One of the biggest questions to ask of your content each year is: What worked? What became an MVP in Google rankings? What increased its reach by 10x? What drove more email signups and fewer bounces?
In reviewing our content from 2018, we’re excited to see where trends are pointing for nonprofit impact in 2019, and to give you the reader more of the content you want — whether that’s written, audio, or video. Here’s a roundup of our top 10 resources from across all 3 media for 2018.
Our Top Website Resources from 2018
Originally published November 2017, this recap of our favorite nonprofit annual reports — and what you can learn from them — became the first piece of content to beat our Giving Tuesday ideas roundup (see #2). Over 14,500 of you learned why throwing a million charts and graphs together or writing a 10,000-word essay on why your nonprofit is the best isn’t going to be so effective (or worth anyone’s time), and gained concrete takeaways on how to effectively communicate the success of your organization and its financials in a concise, visual way.
A Whole Whale classic, this piece is expanded every year with more ideas and bonus tips. Total Giving Tuesday donations since the day’s launch in 2012 crossed the $1 billion mark this year through your collective efforts around tracking, blasting your message early and often, and letting this be a springboard for the the end-of-year season. Over 10,000 readers came by this year to see what we had cooking — hope to see you all again for Giving Tuesday 2019.
We love a good nonprofit podcast here at Whole Whale, and our resource on measuring podcast downloads stayed competitive with our Giving Tuesday ideas for the second year in a row. Does this mean there are 10,000 nonprofit podcasters out there that we haven’t met? (If so, Tweet us your podcast link at @WholeWhale!)
An oldie but goodie from Whole Whale TV, our guide to measuring awareness (it’s possible!) averaged 15 minutes on-site per view. With 10,587 pageviews in 2018, that’s a total of 2,646.75 hours.
Your nonprofit should have both a mission and vision statement, with the former changing every 5 years or so. Time for a refresh? We make it easy to ideate with some mad-libs style prompts that inspired over 9,500 visitors.
Updated annually, this is our one-stop shop for all of the sizes and specs you need to know for digital ad builds on Facebook, Instagram, the Google Display Network, and more. In 2018, it helped over 8,300 users create pixel-perfect ads to drive further impact.
Proof that not all content #wins come out of new ideas. We realized we had some updates to make around Facebook’s hashtagging best practices and policies, and made some updates based on Moz campaign feedback to an early 2017 piece in order to give our readers more of what they were looking for in search. For a piece that was published at the beginning of last year to just 20 total pageviews (#FailedIt) we expanded our reach in 2018 by 30,555% (#WhaledIt).
How to increase search-engine traffic to your page by 30,555% year-over-year. (In less than 10 minutes.) Click To Tweet
What we wanna know: How many of the 5,244 users who referred to our developer glossary caught the ABBA reference?
Giving Tuesday reached a media tipping point in 2018 with major coverage in the New York Times, Vox, and beyond. We corralled all of our historical data on the giving day — along with some context around total annual giving and our predictions for the 2018 Giving Tuesday totals. We were only off by 4.6% — in Giving Tuesday’s favor.
One of our favorite quirks of Google Analytics is (other) traffic. Nearly 5,000 of you feel the same way, because that’s how many of you came to our site to learn how to fix it. We’re pleased to report that 0% of that traffic came from (Other).
The resources nonprofits needed most in 2018. Click To Tweet
Our Top Podcast Downloads from 2018
1. Episode 100: Seth Godin on Nonprofit Strategy
We celebrated our 100th episode with a bang — and one of the thinkers whose mentorship inspired the birth of Whole Whale. Seth talked with us about how to break through the cycle of fear paralysis to move forward, especially as a nonprofit organization in 2018, and is exactly what you should listen to if you’re looking to set the stage for a successful 2019.
2. Episode 93: All About GDPR with Stanford PACS
The launch of GDPR in spring of 2018 meant more than the click of a button: This is a fundamental reevaluation of how we protect and manage our data footprint online. We talked with Lucy Bernholz, Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford PACS and Senior Research Scholar at Stanford PACS (Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society), to understand how this EU-wide regulation will affect nonprofits in the US.
3. Episode 93.5: Phishing for Cyber Security
What’s the point of a firewall when you’re employees leave the back door open? This short rant from Chief Whaler George Weiner discusses some super simple things your employees can to protect against 90% of the cyber attacks out there. And if you want to go deep on nonprofit cybersecurity, we launched a Whole Whale University course all about that topic.
4. Episode 96: How to #Win at Facebook Advertising for Nonprofits
We spoke with our own Digital Advertising Whaler Jasmine Cordew about the website that Shall Not Be Named: Can we still use Facebook advertising for good (could we ever use Facebook advertising for good?). TL;DR, yes — but the full podcast is worth a listen. We also have a full resource on Facebook Advertising 101 if you want to dive deeper.
