Top 10 Nonprofit Stories of 2014

The Nonprofit Quarterly's Biggest Hits

2014 was quite an interesting year, from questionable trends such as the Ice Bucket Challenge to entire communities actually having no running water during the Detroit water shutoffs. Here are NPQ's most popular articles from the past year to review:


Obama  1. Obama, the Long-Term Unemployed, and Congressional Gridlock

President Obama convened representatives of major corporations to help the long-term unemployed. Will it amount to anything beyond good intentions?


Social Media  2. How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with their Communities

A new study from the Case Foundation and Social Media for Nonprofits, based on a survey of almost 500 nonprofits, helps advance the conversation around how nonprofits use social media to engage their communities. What is working and why?

Exit  3. Twelve Reasons Why You Should Gracefully Resign from a Nonprofit Board

With all of the talk about the need for good trustees, there are a number of excellent reasons to NOT sit on a particular board of directors. Gene Takagi lists a dozen.

Ice Bucket Challenge  4. Throwing Cold Water on Ice Bucket Philanthropy

Is the viral “ice bucket challenge” for ALS indicative of some unfortunate trends in giving? A number of good arguments suggest it’s so.


Harvard  5. Harvard Students Ask University to Cut Ties with Teach for America

These students have joined a national movement asking for TFA to reform its program, including its ties to corporations and its training system.

Detroit Water  6. Detroit Water Shutoffs: A Human Rights Crisis Turning to Tragedy

Water isn’t a luxury purchase; it is a necessity in modern society. But Detroiters are still being deprived of running water due to a city department’s decision to shut off water services for a couple of thousand customers each and every week due to delinquent bill payments.

Harvard  7. The Matrix Map: A Powerful Tool for Mission-Focused Nonprofits

You may have heard of the Dual Bottom Line: the idea that strategic choices must serve both mission impact and financial viability. But how do you turn this idea into a quantitative decision-making tool? Blue Avocado columnist Steve Zimmerman summarizes the Matrix Map approach in this article adapted from the book he co-wrote with Jeanne Bell and Jan Masaoka, Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Choices for Financial Viability.

Amazon Smile  8. Amazon Launches New Charity Site to Give Back to Nonprofits

Amazon’s new project gives shoppers the opportunity to donate a portion of their purchases through the site to the charity of their choice.


Exit Agreements  9. Exit Agreements for Nonprofit CEOs: A Guide for Boards and Executives

This groundbreaking article on the topic of exit agreements for nonprofit executives discusses when such agreements are appropriate and what should be considered.


Responsive Web Design  10. Eleven Nonprofits That Rock Responsive Web Design

In publishing, everyone knows that mobile now comes first. Is your nonprofit’s website responsive to mobile devices? These eleven have been chosen as examples of great responsive web design.