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 May 9th). 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).

  • Attention Data Nerds: Nonprofits Miss Out on the Power of LinkedIn: Learn How to Tap It | Beth’s Blog – Geri Stengel has a great guest post on Beth's blog. "Whether connected or cold calling, you can build long-term, valuable relationships using LinkedIn. Find out how easy it is. LinkedIn isn’t some stodgy place where people post their resumes. It’s a no- to low-cost database that is a rich source of information about potential major donors, board members, employees, and strategic allies." Would love to hear what you're doing on LinkedIn and how your organization has or has not found LinkedIn valuable!
  • Blackbaud and Convio Now One Company – "Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB) today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Convio, Inc., a leading provider of on-demand constituent engagement solutions. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Blackbaud paid an aggregate purchase price of approximately $325 million. Blackbaud financed the deal through a combination of cash and borrowings from its credit facility. “This is an exciting day for the Blackbaud and Convio teams. Together, we can build better solutions for nonprofits, and that’s what drives us,” said Marc Chardon, Blackbaud’s chief executive officer. “Convio’s strengths in online and social marketing, and subscription and cloud-based offerings complement ours, and will accelerate our ability to deliver more to the nonprofit sector.”"
  • Charities May Soon Get a Way to Seek Bigger Text Gifts – Prospecting – The Chronicle of Philanthropy- Connecting the nonprofit world with news, jobs, and ideas – "Donors who give through mobile text messages could soon have the options of giving a larger donation and setting up repeat text gifts, say the leaders of two of the organizations that oversee text giving in the U.S. and Canada. Jim Manis, chief executive of the Mobile Giving Foundation, and Bernard Lord, chairman of the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada, said in an interview that they are working with some cellular service providers to allow $20 donations—double the current $10 limit—and recurring donations, though they gave no timeline on when those features would be available."
  • Get more donors with free fundraising lessons and ideas – I love this new free series from Causevox – get a video a week filled with great information and actionable tips to help improve your fundraising right away. I don't even primarily focus on fundraising and I'm finding it really valuable!
  • The A/B Test: Inside the Technology That’s Changing the Rules of Business | Epicenter | Wired.com – This is a terrific case study in the power of a/b testing on your websites – be it organization site, microsite, campaign pages, or even fundraising pages – to question everything and find what really works. Every time I do testing, I see the same thing that they note here: my instincts are wrong. We over-think things and the best way to stop is by testing!
Great reads from around the web on May 9th
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