Media Room: Publications and Presentations

2010 to the Present

Most Recent Activity First

Central to my publications and presentations is Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog, launched publicly on WordPress in summer 2011 and visited by more than 100 nations annually. It is designed, composed and managed by me personally, free of charge as a public service. There are no guest authors.

Carolyn M. Appleton

Follow the link to reach my Phi Kappa Phi Speaker Profile


Unless otherwise noted, these presentations and authorships have been done free of charge.

In January I wrote, “Nonprofit Social Media is Essential to Attracting and Retaining Donors,” a guest post for the Qgiv Blog.

I reviewed a new book by Barbara Floersch of The Grantsmanship Center, “You Have A Hammer: Building Grant Proposals For Social Change.” Follow this link to Goodreads. A review of the book is also posted on You may recall from reading my blog, my earliest grant training course was at The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles. It was one of the most impactful programs in which I have ever participated. I have stayed with the Center for many years now and I recommend its offerings highly.

To read, “Fundraising Tools Every Nonprofit Needs” (February 2021), follow the link to the Qgiv Blog. Thanks again to Qgiv for having me!

  • April 1, “Adjusting Your Mindset for Successful Grant Writing Today.” This Qgiv webinar was free, it includes a lifetime of experiences and suggestions for moving forward in our sector. A recording is posted on YouTube. Thanks to Qgiv for having me! For those seeking the film, Chambord 1519-2019: The Renaissance, it is available on a variety of platforms online. I discovered it on Tubi.

To learn about my community and volunteer activities during this time and more, follow the link.


To read a recap of Nonprofit Tech Club Austin’s most successful year yet, see ISSUU below.

I was pleased to have two of my iPhone photographs included in the Dark Skies Exhibition, hosted by Bee Cave Arts Foundation mid-October through the end of November. Follow the link to read about the “dark skies” initiative and more.

On September 30 my blog article for TechSoup was posted online, “How Your Nonprofit Fundraising Team Can Prepare for Disaster.” Thanks to Stephen Jackson and Cameron Jones of TechSoup for their partnership.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (Summer 2020).
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

As a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi since 1985, I participate in an ongoing online discussion whereby members are invited to comment and share their thoughts about various timely issues. One of my brief comments is included in the summer 2020 issue of the quarterly journal, “Forum.” There, I shared my concerns about the dangers of hate speech which references a post on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog composed in 2019, “Resources to Combat Hate Speech.”

On May 4, I spoke via Zoom to Nonprofit Tech Club Austin on, “Prospecting: Reviewing Your Own Database for Hidden Gems.” This discussion about research had a Texas slant and related commentary. On April 14, I presented a Qgiv webinar along similar lines, “Prospect Research: Finding Hidden Gems in Your Database.” The recording may be found below. The discussion had a broad focus and emphasized how some of your best potential donors are often already in your database(s), but you must set aside quality time to find them and to conduct research. You do not need to hire a consultant to do this!

February 13, I helped present a day-long workshop in Houston related to the TechSoup disaster preparation and recovery educational program that I helped develop in 2019. Now that the online course has been developed and fine tuned, it is available to the public and I recommend it highly! To see a few photos from the Houston event, follow this link to my Portfolio.


I am pleased to have written a blog post for Qgiv, “Building Your Nonprofit’s Credibility with Qgiv” (November 6, 2019). By making use of a reputable gift processing service that includes multiple forms of payment, you demonstrate that your nonprofit is sophisticated and a cut above the rest. Having learned about and installed Qgiv for a nonprofit organization myself by hand, I know the back end of Qgiv well, and like it a lot.

To access nonprofit disaster planning and recovery course from TechSoup, follow this link. From summer through fall 2019, I was part of a team of Texas experts and TechSoup staff members who have helped develop the online course, which was initially focused on Hurricane Harvey-impacted regions of Texas. The project was underwritten by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

On October 22, I was the focus of an, “Ask the Expert” online presentation as part of the initial TechSoup Disaster Preparedness Program.

