Ten Influential Nonprofit Bloggers You Should Follow

When someone asks me what the best way to connect with a support network is, my answer is always the same – blogging.

Blogging is hands down the best way to connect with a group of followers, whether they be your peers, a group of learners, or customers.

And in the nonprofit world, these are some of the most influential bloggers out there.

They are writing epic stuff. Advice you should be reading and following.

In other words, these ten people need to be on your radar.


Heather Mansfield – Nonprofit Tech 2.0

Heather has presented at more than 100 social media and mobile technology trainings throughout the United States.

Qualified? Definitely.

Heather’s a pioneer in utilizing social media for the nonprofit sector. Her 15 years of experience in fundraising (much of it on the Internet), community-building, and advocacy has led her to the logical step of sharing this wealth of knowledge as author of the book Social Media for Social Good.

Lately she’s been blogging about Google+… she’s got my attention on the matter and has me considering getting this site on Google+ soon.

Want to see the future of nonprofit fundraising? Check out how mobile wallets are going to revolutionize how you collect your donations.


Beth Kanter – Beth’s Blog

Twitter - @Kanter

“An expert in the use of Web 2.0 for fundraising”

Beth is another book author in the nonprofit space, having co-authored The Networked Nonprofit. It’s not in my library yet, but it’s on my list of books to check out at the local library.

Beth has over 30 years experience working in the nonprofit sector in multiple areas, including:

  • technology
  • training
  • capacity building
  • evaluation
  • fundraising
  • and marketing.

Her expertise is on how to use new web tools (blogging, tagging, photo sharing, video blogging, social networking) to support nonprofits. The thing I really appreciate about her is her data analysis skills. She highlights tools that make your stats real, like this one for Twitter.

And hey, I didn’t realize Minnesota nonprofits did this, but for the third straight year they’ve banded together for a day of giving and hit a fundraising grand slam. Check out Give to the Max for yourself.

$13.4 million in 24 hours. Awesome.


Amy Sample Ward – Version of NPTech

Twitter – @amyrsward

“I work with organizations of all sizes and all kinds, and truly believe that by creating strong communities we can change our world.”

Amy co-authored Social by Social, a handbook for using social technologies for social impact.

(If you’re noticing a trend here with nonprofit bloggers and authors, nice work. You’re so perceptive…)

Amy’s impact is also felt at NTEN, where she is the Membership Director. Additionally, she’s a contributor at Stanford Social Innovation Review, which, if you don’t have plugged in to your RSS reader, you should. SSIR touches on many topics relevant to nonprofits, and one, what Facebook’s changes mean to nonprofits, is called out on Amy’s blog.

Speaking of which – when is Facebook going to settle on a format for their pages?


Allison Fine – A. Fine Blog

Twitter - @Afine

“Writes about the intersection of social media and social change.”

Allison has enough publications that I think a bullet list is appropriate:

Allison appears to be everywhere these days, including on your iPod. She produces and hosts a monthly podcast for the Chronicle of Philanthropy called Social Good.

Head over to her blog and take a look around.

Notice anything?

Allison’s design uses the same WordPress Woothemes template, Canvas, that this blog relies on. I’ve blogged about the merits of WordPress themes for blogs and nonprofit web sites before, and I’ll say it again – templates like Woothemes’ can get your nonprofit web site up and running fast and cheap.

Great design choice, Allison.


Katya Andresen – Network for Good

Twitter - @katyaN4G

“Traces her passion for good causes to the enormous social need she witnessed as a journalist prior to her work in the non-profit sector.”

Katya is Chief Strategy Officer at Network for Good, as well as board member for NTEN. Her book, Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes, resonates with me because, quite frankly, nonprofits need to start taking more of the best lessons from the corporate world.

Her infographic about online giving in December, which I’ve shamelessly copied below, tells an interesting picture if you are trying to capture online donations. Hoping to capture attention from potential donors on Twitter and other social media? 10am – 6pm appears to be your sweet spot.

nonprofit bloggers Charitable giving by the hour


Nancy E. Schwartz – Getting Attention

Twitter - @NancySchwartz

Getting attention. Isn’t that what this is all about?

