Latest Articles & Reports

  • By Jay Leslie,
    December 2011
    An email list is one of the sharpest arrows in any nonprofit’s quiver. An effective list can maximize your reach, help foster closer relationships with constituents and improve fundraising. But what makes a list effective? For one thing, critical mass—the more people you can reach who are genuinely interested in your organization, the better.
  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    December 2011
    Since most organizations don’t track just one type of constituent, the idea of a single database for all of them—donors, volunteers, clients, email subscribers, advocates and everyone else—is something of a holy grail. The ability to easily see how all your constituents interact with your organization, and with each other, makes for an attractive, ideal vision of what a database should be. 
  • By Jay Leslie,
    November 2011
    Updated for 2014
  • By Kyle Henri Andrei,
    November 2011
    Advocacy organizations often encourage their grassroots supporters to influence politicians and corporations using different methods, from promoting a cause or opposing legislation to challenging ad campaigns or policies. A large display of public opinion can have a powerful message, and advocacy groups often help to focus and channel this support to make the most impact.
  • By Laura Quinn,
    November 2011
    It’s been six years (almost to the day) since I incorporated Idealware as a nonprofit. At the time, the idea of providing impartial info to help nonprofits choose software was more of an aspiration than a reality. But 15 reports and well more than 100 articles later—and about 60,000 nonprofits helped—it’s humbling to look back on the real impact Idealware has had on the ability of nonprofits to make smart software decisions.
  • By Jay Leslie,
    October 2011
    (This article originally appeared in the Nonprofit Times.) As user demand increases, vendors are adapting their donor management system offerings to support mobile devices and cloud computing, one of several recent market trends that are adding value and capability to the software. They’re also enhancing functionality that’s critical for nonprofits, like integrated email and ease of use, in many cases adding substantial functionality without raising prices. 
  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    October 2011
    If you post a message on Twitter and no one’s there to hear it, does it make a noise? The fact is, there isn’t much reason to tweet if you don’t have an audience—a fundamental truth of all social media channels. As you think about ways to engage constituents and advance your nonprofit and its mission through Facebook, Twitter and blogs, you should also be thinking about how to promote each channel and build your audience. 
  • September 2011
    (First published in the September issue of the NTEN: Change journal.) Social media has provided nonprofits with a whole new toolbox for marketing themselves and engaging constituents.
  • By Andrea Berry,
    September 2011
    (First published in the September issue of the NTEN: Change journal.) Social media has provided nonprofits with a whole new toolbox for marketing themselves and engaging constituents. Though each tool is a little different, they all create opportunities for your organization to start conversations and to show the personal side of, and the personalities behind, your work.
  • By Andrea Berry and Chris Bernard,
    September 2011
    Social media can be useful for any nonprofit, but posting blindly without monitoring results can be a waste of time. Knowing whether your efforts are paying off can help you adapt your posting strategy to better meet your goals and improve the return on your investment.   But what are the best ways to measure your efforts? What data should you be collecting? And how do you define success in an area that’s still relatively uncharted territory?