I come across so many great conversations, ideas, and resources all over the web every day. Here are some of the most interesting things I’ve found recently (as of January 24th). You can join the conversations in the comments, or click through to the original posts to find what others are saying.

To follow more of the things I find online, you can follow @amysampleward on Twitter (which is just a blog and resource feed), or find me on Delicious (for all kinds of bookmarks).

  • Eric Lanke: Stop Calling It Strategic Planning – "So I'm working my way through Humanize, and like most everyone else, I'm really enjoying it. This will probably be the first of several posts describing the thoughts it provokes for how I am and should be running my association. But dare I start with the endlessly controversial subject of strategic planning? I've heard Jamie Notter (and others) decry this staple of association board meetings as a tool whose time has come and gone, but it wasn't until I read the treatment of it in Humanize that I really understood what he was talking about. And it's convinced me of one undisputable fact. I need to stop calling what my association does strategic planning."
  • 2011 NTEN Champions Fundraising Campaign by the Numbers | NTEN – "The funny thing about being the Nonprofit Technology Network is that it can be really hard to practice what we preach. You may recall that the NTEN community recently helped us raise over $15,000 to host more local events throughout 2012. We learned so much while running that campaign, but we also made lots of mis-steps along the way. One of the things we wished for as we navigated the campaign: benchmarks. Besides average gift amount, what might we expect?"
  • New Research Proves the Business Case for Product Giving : PitchEngine : Get the Word Out™ – "New research from Indiana University concludes that businesses can do well by doing good through product philanthropy.  Donating products to charities helps corporate bottom lines, reduces waste in landfills, and provides relief for people in need. With a record number of Americans living in poverty today, product donations allow people to use their limited resources to pay for food, health care, prescription drugs, utilities and other vital needs. The study, released today by Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), provides the first detailed examination of the return on investment for donating merchandise as opposed to liquidating or destroying it."
  • Is email going out with 2011? | craigconnects – "I took a look at a few articles and studies, and according to ComScore's 2010 Digital Year in Review, email use dropped 59% among Internet users ages 12 to 17 in 2010. Users ages 18 to 54 have reportedly turned away from email, as well — many are instead communicating through social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. An increase in email use, however, was visible in the 55+ age group, who used web-email 15% more in 2010 than in 2009. The report also went into detail on what sites people spent their time on: it illustrated that time spent on webmail sites declined while social networking sites increased considerably." Would love to hear what your experience and perception of email use is! For me, I see the way I use email and treat email changing, but the importance and irreplaceability (is that a word?) of it staying the same. You?
  • Multiple Constituent Groups, One Database: Case Studies | Idealware – A great collection of three case studies from very different organizations, including Fight Colorectal Cancer, Sarah's, and Earthjustice. How are you managing your data?
Great reads from around the web on January 24th
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