Nancy can help. You’ll want to start with her marketing plan template she offers up here .

Spend 5-10 hours on your nonprofit marketing efforts with this plan, and you’ll end up with stronger connections between your base and prospects — leading to more giving, volunteering and advocacy.

And the marketing plan is only the start…


Jeff Brooks – Future Fundraising Now

Twitter - @jeffbrooks

“I believe there’s a marketing revolution going on and it’s high time for nonprofits to join that revolution.”

Jeff relies on his experience as creative director at TrueSense Marketing to share with you his vision for the future of fundraising. He’s also the second podcast producer on this list of influential bloggers, co-hosting a podcast called Fundraising Is Beautiful.

I was surprised by the size of Jeff’s team and reach – TrueSense has a team of 60 fundraising professionals developing campaigns representing 40 million donor impressions each year.

That’s a lot of impressions.

I like getting into the details, and Jeff does this regularly on his blog. If you are authoring email campaigns to your supporters around the holidays, you should check out his post about subject headlines – and yes, headlines do matter!


Allyson Kapin – Rad Campaign

Twitter - @WomenWhoTech

“A part of the first generation of online advocacy experts”

Allyson is a founding partner of Rad, a group which helps nonprofit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns.

Allyson has been named a Top Tech Titan by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company and one of the Top 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media.

Rad’s web site is a great example of web design principles in action, including attention-grabbing headlines, solid content ‘above the fold’, social media baked right in, and a prominently-displayed newsletter sign-up.

I suppose you could call their site radical.

Tell me you found that reference funny. Please.

In addition to great site design, you’ll find great content on this site, including expert analysis in the latest trends in social networking, blogging, online video, and other online tools and strategies.

If you are looking for advice on how to cost-effectively incorporate the latest trends into your nonprofit’s online presence, check Rad out.


Jason Dick – A Small Change

Twitter - @infosmallchange

“I am fervent about community and social change, passionate about non-profits securing funding for their mission.”

A skilled fundraising development professional, Jason works within corporate giving, granting, major gifts, annual fund and grassroots fundraising.

He offers some great insight on his blog, like the cautionary words about your $1K donors (I don’t have that problem at this moment because I’m still lacking $1K donors – where can I find them?).

I haven’t dished out any advice yet in this post, so at the risk of making it through 1,800 words and no advice, here we go.

One of Jason’s most valuable sections of his blog (and social proof that he has an engaged audience) is his open-ended question to his readers:

Have you run an online fundraising campaign? Was it successful? What did you do that really worked and what did you do that did not work?

Some awesome insight there. I think Jason should highlight the feedback somewhere more prominently on the blog. AND, get this going on a more regular basis, like a quarterly survey. Hearing it from the ones in the trenches, I think your readers are really going to get a lot out of that.

My two cents.


Kivi Leroux Miller – Nonprofit Marketing Guide

Twitter - @kivilm

“More than 3,000 nonprofits in more than 30 countries have participated in Kivi’s webinars.”

Sadly, our journey together to find the most influential nonprofit bloggers is coming to a close.

Rest assured, I’m saving the best for last. Consider it my gift to you for all the great work you are doing out there, advocating, supporting, making a difference. Cheers to that!

Kivi has an awesome blog at the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

Great content. Check.

Great design. Check.

A catchy tag line (Training and tips for do-it-yourself nonprofit marketers). Check.

I love the DIY mentality of nonprofit marketing – you don’t need a degree to understand how to reach people. But it is a learning process, and Kivi makes that learning easier.

Kivi wrote the book on nonprofit marketing, literally… The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause.

Call nonprofits thrifty- the word freebie resonates well with this group. And the 2012 nonprofit marketing trends report is one of the best freebies I’ve seen. Even cooler, is that the graphics are easily digestible, available on Flicker here

If you were wondering how often you should email your list, now you know!

nonprofit bloggers - How often should you email your list?