The impetus that drives people to organize and build an organization that is driven not by profit, but by a greater cause is something worth celebrating. Nonprofits, like startups in their early days, are often forced to be lean because they have to stretch every tool, resource and dollar. Technology, which is increasingly playing an essential role in the strategy and success of nonprofits, is an area where nonprofits are getting more creative and resourceful.
Last year, we launched the nonprofit edition of our Must-Read IT Blogs list and we're excited to bring it back this year. As with other lists, we asked our readers to submit their favorite nonprofit tech blogs for consideration. The final list, which you can see below, is the result of a combination of reader suggestions and some scouring of our own.
Without further ado, we present to you the 2016 25 Must-Read Nonprofit IT Blogs for your enjoyment. If your blog is one of the top blogs named in this list, be sure to grab a badge to share this recognition with your readers.
The modern spirit of worship is fueled by not only faith and works, but also, increasingly, by mobile, video and digital technology. Church Tech Today bills itself as “the #1 church technology website for pastors, communicators, and leaders.” Posts on the blog cover everything from strategies to support mobile communications to social media management, video support and software selection.
With the backing of companies like Capital One, Microsoft and SAP America, Tech Impact has the ample resources and power to live up to its name and fulfill its mission to “empower communities and nonprofits to use technology to better serve our world.” The organization, which is a nonprofit itself, hosts a blog that offers great tactical advice on technology trends and operations specifically for nonprofits.
The way organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, raise money has been transformed by online technology in a way that has democratized and globalized fundraising. Crowdfunding sites that mix nonprofit and for-profit causes aren’t always the best platform for those causes. That’s why Classy, a community and crowdfunding platform built for nonprofits, decided to enter the scene. The site’s blog offers general information about online fundraising and nonprofit management, and it also features regular tidbits on nonprofit technology.
Nonprofit doesn’t mean no growth, and renowned fundraiser and nonprofit expert Pamela Grow, author of The Grow Report newsletter, knows this better than anyone else. With a laser focus on fundraising tactics and strategies that work, Grow offers advice to nonprofit leaders on integrating technology, such as email, video and social, into fundraising efforts to drive measurable growth.
No, it’s not exactly The New York Times, but for nonprofit leaders, The NonProfit Times is certainly front-page news. As a publication specifically focused on all things nonprofit management, the site provides tactical advice, industry news and trends. It also has a job board and a library of educational materials, such as white papers and webinars.
The challenges of digital citizenship, integrated communications and social empowerment aren’t unique to the U.S.; they're global challenges. The World Bank, which focuses on funding development and growth, uses its Information and Communications for Development (IC4D) blog to shine a spotlight on how information technology is empowering and changing lives around the world.
An author of such books as “Mobile for Good” and “Social Media for Social Good,” Heather Mansfield has made it her mission to use technology to help shape the world for the better. Her blog, Nonprofit Tech for Good, offers other nonprofit leaders sound and tangible advice and insights on how to use technology to do the same within their organizations.
You know the great thing about soup? It’s a mixture of textures, ingredients and flavors that come together to nourish the body and, with the right spices, potentially the soul. TechSoup is a robust community where nonprofit leaders can share and trade ideas and insights on how best to mix and match technologies to get a tech soup that tastes just right for their needs. Soup’s on!
Big problems require big personalities, and Beth Kanter is a monumental force in the nonprofit tech community. Her blog focuses on nonprofit technology and solutions, often in the digital and social realms, that nonprofit leaders can count on to get the impact they’re hoping for with their causes. And it’s delivered in a fire hydrant-red cowboy hat, to boot!
Associations operate in ways that require different ways of thinking compared to traditional for-profit organizations. Ernie Smith guides association leaders through the ins and outs of technology challenges and opportunities with his weekly technology blog posts, which run on the industry staple, Associations Now.
Connections among people, technology and organizations are at the heart of NTEN’s core mission, which “aspires to a world where all nonprofit organizations use technology skillfully and confidently to meet community needs and fulfill their missions.” Every month, the organization produces a newsletter with handy information that nonprofit IT leaders and business owners alike can use to better inform their daily operations.
