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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

7 of the best nonprofit blogs to follow

Are you passionate about nonprofits, constantly looking for updates on the trends or questions in the charitable sector, but aren’t really sure which resources are best for you?

On today’s Charity Navigator blog post, we’re highlighting some of the most popular blogs and newsletters that people in, and out of, the industry follow to stay up to date on topics related to giving.

M+R was founded in 1991 to help movements, breakthroughs, and victories accomplish goals through online marketing, PR, and social media. We’ve had the opportunity to be in the same room as M+R throughout the years, and these are definitely some passionate people. Their blog, M+R Labs, is a one-stop shop to read about trends, analyses, and great deep dives in the nonprofit sector. They also publish a Benchmarks Study every year, which outlines how nonprofits work to successfully raise both awareness about the work they’re doing and funds to support their awesome programs. (Hint: Charity Navigator has participated the past few years!) The key findings are always phenomenally interesting, and we’re excited each time a new study reaches our front door -- it’s sure to teach you a lot.

Nonprofits tell stories about the work they do, right…? Well, some often forget that behind every data point, there’s a story itching to be told. Written by Vanessa Chase Lockshin, The Storytelling Nonprofit helps charities communicate the crucial work they’re doing in their communities. Vanessa has an awesome podcast called ‘Fundraising is Female’ which you can find on her blog, in addition to gems like ‘Your Organization is Missing the Point of Non-Profit Newsletters’ or ‘Non-Profit Storytelling Workouts for 2018.’ Whether you’re a donor or a nonprofit yourself, The Storytelling Nonprofit’s blog is sure to give you insight into your own work, how to engage in your role (marketing wizard or not), and lead you to think more about the communications you both send and receive.

Classy has been an incredible partner for Charity Navigator, both through our impact work together and as we transition our own nonprofit fundraising practices (check out our donation page, hosted by Classy!). But even beyond the work we’re doing together, Classy has an awesome content stream to follow on their blog. Titles like ‘The State of Modern Philanthropy’ are sure to catch your eye and give you even more data than you thought was possible. Classy also hosts a regular podcast and an annual nonprofit conference -- which are worth your time, as well!

Let’s just say, Joan Garry is legit goals. As the former Executive Director of GLAAD, former executive at both MTV and Showtime, Joan writes avidly about the messiness of nonprofits and the charitable sector -- her own tagline of her site says, “Because nonprofits are messy.” Ain’t that the truth. But we wouldn’t be here unless we loved the work and deep down loved the need to organize the mess. Regardless of whether you directly work for a nonprofit, some of her most read posts include ‘How to Give a First Rate Event Speech’ and ‘My Biggest Professional Mistake.’ A lot of times people are unwilling or afraid to discuss their learnings from failures or bumps along the way -- not Joan. Because of her honesty in every post, you’re sure to walk away with a fresh new take on both your work and your life.

Vu Le’s blog, Nonprofit AF, makes you both laugh out loud and think for hours about your work in the field, in addition to how you approach your own community. In a great recent post of his, he writes about the difference between equality and equity and how simplifying the two terms to the oft-used graphic of the kids standing on the boxes attempts to create a simple situation out of a complex one. He goes on to mention how institutional funding for marginalized communities is an important spotlight, because “to this day less than 10% of philanthropic dollars go to organizations led by communities of color.” Chock full of important perspective, Nonprofit AF provides insight to the flaws of the philanthropic sector and how we can all work better as individuals and groups to think intersectionally about the world.

Click & Pledge does it all -- from video classes on how to create stories to Facebook Livestreams on relevant topics to even a post called ‘13 GIFs That Explain What It’s Like to Be A Volunteer,’ (we can debate on whether it’s pronounced jif or gif later…), you’re sure to learn something new in each post. Click & Pledge helps create digital integrations for fundraising campaigns, documentary films for small nonprofits, and serves over 20,000 customers worldwide. Wow. Beyond their work being super inspiring, walk away with tangible skills and insights with each blog post you watch or read.

As a tech provider for nonprofits, TechSoup is smart, savvy, and your stop for learning about anything tech-related for the 21st century. Changes to the Microsoft program? There’s a blog post for that. Creating a tech plan? Read all about it. Looking for new hardware? TechSoup’s got you covered. There is an abundance of tech-related posts here, and especially as more and more people connect online, you might end up adopting some of their practices for your personal life or your home. It’s amazing how much you can learn just in one sitting while reading their blog.

And not to be biased… but since you’re on the Charity Navigator blog right now, subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the trends and topics we’re covering right here!

Written by: Sara Nason, Marketing Manager

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