Nonprofit Blog Carnival

Martin Luther King inspired me to ask fellow bloggers to join me in the January Nonprofit Blog Carnival, to “pick any dream you have—for your cause, organization or the nonprofit sector—and share it and how you plan to make it real.”

I am inspired and energized by the richness of your contributions. I urge you to digest them to energize yourself and to focus you and your colleagues on the pathways to increased impact and results in 2012:


Nancy Schwartz in Fresh Takes | 4 comments
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Martin Luther King’s passion, focus and ability to motivate like no other spurred me to ask nonprofit bloggers to share their dreams for their cause, organization or the sector for the January Nonprofit Blog Carnival. I had no idea what my request would motivate and I’ll be sharing these passionate, additive, innovative AND doable dreams for us tomorrow. But first, my dream…

Nancy Schwartz in Strategy | 1 comment
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I have the honor of hosting the first Nonprofit Blog Carnival of 2012. And what better topic, as we enter a new year, than your dreams for your organization, cause or the nonprofit community?

The words of Martin Luther King, born on January 15, 1929, tend to set January’s tone for me. I heard my Dad talk about King’s “I Have a Dream” speech — his transformative call for racial equality — from the time I was small. Dad had been deeply moved when he heard King’s words at the March on Washington in the summer of 1963, and that experience contributed to his lifelong involvement in social action.


Nancy Schwartz in Strategy | 4 comments
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With Thanksgiving  upon us, all attention turns to gratitude (or at least the recognition that we should be thankful, for something).

I’m grateful to New York Times columnist John Tierney for cutting through the gratitude flotsam:

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior to others, including romantic partners. One study stated that writing just one sentence of five things you are grateful for once a week made people happier and more optimistic than the control group. They also reported fewer physical problems, slept longer at night and were also less aggressive.


Nancy Schwartz in Strategy | 0 comments
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I’m hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival this month, and would like to invite all bloggers to share your “one book” recommendation.

Please blog on:
What single book (not blog, not conversation, not Facebook page) has changed your life as a nonprofit staffer, consultant or vendor? Plus the why and how. Write and submit your “one book” post today, while it’s on your mind. Deadline is May 27.

On May 31, my blog post will feature summaries and links to posts on these “one books,” and a few of the dozens of responses from other nonprofit professionals.

Your “one book” can be focused on a topic far outside nonprofit topics, if it’s moved you forward in your nonprofit work. For an example of a fantastic post on this theme, take a look at this post by Pamela Grow.

A few weeks ago, long-time colleague Steve Damiano, Director of Professional Development at New York City’s Support Center for Nonprofit Management, asked me to recommend a few marketing books for his nephew, soon to graduate with a marketing degree. Four titles quickly came to mind, a flow that made me realize that this is an ideal topic for the Nonprofit Blog Carnival.

And I’ll publish the compilation as a reading list for our community, based on your posts.

The deadline is May 27.

You can enter your submission in one of two ways:

1. You can fill out the carnival form here
2. You can email a link to the post to nonprofitcarnival (at)

P.S. Here’s my “one book” — looks dry as dust but…

Nancy Schwartz in Professional Development | 4 comments
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Your Path to Year-End Communications Fundraising Success

As the host of this month's Nonprofit Blog Carnival, I was pleased to receive a few well-thought-out perspectives on this key issue: At a time when resources are scarcer then ever, and competition for attention is tough, how can your org use Q4 to close 2009 with bang and move strongly into 2010?

I recommend that nonprofit communicators focus on these big three steps to ensure that your communications work is contributing as much as possible to advancing your organizational goals:

  1. Evaluate how you're doing in reaching your communications goals (you have to have tracking system in place to do so, if it's not getting that up and running is your Q4 priority.
  2. Fine-tune your communications plan to reflect what's working and what's not, and the changes (they are there, and significant, even if you're blind to them. Look harder.) in the environment in which you work.
  3. Ramp up to launch the revised approach in January. Even if this work takes you off of cranking out planned Q4 communications products, it's a must, and well worth it.

Fundraising superstar Sandy Rees shares this guidance:

  • Communicate with your donors, ideally via stories. Donors want to hear about the good work you’re doing.  It affirms their decision to give, and inspires them to give again.
  • Thank donors for their past support. Simple but highly effective. Donors appreciate and remember organizations that show their appreciation. It's not as many as you think.
  • Ask. Make it clear that your organization is asking for a donation. Don’t assume that people will give if they can. 

Barbara Talisman, specialist in nonprofit management and fundraising, urges organizations to add social media to the mix in Q4. She blogs about the power of friend-raising, reaching out to your friends and followers (including your literal Facebook friends) and urging them to spread the word.Initial impact may be modest but these friends become part of your organization's larger communities and if you're common friend continues to act as a communicator/fundraiser on your org's behalf, you build a powerful network.

What are you strategies for Q4 communications and fundraising success? Please share in the comments box below.

P.S. If you're daunted by marketing planning for Q4 or beyond, break it down into more approachable 90-day chunks. Learn how here: How to Do Grand Plan Marketing 90 Days at a Time (Case Study)

Nancy Schwartz in Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, Nonprofit Communications, Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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What Tops Your Marketing To-Do List for Q4 -- Nonprofit Blog Carnival Wants to Know

Like most of you, I’m sure, I’m sharply focused on my top three my priorities for Q4 2009. And I’m wondering what tops your list. Where should experimentation into social marketing fall? How about honing the relevance of your messaging? Are you cutting back on reach or expanding to engage new audiences?

I’m hosting the always-provocative Nonprofit Blog Carnival here next week, and want to hear from you — whether you are a nonprofit staff member or consultant to nonprofit organizations — on this key issue.

If you write a blog post this week that fits, please send the permalink to me by Friday COB, September November 25th at or via the Blog Carnival form.

P.S. If you’re daunted by marketing planning, break it down into more approachable 90-day chunks. Learn how here: How to Do Grand Plan Marketing 90 Days at a Time (Case Study)

Missing out on the Getting Attention e-update? Subscribe now for in-depth articles and case studies on nonprofit marketing.

Nancy Schwartz in Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, Planning and Evaluation | 1 comment
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