I’m embarking on a personal quest to better understand the nonprofit and fundraising world. I’ve worked for nonprofits before but never in a fundraising mode, and plan to address that deficit starting now. It occurred to me that as I’m researching what’s new in the world of fundraising, I could share my findings with others. So, each week, I’ll be posting my “Nonprofit News” blog with news stories and industry expert opinions that have particularly caught my eye that week.

If you work in fundraising, or would like to, please join me in this journey of discovery. And to all the nonprofit experts out there, I hope you will share some of your favorite news source (and story) recommendations with me and my readers via the comments section (below).

Here goes! (Pleased click on the article titles to read the full stories.)

Charity 2.0? Silicon Valley Reinvents Philanthropy

Everyone likes to take shots at the techxperts of Silicon Valley but you can’t deny they’ve given us some wonderful products and services that have changed our world for the better. It seems they’ve now tuned their innovative minds to reinventing philanthropy. With givers doing more research before committing their dollars, nonprofits have to be ready to apply business solutions to social problems and that means some seriously strategic thinking.

It’s Time to be Fearless

In this article, Jean Case, co-founder of The Case Foundation, urges us to be fearless and “to innovate we must be fearless”.  While not directly fundraising-related, this story earned its place in my news roundup because the message applies to all organizations, non- and for-profit, alike.

U.S. Charitable Giving  Approaches $300 billion in 2011

The numbers are in, and it seems that charitable giving in the U.S. reached almost $300 billion in 2011. This is a positive sign that as the economy recovers, so will giving. This 2011 total was some $11 billion below the all-time high record set in 2007.

Fundraising Through iPads

Fundraising in the UK, which is more likely to happen door-to-door or via “the person in the street” encounter, is taking a technical turn. Armed with iPads, fundraisers possess the ability to show short videos illustrating their cause, and can quickly capture donor data on-the-spot. It’s proving to be highly successful. Perhaps this is the next, or additional, method to text-to-donate campaigns.

Billionaires Hold Second Meeting to Discuss Their Giving

I felt that the world gave a cheer (I know I did) when Bill and Melinda Gates, together with Warren Buffet launched their Giving Pledge campaign in 2010. To-date 81 billionaires have signed the pledge and the group recently held their second meeting to discuss the meaning and practice of philanthropy. A hot topic that arose during this meeting was impact investing – which they will be exploring further. Expect to hear more about this concept soon.

Entering the New World of Strategic Planning

Times have changed and nonprofits are changing. One of those changes is a move away from long-term planning in favor of shorter-term strategic plans that allow an organization to react to changing circumstances and to be overall more nimble. This Guidestar article walks you through the steps for creating a strategic plan.