DID YOU KNOW? Pomegranates are customarily eaten on Rosh Hashanah because the fruit is said to have 613 seeds—the same number as the commandments in the Torah.

DID YOU KNOW? Pomegranates are customarily eaten on Rosh Hashanah because the fruit is said to have 613 seeds—the same number as the commandments in the Torah.

Believed to be the birthday of the universe and the day G-d created Adam and Eve, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah, which began at sundown on Wednesday of this week, continues through nightfall tonight. Considering its literal translation means “Head of the Year,” any actions that take place on Rosh Hashanah set the tone for the rest of the year—just as the head controls the rest of the body. In addition to ceasing any work, the holiday is celebrated by lighting candles, eating festive meals featuring sweet delicacies, and going to prayer services that include the sounding of the shofar (ram’s horn). It is also customary to go to a body of water to perform the Tashlich (to cast) ceremony, in which Jewish people cast their sins into the water. Yamim Nora’im (High Holidays or High Holy Days) also known as the “10 Days of Repentance,” begins with Rosh Hashanah and continues through to the end of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Whether you’re celebrating the High Holidays or getting ready to enjoy another beautiful weekend, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  To Podcast or Not to Podcast?

For a medium that is still finding its bearings, the podcast industry has seen steady growth throughout the last few years. In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 67 million monthly podcast listeners—a 21 percent increase from last year’s numbers. According to a study by Interactive Advertising Bureau, the podcast medium is expected to bring in more than $220 million in advertising revenues. Could a podcast benefit your organization? Click on the link above from Nonprofit Quarterly to discover six developments and trends in podcasting this year.

2.  Nonprofit Diversity: Mix it Up!

At The Chronicle of Philanthropy's Philanthropy NEXT Conference this year, charity leaders and fundraisers tackled issues of race, gender and sexual orientation in the philanthropic sector and called on nonprofits to diversify their staffs and donor pools. According to The Chronicle, nonprofit organizations must recognize that inclusiveness begins with board members and Executive Directors. If the leaders of our nonprofit organizations are not representative of a diverse group, the community may call into question their commitment to inclusivity. Is your nonprofit committed to diversity? Check out the link above to discover five tips to help your nonprofit better improve its diversity outlook.

3.  How to "Warm Up" Potential Donors

According to The NonProfit Times, approximately 73 percent of philanthropic giving comes from individuals. Keeping supporters engaged is as important as ever, and understanding how to both engage and steward prospective major donors is essential. With the help of digital marketing, nonprofits can introduce their organizations to individuals as part of a “warm up” strategy. Through emails and surveys, essential information such as potential donors’ interests and preferred method of contact can be gathered before any solicitation occurs. Want to learn how digital can help your nonprofit court donor prospects? Follow the article linked above to discover five digital stewardship strategies to leverage your potential supporters.

4.  How Personalization Helps Reach Donors

A report from Infosys found that personalization plays a significant role in the purchasing decisions of nearly 86 percent of consumers. And nonprofit organizations are not exempt from this statistic. High levels of direct customer service and customization go hand in hand in this day in age, and, according to Forbes, customization is key to nonprofits looking to expand their donor reach—especially online. Does your nonprofit need to shake up its fundraising efforts? Check out the six ways personalized messages can work to your organization’s advantage.

5.  Millennials Going Mobile

Millennials—dissatisfied with the current state of the country—are seeking more ways to be involved in the wake of last year’s election. According to the “2017 Millennial Impact Report” conducted by Achieve, Millennials have turned discontent into action by sharing content in support of causes on social media, signing petitions, applying social beliefs to purchasing decisions, donating and volunteering. Because Millennials now represent the largest population in the country, The NonProfit Times recommends that nonprofits educate themselves on the methods, social issues and action pathways preferred by Millennials. Interested in finding out how your nonprofit can leverage the mobilization of Millennials? Click the link above to read key findings from the report.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! Wishing shanah tova (a good year) to all of our Jewish friends, and a happy, happy weekend to all the rest. See you next week!

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