Marketing and communicating may have always been a blend of art and science, but with technology in the forefront, the ratio has shifted more toward science these days. Joe Waters highlights tips and opportunities for nonprofit leaders to use social, mobile and digital technologies to bring in the essential donor dollars that keeps their mission alive.
As a global nonprofit public-policy think tank, Brookings plays an important role in advising and steering conversations around technology use in sectors such as healthcare, education, economic development and trade — all areas that nonprofits tend to have a significant influence in. The institution’s Tech Tank blog is a must-read for nonprofit leaders who want to keep a pulse on the important conversations that are taking place at a high level about how technology is shaping not just individual organizations but entire industries and, sometimes, even nations.
While it’s often mentioned that technology is transforming the nonprofit world in remarkable ways, perhaps the most important and significant technology that is affecting nonprofits today is that centered on data. Whether it is Big Data, data management, data security or data sharing, data is the currency that many nonprofits survive and thrive on. Splunk, which has established itself as a Big Data leader, has a nonprofit arm, Splunk 4 Good. S4G has a blog that highlights its latest developments as well as interesting data insights.
An independent news source for the philanthropic community for more than 25 years, the Chronicle is considered by some to be the industry’s bible. Though the publication features news on all matters related to operating a philanthropic organization, its excellent coverage of technology shouldn’t be missed.
Technology can empower and influence not just individuals but society at large, too. As a pastor who loves technology, Mike Morris understands the power and opportunity of the intersection of faith and tech, and he uses his blog to highlight how other churches can use tech to provide richer, more meaningful services to their members.
Though it’s technically a blog, NetSquared is more of a pulse tracker for the #nptech community. A project of TechSoup, the blog consists of updates from meetups, podcasts and advice. This blog is great for those who are seeking to network with the nonprofit IT community, both online and offline.
Recognized by sites such as Fast Company and Huffington Post as an influential blogger, Stanford University senior research scholar Lucy Bernholz has already made quite a name for herself in nonprofit circles. Her blog seeks to inspire the future leaders of philanthropy and beyond.
As one of the larger nonprofit charitable-oriented communities online, Care2 has significant reach and influence with nonprofits and donors. The team behind this organization also manages a blog that highlights digital engagement tactics and tricks that nonprofits can use to improve their donor and fundraising strategies. You know what they say: Sharing is caring!
Would it surprise you to learn that even those who help others need help? CoreTech Foundation is a nonprofit that supplies other nonprofits with IT tools and support. The foundation’s blog tracks conversations about technology and nonprofits, with the aim of aligning organizations’ visions with practical applications.
As an extension of CompTIA’s philanthropic arm, the Creating IT Futures blog contains advice and insights on using education and information to fulfill its mission: helping populations that are underrepresented in IT and individuals who need opportunity to prepare for and be successful in IT careers. The blog offers hope to those IT aspirants who need it most.
Dubbing itself “the premier nonprofit resource for trends, best practices and need-to-know news,” npEngage hosts quality content covering all kinds of nonprofit topics. Its technology content spotlights nonprofit trends such as cloud, Big Data, mobility and much more, so it’s worth bookmarking this site and visiting it regularly.
Although the saying goes “Charity begins at home,” the truth is that charity is a global effort. Charity Digital News is a U.K.-based site that tracks and reports on technology and digital trends that charity leaders should be aware of. While some of the content is focused on the United Kingdom, much of the information is global in its perspective and application.
When people think about technology’s role in the nonprofit world, some jump immediately to disruption. But disruption isn’t the only thing technology is good for: Democratization and freedom are other side effects of letting tech into the mix. The nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology researches and reports on the intersection between these two areas and offers content that provokes thought and discussion.
The modern corporation isn’t like the one of yesteryear. Today, even for-profit companies are expected to care, on some level, about the greater good. Intel is a leader on this front, and the company’s corporate social responsibility group publishes a blog that highlights its work in leveraging its technology and people for philanthropic initiatives. In this regard, Intel is a model of corporate responsibility that nonprofits can point to.
If your blog is one of those featured in our this list, you can grab a badge here.