Nonprofit Blog Carnival call for submissions: Advice to your younger-fundraising-self


blog carnivalIn a nutshell, the Nonprofit Blog Carnival is an online traveling show of non-profit bloggers. Each month one blogger hosts the carnival and asks their fellow non-profit bloggers to submit a published post from their blog focused on a particular topic. The benefit to this approach is that readers are able to get a large concentration of advice and resources from a variety of non-profit thought-leaders all in one place.

I am honored and privileged to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival for a fourth year in a row.

As has been the tradition ever since Kivi Leroux Miller founded the Carnival in 2006, the host publishes a “Call for submissions” at the beginning of the month. In that post, the following is explained:

  • theme
  • deadlines
  • fun or special rules in order to be considered for inclusion
  • deadlines
  • how and what to submit

In the space below, I will walk you through all of these things for the April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. Now please excuse me, while I step up to the online carnival main stage and proclaim to the world:

Step right up! The April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival is live and we’re gonna do the time warp again!

If you are looking for a link to last month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival hosted by Allyson Kapin at RAD Campaign, click here to read more about what the non-profit blogosphere had to say about “Reaching Millennials And Beyond“.

I hope you are ready for a fun Nonprofit Blog Carnival in April. If so, please keep reading to learn more.  😉


If you could go back in time and give your younger-fundraising-self one piece of advice, what would it be?

back to futureA few months ago I was onsite with a client and found myself working with a young fundraising professional. They hadn’t been on the job for long. In fact, their background wasn’t even in resource development. If my memory serves me well, then I think they had a college degree and an internship’s worth of experience in marketing or public relations.

My work with this organization was focused on a particular fundraising campaign, and the “issue of the hour” had to do with the level of engagement (or lack thereof) of their campaign volunteers. After spending a little time with this new fundraising professional, I discovered their love of email to communicate with volunteers. So, I spent much of my time talking about the value of report meetings, rallies, update reports and phone calls instead of a constant stream of emails.

back to future2Later that evening, I was working from the hotel room with the television chirping away in the background. One of the “Back to the Future” movies was the evening feature. Ignoring Michael J. Fox and focusing instead on my work from earlier in the day, I started thinking about all of the fundraising mistakes I had made (and hopefully learned from) when I was younger.

And then something spectacular happened both on the television set as well as in my head. Christopher Lloyd’s character, Dr. Emmett Brown, successfully completed one of his time travel experiments and I found myself thinking:

If only time travel was possible. There are so many things I would tell my younger-fundraising-self!

My very next thought was . . . “Holy cow! THAT would be an awesome topic for a Nonprofit Blog Carnival. I would LOVE to read what some of the blogosphere’s best non-profit bloggers (e.g. Pamela Grow, Marc Pitman, Jeff Brooks, Gail Perry, etc) would go back in time to tell their younger-fundraising-selves.

So, there you have it bloggers!

The April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival theme is all about:

“What one piece of advice would you give your younger-fundraising-self if time travel was possible?”

If you aren’t a fundraising blogger, you are welcome to adjust the theme to what one piece of advice would you give your younger-nonprofit-self”.

I encourage bloggers to be specific. Perhaps, you could consider telling us about a situation from your early days as a fundraiser or non-profit professional that was challenging and what you would travel back in time to tell yourself that would’ve made a difference.

Obviously, it is your blog and you may do whatever you please within the parameters of this month’s theme.

Special rules in place for April submissions

bill and tedLet’s have a little fun with this topic. It lends itself nicely to it. Right?  😉

It hasn’t been unusual for me in the past to get a ton of submissions for consideration. On a few occasions, I had to exclude some bloggers because there were too many posts from which to choose.

In order to stimulate a little creativity this month, I will give “special bonus points” to bloggers who include a reference to a time travel movie or build their entire post around such a motion picture.

terminator time travelThere are literally tons of movies from which you could choose. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Back to the Future
  • Terminator
  • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures
  • Star Trek
  • Hot Tube Time Machine
  • Austin Powers

And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Since this topic is very broad, I encourage you to focus on a time when you were young and working on a project such as writing a resource development plan, capital campaigns, annual campaigns, special events, planned giving, board development, marketing, program development/implementation, grant writing. Or you could drill even deeper by talking about micro-topics such as developing a case for support, prospect identification/evaluation, stewardship/retention, donor database selection, year-end board member evaluation, etc. Simply tell us about the project, your experience, the result and what you would choose to go back in a time machine and tell yourself in order to get a different result.

The sky is obviously the limit . . . so let’s get creative and have some fun!

Of course, if you aren’t into movies, that is fine. Please feel free to submit anything, and you have my assurance that I’ll include your post if there is space and if it is on topic.

How bloggers should submit their work for consideration?

austin powers time travelYou are welcome to write your blog post anytime during the month of May (or even submit a post you may have previously published); however, I must receive your submission by the end of the day on Monday, April 25, 2016:

How do you submit? Simply email the following information to nonprofitcarnival[at]gmail[dot]com:

  • Your name
  • The URL of your post
  • A two of three sentence summary of your post

We will publish the April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on Thursday, April 28, 2016 right here at DonorDreams blog.

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About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on April 4, 2016, in Fundraising, nonprofit, philanthropy, resource development and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. When are the posts due? The how to submit says May 2015. But it also says the Blog Carnival will be published in April 2016.

    • Ugh … Sorry Jess. That was a mistake and I just fixed it and updated the post. Thanks for catching it. For the sake of clarity, I will be publishing the April 2016 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on Thursday, April 28, 2016 and I need everyone submissions no later than Monday, April 25, 2016. And by “submission” I mean the following: a) your name, b) the URL of the blog post you published on your site that aligns with this month’s carnival theme, and c) two or three sentences summarizing your post (that I may or may not edit based on space). Finally, please send and email with the aforementioned submission info to nonprofitcarnival[at]gmail[dot]com. Again, sorry for the brain cramp. I hope this helps clarify things. 🙂 Thanks for your interest and your eye for detail.

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