The state of nonprofit management is a constant challenge. Anyone who has lived through 2020 as an executive or staffer at a charitable, philanthropic or other not-for-profit organization can surely attest to this.
Nonprofit organizations are also known for being somewhat resistant to change. Without an influx of new ideas they can easily become stagnant. One great way to open your mind to innovative strategies and fostering forward thinking is to subscribe to a few news sources that report on the trends and challenges of your industry, provide tips and advice, career enrichment and more.
Informative Nonprofit News to Keep You Up-to-Date
Below are some of some of the news sites we recommend for staying abreast of important and breaking topics in nonprofit management.
The Non ProfitTimes – Get a variety of information and advice on nonprofit management, hot button issues, breaking news about hires, changes and issues at nonprofit organizations, analysis of trends and more. You can subscribe to one of their free newsletters, or to the NonProfit Times in a digital or print version.
Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) – NPQ has a mission to foster conversations about nonprofit management and social policies and how the needs of society can be addressed through philanthropic work and governmental policy. NPQ seeks to advance active democracy and generate greater two-way communications between researchers and practitioners. They have a daily e-newsletter, webinars and podcasts to encourage conversation and collaboration.
Institute for Nonprofit News – For a compilation of in-depth investigative reporting related to specific causes such as climate change, civil rights, health care and more, visit the “Best of Nonprofit News” pages on the website of the Institute of Nonprofit News. They support nonprofit news organizations in their mission to provide trustworthy, fact-based journalism dedicated to public service.
National Council of Nonprofits – This organization advocates and provides resources for nonprofits in the United States. Working with the nation’s largest network of nonprofits, they identify emerging trends, share proven practices, and promote solutions that benefit charitable organizations and the communities they serve. Connect with them on social media and sign up for their email newsletters for regular updates and news that affects the future of your organization.
State Associations – Your state likely has its own association for nonprofits as well, simply do a web search on “[your state] nonprofit association” and you will probably find that there is an organization that supports nonprofits with information and advocacy specific to your state.
J&M Business Solutions Blog – On our J&M blog, we cover many topics of interest to nonprofit organizations ranging from social media and marketing tips, to volunteer management to membership recruitment and much more. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to see new blog topics when they are posted.
How to Avoid Information Overload
Undoubtedly, you are a busy professional and you are already inundated with emails, social media posts, text messages, voice mails, reports and a whole variety of other forms of information. If you don’t properly manage your intake, adding more sources of news on top of what you are already receiving can become counterproductive.
The consumption of too much data, media, communications and more often leads to information overload. Rather than culminating in you having a better understanding of your industry, you can become scattered, confused and inefficient.
Here are some tips on consuming and using information effectively:
Set time limits. If you are constantly checking email and social media, you will become distracted, and you’ll retain less of what you read. Set aside a block of time each week for “Professional Development,” when you can read up on the information that is most relevant to your position and are able to fully absorb the information imparted therein. Choose a time when you are unlikely to be interrupted.
Create an email folder for news. Set up an email filter to send your newsletters and other subscription information into a separate folder. During the heat of the week when you are busy, you won’t have time to look at them anyway, and they will simply be a distraction. Save them for your “Professional Development” time.
Use an app to save other news. While elsewhere on the internet or on social media you may also see an article that you would like to read in detail at a later time. Using an app like Pocket can allow you to easily save all these articles for a time when you can give them your full attention.
Learn to edit your choices. If you have subscribed to a given news source and find that the articles aren’t particularly helpful to you, unsubscribe and look for a better news source. Your time is precious, don’t waste it on poor quality or irrelevant content. Quickly skim a given website or newsletter for the topics that look most interesting or that may address an issue you are currently dealing with. Read those and ignore the rest.
Put what you’ve learned into action. If you read an article that highlights a particular software that you think might be helpful for managing your volunteers, go check it out immediately and see if you can use it on a trial basis. Don’t make a “mental note” to look into it later. Chances are you’ll never come back to it later. Do whatever you can to put new concepts into action quickly, or else your new knowledge is likely to slip away quickly.