What we're reading: Linear edition

Donating through Venmo

MarketWatch: Charities are looking at online payment service Venmo to raise funds from millennials, a generation that numerous studies (and life) have proven are more likely to donate online. Venmo, though, is designed for peer-to-peer transactions rather than with groups or organizations. "So, Venmo is starting to look into making their platform work better for nonprofits and donors alike: For now, Venmo has a beta version of a website for nonprofits that a handful of charities are participating in. But outside that group, Venmo recommends nonprofits hold off on using the service until the company offers more official channels for the institutions — something they’re hoping to do in the near future, Criscoe said."

Time to embrace failure

Nonprofit AF: The world is a complex place, and we all use linear thinking to sort it out. You know how it goes: first we date, then we meet each other’s parents, then we get engaged, then we fight over flowers and seating arrangements, and then we get married. But while linear thinking is the norm, it shouldn’t be the standard for working with nonprofits. Nonprofit AF makes the case for moving away from linear planning, and towards strategies that are more inclusive and open to innovation. “The societal challenges we are dealing with are incredibly complex, morphing and adapting all the time; we cannot continue to believe that we can effectively respond to this complexity by being even more rigid and linear and believing that things happen in sequence.”

A holistic approach to keeping nonprofits healthy

SSIR: Digital success at nonprofits hinges on a strong foundation at the department level. What’s your organization’s internal infrastructure, and are they aligned to help your digital communications team achieve its goals? We loved reading this article about grantmaking that emphasizes the need for nonprofits to have solid infrastructures in place to carry out their missions. This means having core functions well-funded and in place to ensure long-term stability. Good communications, and good digital communications, should come as second nature to well-run nonprofit organizations. "Organizations pour money and attention into social programs with the aim to help as many people as possible, but the underpinnings of those programs—organizational infrastructure, and financial health—suffer from neglect. “The more foundations fund program growth without funding growth capital (or even acknowledged), the worse it is,” says Clara Miller, president of the Heron Foundation. “So the best and brightest nonprofits, programmatically, suffer the most.”

Author: Mitch Hurst
  • What we're reading
  • Venmo
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