The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Saying Sayonara to 2014: Our Top 5 Blog Posts

It’s been a big year for The GuideStar Blog. In 2014, we published 227 new posts, aggregated over 250 comments, and averaged over 10,700 site views per month! Our authors have provided blog posts on an array of topics, ranging from Big Data, to nonprofit leadership, to nonprofit communications, to fundraising. Throughout this year, our blog’s goal has remained unchanged: to help nonprofit professionals and their supporters become more effective and efficient.

So, to welcome in the New Year, here’s a countdown of our top 5 most -viewed blog posts in 2014, according to our viewers:

5. Is The Donor Pyramid Really Dead? An Open Letter to Claire Axelrad from Andrea Kihlstedt

donor pyramid donor pyramid

“The donor pyramid is alive and well in capital campaign fundraising where it got its start. And if used properly, it continues to have important applications in all fundraising campaigns.

When organizations use the donor pyramid to focus their attention on raising large gifts, that’s just what happens — they raise large gifts.”

4. Challenges and Benefits of Nonprofit Event Fundraising by Joe Magee, vice president of RallyBound


“One of the main challenges of putting on a fundraising event is the sheer effort and coordination that goes into the planning and execution. Nonprofits that are considering planning an event should start with a committee. This committee should be made up of internal personnel, as well as volunteers from your local community. Your organization needs to carefully plan who will run key aspects of the event. Assign small groups to be in charge of marketing, operations, logistics and other critical aspects of the experience.”

3. Millennials and Philanthropy: Musings from the Field by Courtney Cherico, GuideStar’s communications coordinator


“As a millennial myself – and a millennial who works at a nonprofit, to boot – I have seen both good and bad engagement efforts. So, just in time for the outdoor festivities that always accompany any good summer, here are three suggestions for how charities can better engage with this seemingly blasé millennial generation when partnering and/or boothing at a large, public event:”

2. 20 Successful Nonprofits Started by Students by Sophia Coppolla of

20 Student Nonprofit

Colleges have always been hotbeds of idealism, where gifted minds, too young to be jaded, dream of better futures they want to bring into being. At the same time, one of our culture’s most widely promoted values has been the entrepreneurial spirit, especially in recent years. In the private sector, spinoffs of research done at institutions like MIT and Stanford have shaped our modern economy, taking companies like Google and Facebook from dorm rooms to the NASDAQ. Many business schools have recently made a significant shift in emphasis from molding middle management to acting as incubators for start-ups.

1. How to Use Crowd-Funding to Raise Money for Your Non-Profit by Joe Garecht, founder of The Fundraising Authority

Of all the innovative advances in online fundraising over the past decade, one of the most impressive has to be the rise of crowd-funding websites. Some of these sites, like, CauseVox and Fundly were set up specifically to help non-profits raise money to support their causes. Others, like Kickstarter and indiegogo, aren’t non-profit specific but have been used by charities to raise money to support their mission.

What topics would you like to see us cover more or less of in 2015? Share your feedback by leaving a comment below! Thank you for reading The GuideStar Blog, and here’s to a prosperous 2015!

Shonte Riddick Shonte Riddick

Shonte Riddick is GuideStar’s Public Relations Coordinator and a recent graduate of the College of William and Mary. Her friends would describe her as easy-going, adventurous, and most of all, laid back. She loves to watch sports, meet new people, and most of all laugh her heart out.

Topics: Nonprofit Leadership and Practice