On April 10, I enjoyed teaming-up with Chris Tuttle on, “Getting Beyond the Like: Using Social Media to Cultivate Deeper Commitment,” a webinar hosted by Idealware and TechImpact. This was one of six courses included in The Nonprofit Social Media Toolkit. We had 52 diverse nonprofit representatives attending. Great discussion and questions! If anyone has questions for me specifically, use my blog’s secure contact form. The slide deck is on SlideShare.


You might enjoy reading my article on the importance of social media stewardship and research in the June, 2018 issue of ADRP’s e-newsletter, The Hub.

The morning of June 15 during the AFP DFW Philanthropy in Action conference at the Irving Convention Center I discussed, “How Startup Nonprofits Can Break Into the Big Leagues.” My slide deck is posted on SlideShare.

Having worked with small and aspiring nonprofits for the past several years, I shared my advice about inspiring confidence on the part of major gift donors. Most all of my advice involves time, but little if any investment of money. I urge nonprofits to be lean and more “digital” to help amplify impact, and to make a positive impression that adequately reflects the energy, sophistication and importance of their work.

Asking for charitable donations is something I enjoy!

I enjoyed speaking about “asking” for charitable gifts during lunch to the AFP Permian Basin Chapter on April 25. Thanks to the chapter for providing an honorarium and underwriting my travel expenses. To reach my slide deck, follow the link. This is a powerful, information-packed presentation and if your organization could benefit from hearing it, let me know by sending me a message using the secure contact form on this website.

I gave a webinar to members of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) on, “Taking a Step Back Will Lead You Forward,” on March 29. To read an blog article that includes my central themes, click here.


Thanks to GetEdFunding for reprinting my blog article,“Grant Writing: A Reality Check” (December). This is one of the most-read articles on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog.

Follow the link to read my blog article for Bloomerang, “How Startup Nonprofits Can Break Into the Big Leagues” (November). A donation from Bloomerang in honor of the article has gone to IREC: Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

Coffee Chat at the Regional Foundation Library, Austin. On May 25, I enjoyed discussing asking for major gifts, and turning difficult situations into positive outcomes. Please note the Regional Foundation Library is now the Texas Grants Resource Center, a division of The University of Texas at Austin.

AFP DFW Philanthropy in Action conference, May 19 at the Irving Convention Center, Asking for Major Gifts: Expecting the Unexpected.” My thanks go to Enterprise for providing travel support through a discount to The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (I have been a member since 1985). I was delighted to have a “full house,” and so many excellent questions.

2017 DFW Philanthropy in Action
Thanks to everyone who attended my “Asking for Major Gifts: Expecting the Unexpected” presentation at the Irving Convention Center.

In April, 2017 Bloomerang kindly invited me to write a blog post on volunteers and volunteering. Here is a link to, “Think Volunteers Are More Trouble Than They Are Worth? Think Again.” In thanks, Bloomerang made a donation to IREC: Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

Sam Houston Association of Computer Scientists, Sam Houston State University, “Tech Solutions: Nonprofit Communications and Fundraising,” March 4 during the FutureTech Conference. Follow this link to my slide deck on SlideShare.

I was pleased to be quoted by Ricky Ribeiro of BizTech Magazine in, 4 Pearls of Wisdom for Nonprofit Technology in 2017″ (February 13).

For NetSquared (now called TechSoup Connect) I gave a webinar called, “Creating a Remarkable Meetup” on ReadyTalk for club organizers globally. I shared my tips and hands-on guidance about the creation and management of a Meetup page (February 7). My introductory slide deck is posted on SlideShare.

Nonprofit Ally, “Insider Tips from a Professional Grant Writer” podcast (recorded January 6). This was a 58 minute discussion about grant writing from the perspective of senior level grant writer, including issues that affect grant writing (things that are in your control, and those that are not), and more. You can find the podcast as NPA 054 on the Apple podcast app.



