For those of you who follow me or Agents of Good on twitter, you may have noticed an increase in frustration with people who don’t add positive value to our daily working lives. And, strangely enough, those who seem to add the most negative value, seem to be the most popular. And that’s fine. Anyone who has read Seth Godin’s Tribes knows we all have communities out there and we must pick up arms and lead them. And anyone who has lead anything knows you will ruffle a few feathers here and there. So – fine.
But my problem is, why can’t people lead more (and be more popular because of it) by adding some positive value to the relationships and interactions around them? I’m thinking specifically in this case of blogs. It is far to easy to take the position of excessive finger wagging (don’t do this… these ads are stupid because… you wouldn’t know donor-centred fundraising even if it landed in the middle of your forehead…) because we all loved that kid at the back of the class who drove the teacher insane. We love people who ruffle the feathers of status-quo.
I decided today that I would list a few of my favourite blogs that while challenging the norm – they add a TON of positive value. They consistently provide usable tips and tricks, they are transparent in their thinking and motivations, they highlight the good work of others, even if the “others” are competitors and they exist to make you better. You and your charity.
These are by no means the only blogs out there that do that – but I urge you to seek more of them out. We all need to add more positive value in our day, we all need that arm around our shoulder and assurance we are doing the best we can and by golly, here are some things to consider to do even better. Here are my picks:
Dan Shaw’s “Happy Donors” – Dan’s blog is direct response focused – discussing creative design, letter writing, new uses of technology, practical advice and philosophy. I’ve been reading his blog for sometime and always walk away with something new I can use for our clients. I hope two things for Dan – one – he joins us on twitter and two – he puts in a email subscription block so i can get his great content delivered straight to my email box.
Jonathon Grapsas – (Full disclosure, we work with Pareto Fundraising) – If something has been tested in direct response, Jono and Pareto Fundraising have either done it or tested it. Their approach and enthusiasm for all things “data” related are unmatched in Canada. Jonathon’s blog brings you real world examples, advice, opinion and a little twist of Aussie humour (which I rarely get). This is a no-brainer subscription.
Kivi Leroux Miller’s Non-profit Marketing Guide. I’ve been following Kivi for sometime now on twitter and for all round great resource for all things “marketing” – she wins the prize. No make up or smoke and mirrors, this is a real look at marketing life in our sector. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Nancy Schwartz – Getting Attention Blog – Yes – it’s more marketing help but I assume you read our blog because you are interesting in that sort of thing right? But glance at Nancy’s post category list tells you this is no one trick pony. One of my all time favourite post’s from Nancy was the survey she did about charity taglines. Check her blog out for great knowledge.
Sandy Rees – Get Fully Funded – Sandy’s site has recently gone through a overhaul to showcase her focus – Coaching for charities. More than just a consultant, Sandy works closely with charities to achieve their goals – whatever they may be. Her knowledge runs the entire spectrum, and it shows. Another no brainer subscription for the smaller charity types who are looking for useful information.
Pamela Grow – her blog is called Pamela Grow’s grant writing tips – but that is a bit misleading. Pam’s focus is on the “do it all yourself” 1 or 2 person shops. A severely under-serviced and under-appreciated part of our sector. She isn’t joking when she calls her blog the ultimate nonprofit newbie resource. Even if you work for a larger charity I can guarantee you will find this a useful resource in your arsenal.
Beautiful World -From the others side of the pond comes Beautiful World from the fine folks at the BW agency. I see Beautiful World as the UK version of Agent of Good. Creative and strategic, on and offline – the bring a no nonsense and non jargon approach to fundraising. Their blog covers a wide range of topics with more of a slant towards digital engagement and relationships. If you like us (and we hope you do) you will love Beautiful World. Check them out.
Mark Phillips – Queer Ideas – another great blog from the UK. Blog subhead: “Bloody Good Fundraising”. And it is. Mark is the founder of Blue Frog and his blog is a solid tool for every fundraiser. The posts range from personal experiences to findings from other fundraisers and resources. The posts aren’t pure opinion, they are backed up with live facts and figures. Mark is one of those connections on twitter that I look forward to meeting some day. And I hope you find his blog useful.
Ted Grigg’s Reflections about Direct Marketing blog – Ted writes about direct marketing – not always from a charitable point of view but the principals and learning’s are the same. And very applicable. Go there, bookmark it and read often.
I realized, THANKFULLY, as I was compiling this list, there are a number of great and positive blogs out there – more than I could fit into one post. So I will have to do another soon so I can tell you all about some other must read blogs that will add positive value to your day to day work.
Can you do me one last favour? Can you leave a comment about any of your favourites, even if it is your own? We can never get enough positivity into our lives.