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Ranking above the rest: The top 10 most-read Candid blogs in 2023

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Every December, Google publishes its Year in Search, an annual roundup of the top trends and topics across its trillions of online searches. It also offers a glimpse into what was top of mind for Google’s online community that year. 

As 2023 concludes, we’ve put our twist on this yearly tradition. To celebrate you, our amazing community of readers, we look back at the Candid blogs that resonated the most with you this year. 

We hope you enjoy rediscovering and reflecting on the 10 most-read Candid blogs of 2023. 

1. How to write a winning grant proposal by Stephen Robertson of Candid 

Ranking in the top spot: Writing grant proposals. Breaking down its typical sections, this blog offers a step-by-step roadmap for how to craft a winning project proposal. It also provides best practices and helpful resources to guide your efforts towards every nonprofit’s desired destination: grant funding to support your mission-driven work.   

2. Nonprofit Google Ads 101: How to get the Google Ad Grant by Sarah Symeons of Cause Inspired Media 

Speaking of funding, it pays to help funders and donors find and support your organization. If you want to boost your nonprofit’s discoverability online, this blog on Google Ad Grants is a worthwhile read. Sarah shares her vast expertise in helping nonprofits connect with supporters online–including how to score $10,000 in free monthly advertising from Google.  

3. The 990s are here. Why that’s a big deal and what happens now by Cathleen Clerkin and Shane Ward of Candid 

Our sector relies on 990 data to understand how trillions of dollars flow to drive impact. So, this blog’s “Christmas-come-early-type” popularity comes as no surprise. After years of pandemic-related delays, Cathleen and Shane explain the significance of one million Forms 990 released by the IRS in May 2023. They also share how Candid turned this massive influx of data into insights to support the sector’s work. 

4. Introducing 2023 Candid Seals of Transparency by Wynne Chan of Candid 

Increased visibility with funders and donors makes another appearance in this year’s fourth most-read blog. Wynne shares what a Candid Seal of Transparency is and how your organization can benefit from earning one. Dig into the perks that await Candid Seal holders, including access to a unique and sharable full nonprofit profile link and the ability to become eligible for donations with Apple Pay. 

5. Why we are all burned out and what to do about it by Cathleen Clerkin of Candid 

Burnout is a trend that’s unfortunately yet to go out of style. In this blog, Cathleen Clerkin, Ph.D., shares what causes burnout, what its symptoms look like, and why nonprofit professionals are particularly susceptible to it. Revisit this piece to find practical strategies individuals, managers, and HR teams can employ to beat burnout at today’s mission-driven organizations. 

6. Four common grant proposal documents (free samples included) by Melissa Pulis of Candid 

Next up, a familiar theme reemerges. Melissa summarizes the major types of documents involved in funders’ grant proposal processes, including letters of inquiry, cover letters, and proposal budgets. Her blog also describes what each document is, when they’re commonly used, and the elements that each should include. As a bonus, get free sample documents to see what success looks like in practice. 

7. What to do after your grant proposal is rejected by Lori Guidry of Candid 

Funding comes with competition. So, even the most perfectly written proposal can be turned down by a prospective funder from time to time. In this blog, Lori discusses what to do after a grant proposal gets rejected. She shares how to ask funders for feedback that will help improve your future chances of receiving funding.  

8. The ABCs of DAFs: What is a donor-advised fund? By David Holmes of Candid 

If you could use a refresher on what donor-advised funds (DAFs) are all about, this eighth most-read blog is here to help. David provides an overview of how DAFs work and why their popularity continues to meteorically grow among today’s donors. Want to tap into the billions of dollars of DAF funding? Read the second blog in the series to find out how you can get in on the action. 

9. Reimagining the annual report by Mary Steyer and Zahra Hassan of Candid 

Traditional annual reports are expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. But this doesn’t need to be the case. In this blog, Mary and Zahra describe our streamlined approach to crafting Candid’s annual report. They share how we turned a pricey, printed piece into an online pdf with multi-purpose content that maximizes the return on our investment—and how you can achieve the same result. 

10. Foundation giving and payout in 2022: What changed and what’s next? By Sarina Dayal and Grace Sato of Candid 

Exploring what data can tell us about foundation giving rounds out our 10 most popular Candid blogs of 2023. Sarina and Grace surface key insights about what last year’s grantmakers’ giving and payout may mean for the sector today. In this first blog in a three-part series, they expound on the findings, including an anticipated decrease in foundation funding and how inflation factors into the picture. 

Whether you’re seeking funding, combating burnout, or staying on top of sector trends, our goal is to support your mission-driven success. We look forward to another year of Candid blogs and shared knowledge in 2024. 


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  • Gregory Johnson says:

    December 19, 2023 4:27 pm

    Fantastic resourceful information. We are fortunate to have David Holmes located in the Cleveland area. He has been a wealth of information for years.

    Thank you as we begin the first steps with out new NGO in Cleveland.