  • National Catholic Development Conference, Dimensions, “Mailing Lists: God Is In The Details” (October/November 2015 issue). This is an article from my primary website, Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog, reprinted. I was honored to be included in the primary development journal for Catholic fundraisers.
  • TEXSAR: Texas Search and Rescue presentation to the Travis County Kennel Club (November, 2015). I enjoyed giving a private presentation to the Board of the Club about TEXSAR and its use of canines in search and rescue (and search and recovery) efforts in Texas. Follow the link to my slide deck on SlideShare. One result of this activity was the donation of several pet emergency rescue kits to TEXSAR.
  • I spoke to the Coastal Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals on August 25 at Del Mar Community College in Corpus Christi, Texas. The focus of the talk was the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential, from the formal process involved and studying to take the CFRE examination, to personal perspectives about certification. I served on the Board of this chapter ca. 2003 until I moved from Corpus Christi in 2010, and it was a pleasure to visit my professional colleagues in the region. In fact, after all these years in the nonprofit sector, I find some of the finest nonprofit fundraising professionals live and work in that region.
  • “Blogging Your Nonprofit Career on WordPress” was a presentation I gave during WordPress Day at the Austin Convention Center in March, immediately prior to the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference. My slide deck is posted on SlideShare. I wrote an article a few years ago about this topic on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog (several supportive links are provided at the conclusion).
  • Thanks to NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network for including me in, “NTEN Member Roundup” (January 6).


  • Texas Non Profits included an article featuring my predictions, 2015 and Beyond: Fundraising Predictions” (December 31).
  • On the Apple podcast app, you can find my talk with Steve Vick of Nonprofit Ally (October 16) as NPA 018, “Approaching Corporations for Money.” Steve interviewed me about “asking.” Personal examples are provided. Texans will enjoy a bit of nonprofit history, and shout-outs go to GuideStar, NTEN, Asking Matters, Texas Nature Conservancy, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Bloomerang, late friend and mentor Richard C. Bartlett and more.
  • I gave a presentation called, Fundraising Predictions: 2014 and Beyond” for the Texas Library Association (June 9).
  • I enjoyed giving a presentation during the AFP DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference at the Irving Convention Center, “Digital ‘Do It Yourself’ for Major Gift Professionals” (June). Thanks to my audience, I was pleased to have had a packed room.
  • I was part of a team of teachers involved in the CFRE Review Course in Austin June 9-10. My session focused on donor and prospective donor research and discussed best practices. I also helped teach the capital campaign module for the CFRE Review Course in summer, 2008.
  • Bloomerang Google+ Hangout (video) with Steven Shattuck, “Tips for Working At or With a Start-up Nonprofit” (March). Among other things, good advice for all those Boomers wanting to launch new nonprofits!
  • Bloomerang, “The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Grant Writing and Research” (February). The title is not mine, but I am honored they chose it for this piece.
  • Bloomerang, “6 Expert Fundraising Predictions for 2014” (January).


  • AFP DFW Philanthropy in Action presentation at the Irving Convention Center, “Social Media: Major & Planned Giving Applications” (June).
  • GuideStar case studies (2013): 1) GuideStar as a research solution; and 2) GuideStar and meeting with prospective donors and professional advisors. These discussions were posted on the website for several years as pdfs, but with the merger of GuideStar with Candid and an update of the website, they are no longer available. I do believe those and other experiences would merit a public presentation sometime, however! They were eye-opening.
  • Bloomerang, “Amplify Your Nonprofit’s Impact with Social Media” (Summer).
  • Prior to WealthEngine’s website redesign, I wrote a popular article for its blog, WealthWorks, “Volunteering & Charitable Giving” (Spring). If you visit Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog, read “High Tech Research Worth the Investment” to get a general idea about my experiences with WealthEngine. To read about volunteering, follow this link to, “Volunteering and Charitable Giving.”



  • Margaret Battistelli wrote for Fundraising Success, NTC: Roundup: Major Gift Fundraising and Social Media” (April 20). Margaret attended my talk during the 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference (#10NTC) at CNN Center in Atlanta, and I appreciated her coverage. My slide deck for this presentation on SlideShare ranked in the top ten from the conference for a year.

Other Presentations

During my university days in the 1980s while attending graduate school, I authored and co-authored a number of art and art history articles in scholarly publications, from The University of Texas Press and the Gilcrease Magazine to The Magazine Antiques. If you have questions about those, let me know. This blog page lists activities undertaken from 2010 to the present day. Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog was launched in 2011.

Questions? Contact me any time via the secure contact form provided on this website. Thank you!

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