The end of the year is always a special time for many social sector organizations. Not only do we have the chance to celebrate with clients and their families over the holidays, but we also enjoy the magic of the season. This warm holiday glow is often accompanied by hurriedness and hustle over event planning, gift giving and year-end appeals. To help you cherish these final days of 2017, we’ve prepared a list of this year’s TrendSpotter favorites.

Back in January, in our “Annual Words to Know: 2017,” we introduced the word “survivance,” a Native American concept that means letting go of old ways of operating and welcoming new ways. And welcome new ways we did. In 2017, Social TrendSpotters tweeted the most about the word of the year – system change – and your favorite posts of the year focused on upgrading our collective skill set and mindset. We hope this retrospective helps you reflect as you prepare for 2018.

#1 Words to Know: 2017 
We have entered a new global economy – powered by technology, fueled by data and driven by knowledge. In this inspiring blog, we expand on this notion by exploring the five word shifts that are needed for 21st-century social sector organizations to rise to the challenge set forth by the times.

#2 Mastering 3Q, Or What Would Peter Drucker Say?
Our greatest leaders are the ones who don’t have all the answers, but ask the right questions, connect with the people around them, adjust their style to the audience and inspire others toward a future vision. This is especially true in the social sector. In this stimulating blog, we share new thinking about personal mastery and the integrated approach to 3Q – IQ, EQ and the newest measurement, SQ.

#3 Business Plans and Prospectuses 
Investors are increasingly asking nonprofit organizations and social enterprises to give brief pitches on how their services will solve issues in the community. Your ability to concisely and persuasively tell your organization’s story in multiple formats can make or break funding decisions. Whether you write a grant, business plan or prospectus, the goal is to inspire confidence in your organization and its idea. In this blog, we provide a step-by-step process for each approach to help you put your best foot forward.

#4 How to Diagnose Nonprofit Growing Pains and Avoid Organizational Decline or Failure
When your tried-and-true strategies begin to fail (and threaten to take you with them), your organization’s systems may be out of sync. These diagnostic posts will help you pinpoint where you are in the nonprofit lifecycle and how to weather the down times and inevitable growing pains.

#5 IMPACT Series
Impact is the bottom line of the social sector. In our impact series, we have taken the guesswork out of creating an impact management process and inspiring an impact culture with posts that feature downloadable tools and easy-to-understand frameworks. From theory of changelogic model and evaluation planning to altering your mindset and culture, our posts can help you build an organization that is energized by data, curious to learn, acts deliberately and embraces change.

We hope you enjoy this look back into Social TrendSpotter favorites of the year. If you have been inspired, we would love for you to share them through Twitter or Facebook and feel free to forward this post to friends and colleagues. We would also love to hear your favorite posts of the year and how you have used them in your organization.


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