nonprofit resources, time management

Curating Nonprofit News

13 Comments 25 October 2013

Image courtesy of Mike Bailey-Gates, Flickr Creative Commons license

Image courtesy of Mike Bailey-Gates, Flickr Creative Commons license

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to keep up with all the news. Many of us have our own curation practice, but one of the most efficient I have is to keep an eye on those in our community who are curating the news for us. While I trust the curators thatI’ve selected on Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and other social channels to find and share relevant news and information, I especially love the nonprofit news roundups. It’s the most efficient means of reading the nonprofit news that I need to know.

These news roundups usually include a brief summary of each selected article, and sometimes the blogger’s reasons for including an article. It’s this added bit of editorial content that pushes the blog news roundup to one of my favorite types of curated content. On Twitter, someone will tweet that a post is a “must read,” but in the news roundup, I know why. After a while, it’s like reading an Op-Ed journalist you’ve come to know – you look forward to their editorial comments.

I love stumbling upon a curated content post and discovering bloggers I haven’t heard of, ideas I didn’t know about, and posts I missed. Here are some of my favorites:

NTEN’s Member Roundup

Each month, the Nonprofit Technology Network offers a member roundup of nonprofit technology news blogged by its members. I love the giving back aspect of this — that NTEN is appreciating its members’ work with a special shout-out. Of all the roundups I read, this is the one that always sends me places I’ve never been, reading bloggers I hadn’t heard of before. A must-read. For an example, read NTEN’s September member roundup.

Nonprofit.about.com’s Mixed Links

Joanne Fritz does a fabulous job every other week selecting nonprofit news articles, resources, and blog posts from around the web. She always adds her editorial thoughts to the links selected, sometimes offering them up with a wry sense of humor. The Mixed Links roundup is usually divided into two or three grouped subject areas, depending on the links selected. They might include fundraising, social media, marketing/communications, and volunteering. For an example, here is the latest Mixed Links roundup.

Nonprofit Blog Carnival

The Nonprofit Blog Carnival is a roundup of the best articles submitted by bloggers, around a selected monthly topic. The topics and hosts of the blog carnival change monthly. The blog host determines a content theme, and bloggers are invited to submit any (relatively recent) published blog post on that theme by a certain date. The selected posts are published on the host blogger’s site as a themed blog post roundup. Joanne Fritz at About.com administers the carnival. The theme for the August 2013 blog carnival was “Playing Well With Others,” hosted by Kivi Leroux Miller.

Nonprofit Blog Exchange

Emily Weinberg has been offering the Nonprofit Blog Exchange, a monthly roundup of blog articles relevant to those in nonprofits, since 2005. In fact, this is the first news roundup that I discovered, and I read it monthly. It’s a simple curated list, divided by category, with about 20 links to articles. Her blog also offers a resource list of nonprofit blogs to read – about 150 of them! This is the September Nonprofit Blog Exchange.

NPEngage’s Nonprofit Weekly Roundup

NPEngage is a newcomer to the nonprofit news roundup scene, but a strong one. The weekly roundup, curated by Madeline Turner, always opens with her personal musings from the week – not usually related to the news, and thoroughly enjoyable! Her editorialized, curated links are short and sweet; the roundup usually consists of five to 10 links at most, with a summary attached. For an example, here is the latest Weekly Roundup.

Mixed Links for Marketers

Kivi Leroux Miller curates the Mixed Links for Marketers, published regularly on her blog. Her roundup is direct and to the point: a one-line summary of the content and the link. Unlike the other blogs which curate a broad spectrum of nonprofit content, Mixed Links is focused on marketing communication. This is the latest Mixed Links for Marketers post to peruse.

Others?

Yes, there are surely other nonprofit news roundups that you read, and I should know of as well. Please leave your favorite news roundups in the comments.

Note: One might say, “Debra, what about Alltop?” This “granddaddy” of roundups is a curated list of nonprofit blogs and their latest blog posts. Since Alltop is simply a curated blogroll, it does not meet the criteria of a curated article roundup.

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  • Michael

    Debra,

    Thanks so much for sharing these great resources, I signed up for the ones I didn’t know about. I agree with your comment about the editorial voice of the roundup editors, too. Sometimes I like their summaries more than I like the article, and it’s always great to have a person’s voice tied to the content.

    (Thanks for mentioning NTEN’s Member Roundup, too!)

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Michael,

    My pleasure! Speaking of editorial voice, I have enjoyed, in the past, the whimsical nature of some of the past NTEN member roundups. Fun stuff to read and always informative. NTEN always makes my top list of…all things nptech!

    [Reply]

    bethkanter Reply:

    The foundation center’s blog does a terrific roundup each week of philanthropy and nonprofit links.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Beth, thanks for pointing me to this roundup. Here’s the most recent news roundup, called “Weekend Link Roundup,” on their PhilanTopic blog: http://pndblog.typepad.com/pndblog/2013/10/weekend-link-roundup-october-26-27-2013.html

  • Ma’ayan Alexander

    Thank you for this great list, Debra. I like Idealware’s “best of the web” monthly lists. I also like it that it’s monthly and not weekly, so I don’t feel I’m missing lots of things. http://www.idealware.org/blog

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Ma’ayan – I also receive Idealware’s monthly “best of the web,” and find the content really valuable. Thanks — I really should have included it. Great addition.

    [Reply]

  • lisamgs

    NPQ has a terrific daily roundup of nonprofit news that I get by email. Does that count?

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Lisa, I didn’t know about their daily roundup of nonprofit news. Thanks for letting me know about this feature. There are a number of online news magazines that do offer a daily roundup of their own news sites, but I don’t see them as curated best of the web. Am I mistaken?

    [Reply]

    lisamgs Reply:

    NPQ curates from the web, summarizing the articles and adds their own perspectives.

    [Reply]

  • simonejoyaux

    I think the Nonprofit Quarterly is one of the best publications in the NGO sector. Strategic and thoughtful. Daily online feed is great – delving into issues that are not, traditionally, part of some other sources. And the quarterly publication is great, too.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Simone,
    NPQ is a great publication in the NGO sector, as is Chronicle of Philanthropy; I regularly read both. I would readily recommend NPQ to anyone in the nonprofit sector. However, for the purposes of this blog post, it doesn’t quite fit the “curated, editorial” criteria. NPQ is a news source but not an edited, curated “best of list.”

    [Reply]

  • melindalewis

    This is great! I appreciate the inclusion of the curation piece, too, and the voice–being overwhelmed by information is one of the chief complaints/concerns I hear from nonprofit executives, in particular, including in the advocacy arena; they just have so much difficulty sorting through the quantity of information now at our fingertips. Unfortunately, some sites don’t really help with that, because, without some of that curation, they can just add to the noise by aggregating and uplifting pieces, intensifying leaders’ sense that they need to be attending to all of this. Great resources here, and in the comments.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    The editorial perspective is so important to me, and it really helps me to decide which articles within any list I’m interested in reading. I equate it to the “preview” you get in your email inbox.

    Agree that cutting through the social media and news noise is a large request by nonprofit execs and there isn’t one single solution. For much of my news, I actually rely on a personally curated list of people who tweet about nonprofit news and tech – – they are my curators much of the time. The rest of the time, I have blogs and news outlets I rely upon, and also the wonderful curators listed here.

    [Reply]

About

Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She is the current Director of Outreach at the National Brain Tumor Society. She speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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