The Top 10 from 2013—Your Favorite Nonprofit Articles of the Year

Another wild and exciting year is on the downhill slopes. Don’t worry, we promise just as much excitement in 2014.

And this holiday season, our gift to you is the gift of knowledge… again. You’ve already seen these articles (we promise it’s not regifting), but we’ve put your favorites all in one easy place to access.

We present, the best of Nonprofit Hub in 2013. Happy Holidays from all of us at the Hub.

1. 7 Tips on Asking for Donations—It’s Intimidating, We Get It

The nerves start to take over. “You want me to, uh, ask for donations?” Sweaty palms, a lump in your throat and a wavering voice surface.

It’s intimidating. But you can come armed with the right answers and consolations for your donors.

And remember, “We don’t convince donors. We help them realize that they already care.”

Research is the number one way to put your nerves to rest. You should know all about the types of people who donate to your organization and about the individual you’re trying to reach. Do they have a history of giving? What do they care about? What are their fears about giving?

Get a refresher on the other ways to make the asking process easier by re-checking out Marc’s tips.

2. Nonprofit Mission Statements—Good and Bad Examples

It’s a simple question. Can you name your NPO’s mission statement off the top of your head? No cheating, no looking.

Sadly, most can’t.

Probably because it uses jargon. It’s logical and cold instead of emotionally stirring. It rambles on. It’s forgettable, and dull even.

Ok, so that’s a lot of gloom. But your mission statement can be fixed to something easily memorable. Revisit these good and bad examples of nonprofit mission statements to learn more.

3. Why Online Fundraising is the Future [INFOGRAPHIC]

Online Fundraising is the Future

One thing’s for sure—online fundraising is the future (and present). Last year was the year of online giving. In 2012, we saw a 21 percent increase in one-time gifts and a 43 percent increase in monthly giving.


It’s convenient when you don’t have to write a check every single month. Plus, it can be easy to forget each month if you’re doing it manually. But when it automatically comes out of your account, there’s no room to forget and no hassle after the one-time setup.

Check out why online fundraising is the future.

4. The Top 4 Nonprofit Social Media Campaigns of 2013 (And What You Can Learn)

These social media campaigns made a big splash in 2013, and you loved using these organizations’ ideas for inspiration.

How could you forget Water is Life’s “First World Problems” campaign? They hijacked a hashtag and turned it into an awareness project. Some say to accept the things you can’t change, but this campaign suggested the opposite. They took the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems (where people complain about frivolous problems) and had people who don’t even have clean water read them aloud. The outcome? The #FirstWorldProblems seem even more ridiculous.

Check out the rest of the top social media campaigns of 2013 to get inspired for the coming year.

5. 7 Steps to Compelling Staff Bios on Your Nonprofit Website

Ah, what’s in a name… and all that it entails?

We’d say a lot, considering people give to people, not causes.

You probably haven’t given much thought to staff bios. It’s the least of your worries. But considering the aforementioned fact that we give to people, the bios are much more important than you think.

The more relatable your staff bios, the more compelled your potential donors are to give money. They can relate. Personal details are what we focus the most on, so make sure those personal points stand out.

For more on creating compelling staff bios, check out the article from October.

6. These 12 Ways to Thank Donors Will Keep Them from Saying Goodbye

Contrary to popular belief, donors aren’t mind readers. And nobody wants to give a gift if it’s not going to be appreciated. Spread the love!

Treat each donation as the beginning of a beautiful friendship. There’s the potential for lifelong support hinging on your words and actions.

Check out the rest of our 12 ways to thank donors to keep them from saying goodbye. You’ll be glad you did after the big year-end ask.

7. The Art of Storytelling Through Nonprofit Website Design

Great storytellers could make the most mundane tasks sound like an adventure. It’s part of their talent.

And your organization’s website is the perfect place to tell your story. Because when we limit storytelling to words on a piece of paper, we limit our organizations.

For example, charity water does a great job of using photos to convey their story. One simple photo can compel you to act. The difference between safe drinking water and the clearly unsafe muddy water that the community currently has is evident.

Clean Water

For more compelling examples of nonprofit website design that doubles as storytelling, revisit the post from June.

8. 15 Ways to Transform Your Board of Directors into Fundraising Champions

Sure, they’re good at what they do. But when your board members signed up, they didn’t even think of fundraising. Have no fear—fundraising is something you can teach your board members (and will probably need to teach them).

Once you’ve moved past the denial stage (we’ve all been there) it’s time to do everything you can to speed up the fundraising process. Coach them on the ask. Realize that fundraising can be a learned skill. Give them the tools to succeed.

Take a deep breath and jump in. Show your board members the way.

9. 10 Grant Writing Mistakes That’ll Cost You the Mother Lode

Don’t worry. There are only millions of dollars on the line. Do you want your slice of the pie?

There is one catch. Grant writing is hard. And small mistakes could end up costing you big time. For example, too many nonprofit organizations apply for grants outside of their means. Huge grants look appealing, but aren’t always the best. Or, putting a volunteer in charge of a big grant and not giving them enough details is a sure way to set your organization up for failure.

Check out more of our interview with grant writer Jessica Brown on grantwriting mistakes to avoid in this article from October on the Hub.

10. The Anatomy of an Ask [INFOGRAPHIC]

Anatomy of an Ask

Who didn’t love the board game Operation as a kid? You couldn’t control winning and losing. It was up to fate (and the stability of your hands).

Asking for donations is kind of like that, only with more control. By doing things like tugging at their heartstrings (the heart) and lending your ear to the potential donor (hearing aid) you’re well on your way

Revisit the Anatomy of an Ask infographic, along with your childhood memories. Ah, nostalgia.

BONUS articles:

Just because we think you’re awesome, here are a few more articles you showed the love for in 2013.

What were your favorites in 2013?


Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

December 23, 2013

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