With the hustle and bustle of the holidays in full swing, we present you the short and sweet list of favorite TrendSpotter blogs of 2013. After all the meals are served, gifts delivered, and donations acknowledged, we invite you to pause a moment, take stock of all you’ve accomplished this year, and make fearless plans for the road ahead.

The underlying current of Social TrendSpotter this year emphasized planning, executing, and evaluating the work of social organizations. We want organizations to have both a bold vision of the future and a realistic, vetted plan to achieve it. These TrendSpotter favorites take you from start-up to maturity, looking inside and outside your organization.

#1 The Lean Start-Up, Social Sector Edition 
Starting a new program or venture involves risk that can be costly and time-consuming. Find out how to increase your chances of success by following these six steps for hitting the ground running.

#2 Nonprofit Organizations Experience Growing Pains – Just Like People Do
When your tried-and-true strategems begin to fray (and threaten to take you with them), your organization’s systems may be out of synch. This blog takes a look at the phases of the nonprofit lifecycle and how to weather the down times and growing pains.

#3 Social Enterprise Alliance Summit LIVE
Keep up with social entrepreneurship trends in the U.S. as the ecosystem takes root and grows. New policies, financing vehicles, and human resource recruitment paths are springing up to support the latest evolution toward a purpose-driven economy.

#4 Taking it to the Next Level: Layered Logic Models
This simple update to the classic logic model helps organizations track outcomes for programs that serve multiple populations.

#5 The Ultimate Dream Manager: Nelson Mandela
Dreams are powerful – they propel people forward and can be harnessed to both encourage and get the most from your employees. This blog highlights the book, The Dream Manager, which posits that the future of your business is intertwined with the future of your employees.

We hope you enjoy this look back on 2013 and invite you to let us know how you think the social sector will evolve in 2014. We will be releasing our annual tradition – Words to Know in the New Year – on 01.02.14 and would love your opinions. Please take a moment to reflect on past blog entries and enjoy the holiday season.

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