8 Nonprofit Blogs We Love (And You Will, Too)
Chances are, you've got a regular rotation of nonprofit blogs. Ones you fire up every morning before getting into your email. Ones you're constantly recommending to your peers. Ones you've been reading for a decade.
That's the beauty of the nonprofit blogosphere. It's bursting at the seams with content created daily by a diverse and world-class list of bloggers—fundraisers, executives, consultants, agencies and everything in between.
But there's a downside. How do you keep up with all that content?
It's impossible, which is why we handpicked eight of our favorite nonprofit blogs to share. Some of these you may already read. Others you may never have heard of. This is by no means a comprehensive list—these are just a few of our many favorites. Hopefully, we'll list some more in future installments of this post.
(Note: Many of our regular NonProfit PRO bloggers also run their own standalone blogs—which you should most definitely check out for additional updates—but we didn't include them on this list, since you're reading them regularly, anyway. Right, guys?)
To the blogs!
Michael Rosen Says
A CFRE and best-selling author with decades of fundraising experience under his belt, Michael Rosen is president of consulting firm ML Innovations by day and the one-man army behind Michael Rosen Says by night. Founded in 2011, the blog delivers a mix of tactical fundraising advice and timely reporting/opining on pressing news issues facing the nonprofit sector. It also offers a nice blend of fun and in-depth analysis, often in the same post. (Check out this breakdown of a charity's zombie-inspired video to see what we mean.) Rosen updates frequently, so be sure to check in often.
Signature post: "Ignore This at Your Own Risk: Perception Is Reality"
Brought to you by Tom Belford and Roger Craver, The Agitator is, true to its name and tagline, edgy—by design. And it is refreshing. The blog may well be the pulse of the nonprofit sector, with Belford and Craver offering sharp commentary on the nitty-gritty issues, all through a gleefully irreverent lens. Under most circumstances, it'd be tough to make this work without coming across as abrasive, but Belford and Craver are so invested in the subject matter—and approach it with such a critical eye—that it feels nothing but authentic. The blog has attracted a dedicated following of fundraising leaders, many of whom you'll find offering bonus insights in the comments. It'll cost you $25 a year to access most of The Agitator's content, but it's worth it.
Signature post: "It's OK to Abuse Animals. Just Don't Fight for Their Rights."
Direct to Donor
"I remember vividly Googling how to give CPR to a dog." This line, and more like it, is what awaits at Direct to Donor, the new blog from Nick Ellinger, vice president of strategic outreach at Mothers Against Drunk Driving and friend of NonProfit PRO. Combining his signature self-effacing style and plenty of pop-culture references (we spotted a Kobe Bryant/"Sesame Street" video, a "Field of Dreams" reference and an entire "Glengarry Glen Ross"-themed post, all in about four seconds of browsing), Ellinger transforms the often technical subject matter—deep dives on data and marketing issues, neurology, and more—into wildly entertaining and enlightening posts. It's smart stuff written by a smart guy, but it never makes the reader feel dumb. Also, Ellinger somehow updates the blog almost every day. (We've concluded he is Kryptonian, never sleeping and drawing his energy from the sun.)
Signature post: "Learning From Political Fundraising: The Eyes Have It"
Joan Garry Consulting
If executive issues are your thing, Joan Garry Consulting should be in your regular blog rotation. Garry brings to the nonprofit blogosphere insights from her 10 years as executive director of GLAAD (and her 14 years of corporate executive experience), addressing board, staff management and fundraising issues from a leadership standpoint. She also recently started a podcast and has already landed some seriously killer guests. Check out her latest episode, a conversation on messaging with public relations guru Howard Bragman.
Signature post: "A Day in the Life of an Executive Director"
A must-read for nonprofit marketers, John Haydon's eponymous blog is a treasure trove of information on the digital trends shaping the sector. Wondering if Snapchat is right for your organization? Interested in the psychology behind social media "likes" and shares? Looking to punch up your e-newsletter? This blog should be your first stop. The image-heavy design and liberal use of large, bold text makes the site incredibly mobile-friendly, making it a fantastic resource for quick browsing on your commute or lunch break. The blog also features guest posts from some of the sector's best and offers a ton of additional free resources for nonprofit marketers.
Signature post: "Content Isn't King After All"
Nonprofit With Balls
There is only one thing you need to know about Nonprofit With Balls, the brainchild of Vu Le, executive director of Seattle-based Rainer Valley Corps: Its logo is a juggling cartoon unicorn. If that's not enough to hook you, how about this: No other blog on this list offers the same combination of humor, behind-the-scenes expertise and fuzzy baby animal pictures you'll get at Nonprofit With Balls. Updated once a week, the blog addresses topics ranging from big issues to movie titles reimagined for nonprofits. There's also a dedicated post category for "Zombies." The blog is every bit as off the wall as it sounds, and boy is it great.
Signature post: "Common Nonprofit Terms and Concepts and What They Actually Mean"
Future Fundraising Now
Run by Jeff Brooks—creative director for TrueSense Marketing, veteran fundraiser, and prolific author and blogger—Future Fundraising Now offers content on a number of fundraising topics in bite-size form. The site features short posts that cut straight to the heart of the issues, lending itself to quick check-ins for mid-day inspiration. It's the lunch buffet of nonprofit blogs—a boatload of options you can consume quickly and efficiently. (Who doesn't love a good lunch buffet?) And when we said Brooks was prolific, we weren't kidding. Blog posts date back to 2009, with an update almost every day. It's easy to get lost in the archives. Brooks also runs a semi-regular podcast. Go fill up.
Signature post: "Why Bad News Works in Fundraising"
Nestled within About.com's "Money" section, this blog is aimed at both fundraising professionals and the general giving public. Joanne Fritz—a 30-year veteran of the sector who has held senior management positions at two national nonprofits and two universities—runs the show here, offering easily accessible how-to articles and lists for new fundraisers alongside helpful resources for seasoned nonprofit professionals. Fritz also has a good eye for tech and digital issues, covering everything from social media to smartphone apps.
Signature post: "11 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Thank Donors With Social Media"
What's your favorite nonprofit blog? Let us know in the comments.