5. Episode 95: How Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Builds Online Communities
Speaking of Facebook and cyber security — nonprofits are using both to create a safe space for their constituents online. Emily Dulcan, Online Community Experience Lead at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, talked us through CFF’s focus on quality alongside quantity.
6. Episode 92: Saving the Internet with the Mozilla Foundation
If Mozilla is new to you, we won’t say you live under a rock, but you live nearby…If your organization deals with workforce development, education, or any manner of freedom you expect people on the Internet to have, you should care about the work of the Mozilla Foundation. We learned more about how Mozilla is working to increase connectivity and improve education in the US and globally with their Gigabit Portfolio Manager, Craig Wiroll.
One of several live interviews we conducted at SXSW, we were stoked to meet Sasha Samochina, one of NASA’s Immersive Visualization Producers at their Jet Propulsion Laboratory, after her panel on the practical uses of art and science. While everyone else in Austin was at Westworld, Olivia and Sasha talked about the Wild West of VR. (Full disclosure: Olivia also wants to be Sasha when she grows up.)
8. Episode 98: Crisitunities & Other Storytelling Campaign Tactics
Friend of the pod Megan Anhalt, a digital campaign expert who has worked with DoSomething.org, CZI, and Purpose, shared her research and training around the elements of storytelling for campaigns and what it takes to “go viral.” (Trend we’d like to see for 2019: The end of asking digital marketers to make something “go viral.”)
9. Episode 97: How GuardianX is Leveraging Tech for Social Change
Another favorite from SXSW, Marc-Johann Kavantsaari founded GuardianX after asking how we could leverage the ways the phones we carry with us (and their tracking devices) could be used for safer commutes home. We talked to Marc about this origin story, as well as finding the metrics that matter as a startup social impact organization.
10. Episode 104: Keeping Your Nonprofit Brand Current
Sarah Durham, author of the book Brandraising and CEO and founder of our friends and neighbors Big Duck, joined us to talk about current trends in nonprofit branding and communications. Fun fact: 2018 was the year that Big Duck launched its own podcast.
The top 10 #nonprofitpodcasts you missed in 2018. Click To Tweet
Our Top Whole Whale TV Episodes from 2018
Our data-culture–informed Jedi mind games to get your boss (and your boss’s boss) on board with going digital capped off at over 206,000 minutes watched in 2018. Did the strategies work? Let us know @WholeWhale.
It would be pretty embarrassing if we failed at this video — fortunately some help from our pinch-hitting Puppy Whaler Turtle helped get us to 20,181 views, for a total of 99,203 minutes watched. They’re good dogs, Brent.
Launched in the final days of October, this walkthrough in Google Analytics has already earned more than 41,500 minutes watched — that’s almost 692 hours of you all creeping on your constituents (for good).
A classic from 2014 that’s still earning its digital bandwidth. Our tips for content marketing led by Chief Whaler George crossed the 20,000-minute mark in 2018 alone. That’s over 1.5x the amount of minutes it was viewed in 2017.
Another classic from 2014 that hasn’t stopped A/Believin’, total minutes watched on this super-simple guide to start testing for impact also increased by nearly 1.5x compared to last year. We hope you’re A/B testing your content, too.
Sometimes we just like to watch George take on ridiculous challenges, like naming 48 fundraising ideas in under 8 minutes. Over 14,900 minutes of this video have been watched since it was launched in June. If that were 6 unique ideas per minute, we’d be giving you over 2,483 fundraising ideas. (We’ll make sure to have that one ready for you in 2019.)
More fun with Puppy Whaler Turtle and Design Whaler Ann, and one of our introductions to Lighthouse by Whole Whale that has accounted for 14,777 total minutes spent on YouTube. Want to start understanding in detail what email users are doing on your site? Let’s talk in 2019.
We mentioned this in our top website content, but mission statements and vision statements are two different things. Here’s why that matters for nonprofits in a tight 7 minutes that’s been watched over 2,500 times.
One of our favorite topics to talk about — and one of yours to learn about, judging by the 8,000+ minutes of watch-time this accounted for in 2018. Our views for this almost doubled compared to 2017, which to us is one indicator of increased impact.
The average millennial spends about 2 years in a job, which means that including onboarding time, you’re losing out with each new-hire cycle. Get good talent in the door with this guide on conducting effective interviews. We’re excited to see that we went from 1,483 views on this in 2017 to 10,132 (and counting) in 2018 — here’s to that meaning more excellent nonprofit talent in the sector.