A lot’s been made of 2016 being a watershed year for "post-truth," but our readers went against that trend.
The stories they wanted most this year share a common thread: evidence and data over convention and tradition.
Our subscribers read about how some groups have boosted revenue by questioning "sacred cows" of fundraising. They considered a leading strategic-philanthropy proponent’s mea culpa for the ramifications of his theory as it was used in practice. They looked for tactics that worked in online fundraising, donor acknowledgment, and capital campaigns. They learned about a rising group of female philanthropists and how to find overlooked donors hidden in their data.
And, as they prepared for 2017, they looked for evidence of how the next presidential administration would influence their work and programs.
Below, the 10 stories our subscribers read most in 2016.
February 29, 2016
Killing Sacred Cows: Charities Ditch Longtime Fundraising Strategies and Come Out Ahead
By taking a leap of faith, these groups have increased unrestricted gifts, raised more money, and benefited in other ways.
April 04, 2016
Opinion: Why I Regret Pushing Strategic Philanthropy
A foundation veteran who (co-)wrote the book on marrying measurement to giving now says the ideas he promoted have had some "nasty" effects on donor-grantee relationships.
May 02, 2016
Best of Online Fundraising: Tactics That Work
The Chronicle asked experts and readers to identify charities that stand out in their use of the Internet to gain support and sell their causes.
September 21, 2016
Thank-You Notes That Look Handwritten Inspire Donors to Give Again
How one nonprofit brought back 440 lapsed donors and boosted revenue after taking a new approach to acknowledgments.
January 28, 2016
Opinion: Charity Navigator Must Grow Up or Shut Down
As demonstrated by this week’s flap over administrative expenses at the Wounded Warrior Project, the watchdog group has misled the public about what matters in evaluating performance.
June 01, 2016
Women Primed to Give Big — if Nonprofits Are Willing to Change
Women have the wealth and ambition to be a major force in philanthropy, but charities have to recognize and respond to big changes in the demographics of donors.
November 29, 2016
Nonprofits Brace for Big Changes Under Trump Administration
A Republican-controlled White House and Congress means sweeping efforts to overhaul tax laws, redirect spending, and roll back programs important to many charities.
August 02, 2016
Fundraising Lessons From Stanford’s $12 Billion Man
Outgoing Stanford President John Hennessy raised billions for the university by steering clear of talking about goals in dollar terms and communicating clearly what a gift would accomplish.