News and analysis
December 26, 2012

What Readers Liked Best in 2012

This has been the year of data in the nonprofit world and elsewhere.

The Chronicle's most-viewed stories this year were dominated by "How America Gives," which analyzed giving data from every ZIP Code in the United States. Other popular stories and columns included examples of nonprofit data visualizations.

This year's 15 most-viewed pages are:

1. Interactive: How America Gives

Based on an analysis of tax returns, this feature makes it easy to find information about giving in every American community.

2. America's Generosity Divide

"In states like Utah and Mississippi, the typical household gives more than 7 percent of its income to charity, while the average household in Massachusetts and three other New England states gives less than 3 percent."

3. How Nonprofits Make Data Fun and Informative

After this column, Matthew Scharpnick joined The Chronicle as the author of the blog Redesigning Good.

4. 5 Things Charities Do That Turn Off Young Donors Like Me

First-hand advice from a young fundraiser about what organizations are getting wrong.

5. 10 Nonprofits to Watch in 2012

Planned Parenthood, No. 9 on this list, started the year with a controversy when Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced it would stop giving the group money for cancer-screening services. In May, we looked at the Planned Parenthood's social-media prowess.

6. 5 Challenges for the Nonprofit World in 2012

One of those challenges, pressure from shrinking government aid, has yet to be resolved as the deadline for the fiscal cliff nears, including a debate about the future of the charitable deduction.

7. 10 Donors to Watch in 2012

The Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz made the list, but it was Mark Zuckerberg who recently made headlines for a $500-million gift of stock.

8. Nonprofit Data Visualization: a Gallery

Twelve examples that show, as one commenter said, a "complete communications experience."

9. The Politics of Giving

Readers were still posting comments on this chart, comparing giving in states that voted Republican and Democrat in the 2008 election, well into December.

10. How States Stack Up in Generosity

Utah led the list, but we looked at the giving in all 50 states.

11. The Cost of High Turnover in Fundraising Jobs

"The average amount of time a fundraiser stays at his or her job: 16 months. The direct and indirect costs of finding a replacement: $127,650."

12. 2012 Resolutions for the Nonprofit World

Melissa Bradley, chief executive of the Tides Foundation, said the nonprofit world needed to "adapt to the growing diversity of donors, activists, and communities."

13. Most Big Companies Expect Flat Giving, Despite 2011 Gains

Corporate donations grew 4 percent in 2011, according to 115 companies included in a Chronicle survey. You can also view giving by specific company.

14. 5 Ways to Lose Your Development Director in 2 Years or Less

"If you want to keep your development director on staff, productive, and happy, pay well, make reasonable expectations, make sure your board is trained in fundraising, provide enough capital for education and new ventures," wrote Carol Weisman in our Fundraising Wisdom blog.

15. Donors Say They Would Give More If They Saw More Results

Penelope Burk, a veteran fundraising researcher, warned in June that the slow economy wouldn't make a convincing reason for donors to give in 2012.

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz

Send an e-mail to Cody Switzer.