Next year will bring new challenges and uncertainties, possibilities and triumphs, which we will as ever try to shine a light on via our blog. But for now, let’s reflect on a year of political change, radical fundraising models and an ageing society—our pick of 2014.

January. Our most popular blog at the beginning of 2014, funders are increasingly drawn to the benefits of theory of change—described here under strategy, communication, and learning and evaluation.

February. If charities were more transparent in reporting both their positive and negative results, they would better contribute to public knowledge about what works and what doesn’t, and our collective impact would thrive.

March. One of the biggest social media campaigns of the year, #nomakeupselfie was viewed by some as narcissism dressed up as charity; but surely an idea that promotes self esteem has value in and of itself?

April. Chair of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, Lynne Berry OBE, shares why she believes our ageing society has the potential to lead the voluntary sector into a viable future.

May. UKIP remains fairly wordless on the subject, but our polling with Ipsos MORI says something about what the party’s supporters feel about charities and their role in society (featuring CEO pay and overseas aid).

June. Designed to help the social investment market along, the Retail Charity Bond platform joins together charities and investors more cheaply and swiftly than ever before—but will they come?

July. In response to our paper Failing the public? Dr Henry Kippin asks us to think beyond public services and refocus on managing the root causes of demand by building new cross sector collaborations.

August. Beyond a bump in fundraising, research suggests that getting a celebrity to front a campaign makes little lasting difference to the charity’s public standing—so what is effective and how can you tell?

September. Using evidence to design and improve services is gradually becoming the norm, but it’s easier said than done. Here are some initiatives to help charities navigate the challenges it brings.

October. The sector’s approach to impact measurement has become too narrow, stalled even—so how can we move forward and make sure it is focused on the right things?

November. One of NPC’s founding trustees, Peter Wheeler, says being on a board should not be a comfortable job—if it is, then you should get out. Ask yourself some of the more difficult questions.

December. Challenged this year by the likes of #icebucketchallenge, can Movember maintain mo-mentum? Only by being transparent about how the funds are used can we intelligently judge when to open our wallets.

My colleague, Ria, will cast her predictions on the year to come and offer a few sneak previews of our upcoming work—so stay tuned for that over the next couple of days.

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