Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Nonprofit Reading List

I am reading A LOT for my dissertation.

I also enjoying reading about all sorts of nonprofit topics online and off. In fact, I frequently get overwhelmed because I want to read it all -- literally. A few months ago (right around the time I defended my dissertation proposal) I came to the realization that I cannot read all the e-newsletters that come into my inbox, and I certainly can't read all the fabulous new nonprofit blogs that are popping up on the web. I scaled down on the number of eNewsletters I subscribe to and the number of blogs that I read to the list below.

I subscribe to:

I add blogs to my google reader on a regular basis.
I find out about new blog posts and new nonprofit bloggers through twitter.

Now with regards to books.
My bookshelf is overflowing with nonprofit books and I don't have time to list them all here. I will provide several of the books that I use in the classes and seminars that I teach:

I often get frustrated that I have to go to nonprofit publishing websites like Jossey-Bass and Sage to learn about the new books that are coming out. My wish is for two things.
  1. There would be a wiki that lists ALL nonprofit and philanthropic books/ ratings/subject areas
  2. Faculty members would be open to sharing (with the general public) what nonprofit textbooks that they use in their classes.

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't start your own blog: start a group blog instead.

When I started blogging in 2006 (wow, that seems so long ago) few people were blogging in the nonprofit sector. I REALLY lucked out because my blog gained popularity fast. Now there are hundreds of nonprofit blogs (maybe thousands) all vying for people’s attention on the web. It is overwhelming to see the vast amount of nonprofit blog content on the web!

Rosetta Thurman one of the BEST bloggers in the nonprofit sector just completed a 30 days of blogging challenge for young nonprofit professionals and has a how to blogging toolkit on her website. She and her millennial colleagues also launched the Nonprofit Millennial Blogger Alliance.

A few years ago I said to the people that I met, yes, start a blog it’s great for increasing your reputation in the sector!! Now, I advise people against starting their own individual blog. Reason being, unless you are willing to devote A LOT of time to promoting your blog by linking to other people’s blogs and commenting on other blogs, then I would advise against starting your own nonprofit blog.

I think starting a blog with a group of people or writing a guest blog post for an established blog (like this one) is a better solution. It now takes a lot longer to build up your reputation as a blogger (since many people are doing it). A group blog also provides more credibility and also allows people to read different perspectives on the same topic—that is one of the reasons the Tactical Philanthropy blog is so popular. It’s not all Sean Stannard-Stockton’s writing, it’s a blog community. Additionally, guest blogging gives you opportunity to reach a lot of readers quickly. Otherwise, if you start a blog and write a really great post, few people will actually see the post (again, unless you are REALLY good at promoting that post).

Do any of my established nonprofit blogger friends want to weigh in on this topic? Do you agree or disagree? Would you still advise people to start their own nonprofit blog?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Are you a part of the next generation of nonprofit leaders? How will you move from “next” to “now”?

From the Independent Sector:

Explore these questions with other under-age 40 nonprofit leaders during the NGen program at the Independent Sector Annual Conference this October 19-20. NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now provides you and your peers an exceptional opportunity to enhance your professional networks, develop new approaches to leadership, and contribute to generating a more promising future for the nonprofit community.

Each year, the IS conference is the premier gathering for leaders of America’s charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs. At the 2010 conference, which takes place October 20-22 in Atlanta, NGen will again bring together talented nonprofit professionals under the age of 40 for a series of targeted pre-conference workshops and networking opportunities designed specifically for people like you.

• Visit the IS website to view the NGen schedule and learn more about the benefits of participation for you and your organization.

Register for one and a half days of pre-conference NGen programming for only $100, or add NGen to your full IS conference registration for only $50 more. Act now and save -- the “summer special” discount for the full conference expires today (September 10th)!

• Follow us on twitter @ISNGen or become a “fan” of NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now on Facebook to join the conversation now.

We need rising stars like you to be part of the nearly 800 leaders coming together in Atlanta this fall, so register today!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nonprofit Day Wrap Up

Nonprofit Day 2010 was the BEST nonprofit conference that I have EVER attended – and I have attended many nonprofit conferences!! I am not just saying this--there was truly something magical about this conference. The awesome theme, networking opportunities, and talented speakers made this event top my charts.

The theme of Nonprofit Day was storytelling. This theme allowed for attendees to briefly pause the busyness of running their nonprofit organizations and learn how to tell REAL stories about the people that we serve, the lives that we touch, and the communities that we impact.

Stories can be shared in many different formats through video, audio, verbal, and text. In fact, a nonprofit organization Storytellers for Good created videos for select nonprofits during the conference and StoryCorps audio recorded nonprofit stories during the event! We definitely need more positive videos (stories) about nonprofits and the amazing work that we do.

Emotions emerged and flowed through the space as a result of the conference theme. There were many instances in which the tears were flowing down the faces of many attendees because of the compelling stories that were shared by the speakers.

There were also many breaks throughout the conference and extended periods of networking. This allowed for conference attendees to spend as much or as little time as they wanted to networking, visiting exhibitors, or catching up on their work. I thoroughly enjoyed the networking time and reconnected with people I hadn't seen for years and people I had only "met" digitally.

The last piece that made this conference so phenomenal was the speakers. In the sessions that I attended there was much audience participation! We networked and engaged in partner activities.

After the conference ended there were two happy hour events. One, an official part of the conference, was hosted by Eventbrite and the other was hosted by YNPN SFBA.

Many people tweeted about the conference. These tweets can be found on the Nonprofit Day Live page or by using twitter search #npd10. @jdeancoffey @jakenyon @wiserearth @fitz350 @tccgroup @gtak @hollyminch @lisa_sherrill @stories4good @missionm @nonprofitsrule & more tweeted the event.

A few of us also wrote blog posts about the different sessions that we attended.