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The ALS Association recently announced that research funded through donations from its 2014 “Ice Bucket Challenge” has identified a new gene that contributes to the disease and that can become a target for drug development. The association also announced a new campaign called “Every Drop Adds Up” to follow up on the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” which raised about $115 million globally. It’s a good reminder of a “best practice”: Keep donors informed about how their donations make a real difference to potentially generate subsequent donations.

Legacy not-for-profits go digital to attract Millennial donors

Large organizations such as United Way and the American Red Cross are turning to online appeals to reach Millennial donors who are “rewriting the rules of fundraising,” Adweek reports. One of the biggest challenges is engaging these donors through new fundraising channels. The not-for-profits are responding by ramping up efforts in crowdfunding, mobile and other digital modes of giving. United Way, for example, raised $570,000 for its “Restore Baltimore” campaign via crowdfunding.

Fitness app leverages Pokémon GO craze

The fitness app Charity Miles — which lets people raise money for more than 30 charities by tracking the distance they walk, run or bike — is now allowing users to collect miles while playing the popular Pokémon GO game on their smartphones.

As players roam their cities and neighborhoods in search of Pokémon characters, they can participate in the Charity Miles Pokémon GO Challenge. For every “Challenge Team,” the organization pays charities out of a pool of money from corporate sponsors, in proportion to the miles accumulated for each charity.

Survey sheds light on hiring challenges

According to this year’s Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey™ from Nonprofit HR and GuideStar, the ability to pay competitive wages ranks as the top staffing challenge faced by nonprofits for the fifth consecutive year. Since 2014, the second largest challenge has been finding qualified staff.

Organizations have the most trouble retaining employees in direct services (positions that work directly with clients), followed by fundraising development. And these are areas where the most job growth is expected in the coming year, suggesting the possibility of more staffing problems going forward. The survey report asserts that the increasing number of “entities that are blending purpose and profit” (for example, Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia) means job seekers have more opportunities to engage in mission-driven work than ever before