what really matters. Those broad themes help us read more insightfully and boldly.

That same big-picture trait that gets my heart a-flutter for classic lit is why I’m excited about the NEW 2016 Big Idea eBook.

Six experts who previously spoke at bbcon, Blackbaud’s annual conference for the social good community, have contributed chapters on what they see as the Big Ideas that nonprofit professionals should be focusing on. From finding a common language for funders and nonprofits to technology’s role in the shift to donor-centric fundraising to the powerful role data can play in building diverse donor pools, these ideas are full of groundbreaking potential.

And, the best thing about the Big Ideas is they aren’t just conjecture. Just like my beloved literary themes, these concepts can serve a genuinely useful purpose by helping us connect the dots in our day-to-day work. By reading and absorbing these Big Ideas, you can use them as a lens in your work to help you see more potential and work smarter. Whether they help you retarget your donor outreach, streamline your technology systems, or tell more powerful stories, they will help you focus your work to have the most impact. Booklover or not, I think that’s something we can all get nerdy about.

One thing’s for sure—our social good sector can always use more people who are ready to think big, work smarter, and create more meaningful impact. So, check out the brand-new eBook, and start using these themes to think bigger today. Who knows—maybe the next Big Idea will be coming straight from you!

Big Ideas CTA


Erin Duff, Marketing Associate at Blackbaud, is passionate about giving nonprofits tools to change the world. Along with managing content for Blackbaud’s Annual Conference for Nonprofits, she builds on the company’s thought leadership initiatives with digital publications, speaking engagements, and webinars. She joined Blackbaud after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at an antipoverty nonprofit in Austin, TX. When she’s not wading through inspiring research and writing, she teaches an ESL citizenship class and brushes up on Titanic trivia.

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