11 New Resources for Social Change Organizations: Innovation Roundup

Are you seeking to innovate the ways you communicate or deliver programs and services to achieve greater good? If so, I hope this collection of new resources can help your nonprofit organization or social venture do more with less.

New Books

  • 1. The Nonprofit Marketing Guide – High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause
    By Kivi Leroux Miller with a Foreword by Katya Andresen
  • If you are a do-it-yourself marketer for a small nonprofit, then Kivi’s book offers strategies and tools for achieving success on a small budget. She calls her book a “real world survival guide” and makes the important point that “marketing is not fundraising but it is essential to it.”

  • 2. Brandraising – How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications
    By Sarah Durham
  • I learned about Braindraising at the annual Fundraising Day conference in San Francisco in June. Sarah Durham gave the keynote at lunchtime and asked us to ponder: When people hear your organization’s name, what do you think pops into their heads first? Is that what you want? Does every piece of your communications send out this message? The purpose of Brandraising is to “offer nonprofit leaders a proven approach to fundraising that puts the focus on marketing, branding and communications.”

  • 3. The Networked Nonprofit – Connecting With Social Media to Drive Change
    By Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine
  • After following Beth Kanter’s prolific blog for a long time, I finally met her in person a couple of weeks ago at book party for The Networked Nonprofit at the Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland (generously hosted by Donordigital). With this new book, Beth and Allison want to help nonprofits “break out of their lonely silos and embrace social media.” Although there was a time when nonprofit leaders were asking themselves: Should we use social media? Is this just a fad? Now the concern has shifted to: How can we stay relevant in the new world of social networks?

Online Articles and Guides

Productivity Tools

  • 6. 12 open source tools for nonprofits, social change organizations, educators, foundations
  • By Socialbrite.org
    This is an excellent collection of open source tools to support your nonprofit office from CiviCRM, a constituent management system, to Audacity, a sound editing suite.

  • 7. Springpad
  • This is a free personal organizer to save and use just about anything – products, ideas, notes, articles, and more. You can access everything you save to Springpad from any web browser or mobile device – it all syncs up.

  • 8. Dropbox
  • This software lets you syncs your files online and across your computers. With this service (which has a free option), you store your files on Dropbox’s secure servers so that you can also access them from any computer or mobile device using the Dropbox website. 2GB of online storage are available for free.

Interactive Tools for Building Your Case Statement
Follow the The Communications Network to learn more about tools like these.

  • 9. The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book
  • This is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States

  • 10. Obesity Trends Among U.S. Adults
  • When did obesity start to increase so sharply in this country? How prevalent is it today? Click “animate” to view the yearly progression, or select an individual year. Clicking on any state will take you to full details for that state.

  • 11. Out-of-School Time Cost Calculator
  • You can calculate the cost of high-quality after school programs with this interactive tool by The Wallace Foundation.