Do you know about the Non-Profit Blog Carnival?

carnivalI’ll keep today’s post short by asking you one simple question: “Do you know about the Non-Profit Blog Carnival?” In a nutshell, it is a monthly collection of blog posts focused on a singular topic. Click here for a more in-depth explanation from Joanne Fritz at

This month Marc Pitman, The Fundraising Coach, is hosting the carnival and the question being asked and answered is: “How do you keep your donors engaged for a second gift?

Click here to visit the carnival where you will find links to 16 different bloggers offering free advice on donor retention.

I am privileged to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival in May, but I haven’t developed a question or theme yet. So, I thought it would be kind of neat to ask DonorDreams readers to offer suggestions.

Please scroll down and use the comment box to offer a question or theme. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847


  1. Hey, Erik! thank so much for both being a Carnival host and promoting it this way! As coordinator of the Carnival, I’ve found that themes that are simple and that a lot of nonprofit bloggers can easily contribute to within their own editorial calendars are the most successful. “Hot” or trending topics often do well since it’s likely that bloggers are probably planning on writing about those anyway. Also topics that can be interpreted in a very broad way do well. That way bloggers have a variety of approaches to choose from. I’d love to see your readers weigh in on what’s hot this year in nonprofit circles. What topics are getting a lot of buzz? Looking forward to your May turn as host!

    1. Thanks, Joanne. I am looking forward to it, too. If you have any suggestions for topics, I am wide open. One fellow blogger did email me directly in response to this post, and she suggest that a theme focused on how to make board meetings more strategic and less tactical (e.g. introducing generative conversations) would be her vote. Is that too narrow? What are your thoughts?

      1. Hi! That’s great that a suggestion was made. I do think that particular twist is too narrow….but other board related topics might work very well. For instance, how to get board members to help with fundraising is broader and has been pretty “hot” recently. (For instance, see this research.) Even broader could be how to get board members more engaged in the work of the organization. Those are bigger “silos” into which a lot of different approaches could fit. Does that make sense? By the way, we’ve never had a board-related theme that I remember.

  2. Here are a few ideas:

    How to Re-inspire, Retire or Perspire (get em working again, make em sweat! haha) stagnant members of the board. — Although there is a LOT great about my organization, I still find that of the 30 board members, only about 8 or so are active, at least a dozen have been on for more than 20 years and seem to just be checking of boxes as they come to board meetings, doing nothing more (or less) than the same gift each year, the same letters they sign and the same events they participate in and the rest seem to engage in new ideas and do things we ask, but aren’t really proactive in being advocates of our organization.

    Making your special events Mission Driven. How many times have you been to an event that was a great event, but you left knowing who the money was raised for, but not much else about the organization? Too often, organizations focus too much on the $$ part of the event, and fail to take advantage of the HUGE opportunity to create awareness, steward, inform and engage participants (most of which are not familiar with your organization because they are attending from a corporate sponsorship and are most likely employees, vendors, family or clients of the corporation) in WHAT the money is being raised for.

    Ideas or resources to become Policy advocates — Many organizations, I can imagine, have policies in place, but they may be stagnant, expired or just plain outdated. Where is a central location for policy samples, ideas for new policies, and/or help with creating policies from a professional?

    Individual Donor Pages to raise money for a campaign/cause – What works? What doesn’t? How do you engage board members who are not tech savvy into this new trend? Comparisons on vendors that cater specifically to non profits (vs those donor pages that individuals do for medical bills, travel/trips, etc)

    1. Thank you, Teri! As always, you are one of the more thoughtful resource development professionals I know. I will toss all of these ideas into the hopper along with a few others that were sent to me, and we’ll see what tumbles out.

  3. A couple of thoughts regarding a theme for your May hosting —

    * Are non-profit boards destined to managing instead of governing? This is in reaction to my experience of seeing a significant amount of scope creep — the board slips into tactical management of the organization at the expense of governing, and the executive director slips into governing in an attempt to fill the gap that’s created by the boards “tacticality”…

    * Thought experiment: What if non-profits had two boards? One to govern; another to own fundraising and donor development … Discuss!

    I’ll keep “pondering” …

  4. One thought comes to mind – and somewhat on the softer side of managment – but I find many board members loose their passion much too quickly. I’ve always believe a role the Development Professional is to kindle the flame – provide opportunties to inspire (and yes motivate) the board volunteer. I’m curious what techniques, actions, etc. do talented Development Professionals employ to stoke the passion flame within each volunteer?

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