Where Should I Get My Nonprofit News and Information?

Vito Corelone

Photo via Shaun Wong on Flickr

I got a tweet the other day that made me think of a scene from The Godfather when Vito Corleone calls in a favor from the undertaker. With his dead son, Sonny, on a stretcher beside him, The Godfather makes his request:

“I want you to use all your powers—and all your skills. I don’t want his mother to see him this way.”

Last week, I too was asked to help “The Godfather.”

You see, the person who called me was a leader in the nonprofit field. Seriously, this guy could have had my legs broken if I upset him!

“Joe, I’m just inundated with tweets and updates and pins and emails and newsletters,” he said. “What do you read to stay up to date on philanthropy, and especially cause marketing?”

I get this question a lot, and have answered it on my blog. But it comes at a good time because I’m pressed for time too. I’ve had to streamline my own reading. But let me say upfront that there is no one-stop shop. You’ll need to shop around to find all the news and information you want and need.

>Here’s where I would go first.

1. I use Tweetdeck but you can use Hootsuite, Twitter Search, etc. I have two open searches. The first is on “Cause Marketing.” The second is for the hashtag #causemarketing. You can pick up 90 percent of the cause marketing news from those two searches. If you can only do one thing every day, do this. When I find something I want to keep, I favorite it. If I’m ambitious, I’ll click on the link and give the article a quick scan. If it looks good, I’ll tag it and save it to Pocket.

Thanks to Twitter search I don’t have to worry about following this person or that person. If they mention cause marketing I’ll find it. (I often have to explain this to people who complain I don’t follow them. “If you’re talking about cause marketing, I’ll see it!”) Of course, searching on a term or hashtag is a great way to find new Twitter followers!

Occasionally, I’ll explore other cause-related hashtags. Some of my favorites are #nonprofit, #fundraising and #nptech.

2. On Fridays, I get the Cone newsletter Prove Your Purpose. It’s excellent. I read it top to bottom, and am honored to sometimes be included in it. What I don’t find from my Twitter search on cause marketing, sustainability and CSR I’ll usually find here.

3. I receive the electronic version of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which keeps me to up to speed on some of the larger issues impacting the nonprofit industry. I also enjoy the daily emails I get from Nonprofit Quarterly —and not just because they’re located in my hometown of Boston. They have interesting stories on off-beat topics. I get some my best blog post ideas from NPQ.

4. Daily, I scan 3BL’s CSR News for cause-related stories.

Of course, I pick up random tips and info everywhere. Once a month, my friends at For Momentum puts out a great newsletter/a>, as does the Cause Marketing Forum. The archives here at the Razoo Foundation are a treasure trove of information and inspiration. I’m finding more campaigns on Pinterest, and now, thanks to hashtags, Facebook and Instagram.

This strategy works for me. And it will work for the nonprofit leader I mentioned at the top. Not that I had much of a choice. Disappointing The Godfather is never a good idea.