It’s week two of my nonprofit voyage of discovery and I’m beginning to wonder why I didn’t do this sooner. I’m finding that fundraising is a very dynamic and complex area of expertise and this seems to be a time of change and growth where organizations are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves. On the donor side, clearly people are beginning to feel safe enough to share their values by letting the social universe know what they believe and who they support. Such openness is brave and inspiring and in turn, leads to more openness and hopefully, more giving.

As always, I would love you to share with me and my readers your favorite nonprofit and fundraising sources and stories. Please provide them in the comment section below.

So, here’s what caught my eye (and in some cases, heart) this week. Please click on the article titles to read the full stories.

The Case For Mission Investing

According to this Philanthropy Journal article, mission investing, also known as “impact investment”, is a fast-growing trend. Simply put, it is the discipline of investing for financial return and for social and/or environmental benefits all at the same time. You may remember impact investment was a hot topic at a recent Giving Pledge meeting and could represent the future for sustainable giving.

Is Social Media Right For Your Organization

A good (quick) read on Guidestar where four nonprofit social media gurus share their thoughts on how to initiate a social media strategy for your organization – even if you don’t think you need, or have time for one. Social media isn’t rocket science but it can be daunting to the uninitiated.  The rewards, however, are worth the risk in my opinion. What do you think? Any good stories or strategies to share?

Making Good Money

This video was recorded for The Economist last December but as Richard Branson’s book Screw Business As Usual is now in available in bookstores and because I like his ideas (and actions) for corporate philanthropy, I decided to include it in this week’s news.

How to Target the Rising Rich (or “HENRY”)

Are you a HENRY? I know I was curious about this funny-sounding acronym too. HENRY, it seems, stands for “Higher Earning Not Rich Yet.”  Post-recession HENRYs have an annual income of between $100,000 and $249,999 and you should be nurturing them as donors. Apparently they are a growing and influential group of people and this article can tell you more about their habits and preferences. So what are you waiting for? Go find your HENRYs!

Waywire, Cory Booker and Eric Schmidt’s Social Video Startup Aims to Engage Teens Online

In a somewhat surprising move, Mayor of Newark, NJ and Twitter-user extraordinaire, Cory Booker has initiated Waywire – a social video site geared towards the millennial generation. Booker, together with Google’s Eric Schmidt felt it was time to reach out to this most digital-savvy group to help them become a force for social change and good. The site is not live yet, but watch for news of its launch.

Across U.S., Fireworks Sales Aid Local Nonprofits

And, because it wouldn’t be right to post a blog during July 4th week without a good (and I mean “GOOD”) firework story would it? Across the U.S. fireworks sales, and sometimes displays, are great ways to raise funds for organizations, large and small. Enjoying a wonderful celebration, while helping others – doesn’t that make you proud to be an American?