DID YOU KNOW? It’s likely that Shakespeare’s parents never learned to read or write. William, however, attended Stratford’s local grammar school, where he mastered reading, writing and Latin. His two children who lived to adulthood are also thought to have been illiterate.

DID YOU KNOW? It’s likely that Shakespeare’s parents never learned to read or write. William, however, attended Stratford’s local grammar school, where he mastered reading, writing and Latin. His two children who lived to adulthood are also thought to have been illiterate.

William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon is believed by historians to have been born on April 23, 1564 and to have died on the exact same day 52 years later. In approximately one million words written over the course of 20 years, Shakespeare managed to capture the full spectrum of human emotion with a precision that allowed his works to remain relevant even 400 years later. His plays—which are suspected to be the most widely read works in the English language—are being read and performed with more frequency and in more countries than ever before. During his lifetime, Shakespeare was the principal dramatist of Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later the King’s Men), a popular theater group that constructed and operated London’s world-renowned Globe Theatre in 1599. The theater company performed such Shakespeare classics as Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With a stake in ownership of the Globe, he was able to make enough money to purchase a large home in Stratford in 1597. In the years leading up to his retirement in 1610, Shakespeare is said to have produced such masterpieces as The Tempest, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear, not to mention the 154 sonnets attributed to the playwright. Now that the nostalgia for your high school drama class has worn off, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Keeping up with the Times

Nonprofit executives are all too familiar with the balancing act—the organizational dilemma of striking an equilibrium between daily tasking and long-term strategic planning. According to Forbes, a critical part of strategizing is keeping close tabs on market trends. This in and of itself can create hurdles for executives too busy to keep their finger on the pulse of the outside world. Maintaining an awareness of the trends in your industry, however, doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or stressful undertaking. Want to know how to stay informed and balance your hectic schedule? Click on the link above to discover six effortless ways to keep up with industry trends.

2.  #NextGen Giving

A recent study issued by the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact, “The Next Generation of Giving Report,” suggests that generational changes should be accommodated by shifts in fundraising. While most fundraising departments have set their sights on Millennials, data shows that GenXers will most likely step in as top donors once Boomers decline. In addition to charitable giving by generation, the report shares its findings with regards to the various channels by which donors choose to give. Could your fundraising team benefit from an in-depth synopsis of this study? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to learn how a focus on generational giving can improve fundraising.

3.  How Funders Often Hurt, Not Help, Nonprofits

In pursuing positive change in the world, nonprofit organizations encounter a lot of unexpected, mission-crippling threats. These threats can be filed under Acts of God, destabilization of government, devaluation of currency, and even organizational misfortune. But what happens when positive change is torpedoed by the very organizations that are trying to enact it? The biggest, and possibly most surprising, threat to nonprofit impact is filed under “funder-created obstacles.” This is demonstrated by last-minute funder strategy changes, inflexible policies and delayed disbursements. According to an article in Fast Company, funders—in their pursuit of impact and return on investment—have become their own enemy. Follow the link above to learn more about (and how to avoid) funder failures.

4.  The Value of PSOs and Funder Collaboratives

Philanthropy is a multi-faceted sector that encompasses funding institutions, philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) as well as funder collaboratives. While PSOs support learning and networking with regards to specific issues and populations, funder collaboratives work to align grant-makers with specific priorities. Both were created by funders who, until the controversial 2016 election, questioned the value and continued support of these entities. According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, PSOs and funder collaboratives have provided a means for philanthropy to adapt during politically challenging times. Click on the link above for a look at three ways PSOs and funder collaboratives have demonstrated their value to funders this past year.

5.  Give Your Next Crowdfunding Campaign a Boost

Before a nonprofit can get to work on projects that will advance its mission, it first needs to secure funding. Crowdfunding is generally a great tool for financing new ventures as it makes use of vast social media networks and websites to connect investors and charitable organizations. According to Forbes, crowdfunding campaigns aren’t necessarily foolproof methods of fundraising, however, and nonprofit organizations may need to adjust their strategies along the way. Whether your organization has employed one or ten campaigns, consider the six tips linked above before jump-starting your next fundraiser.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon with a cup of green tea and a copy of Hamlet. See you next week.

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