Monday, December 29, 2008

Picks of the Week: December 28, 2008 – January 3, 2008

Website of the Week -- Center for Association Leadership

The Center for Association Leadership, founded by the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives (GWSAE), is an organization of people, resources and ideas focused on the future of associations. The site offers an extensive array of programs, knowledge resources and community networks including a Knowledge Resource section where you'll find association case studies, models and samples, articles and whitepapers, book reviews, the Ten Cool Ideas collection and expert recommendations covering all aspects of association management. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Nonprofit Almanac 2008 by Kennard T. Wing, Thomas H. Pollak and Amy Blackwood

From the publisher: America's nonprofit sector continues to grow faster than its business sector or the government. The Nonprofit Almanac 2008 presents data on these organizations place in the national economy and trends in wages, employment, private giving, volunteering, and finances. The tables and graphics will give scholars, practitioners, and policymakers the data they need at a glance, while the textual analysis will help them plan for the future. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- International Grantmaking Trends

Estimated U.S. foundation giving for international purposes reached a record $5.4 billion in 2007, and 2008 giving is likely to top that record. International Grantmaking IV: An Update on U.S. Foundation Trends, a new report prepared by the Foundation Center in cooperation with the Council on Foundations, examines changes in grantmakers’ strategies and practices and the outlook for giving based on a 2008 survey and interviews with leading funders. It also documents trends in giving through 2006 based on actual grants awarded by over 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations. Key findings include:

• International giving grew faster than overall giving between 2002 and 2007.
• The impact of the U.S. financial crisis remains uncertain, but most leading international funders are likely to remain committed.
• The Gates Foundation accounted for more than half of the increase in funding.
• International giving grew faster than overall giving, regardless of foundation type.

To download a copy of the report highlights, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Promising Practices Catalogue

The Promising Practices Catalogue, a service of the Nonprofit Library Commons, showcases successful initiatives with proven community or organizational impact. You can browse a full listing featuring the following topics: innovation, collaboration, effective communication, leadership in governance, financial sustainability and more. Through this collection you can also find a reference to each project's funding partner, or community investor. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Microsoft Office 2009 Calendar Templates

Microsoft Office Online offers dozens of calendar templates which can be freely download. You can find 2009 calendar templates for Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and OneNote. Click here to check it out!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Picks of the Week: December 21 - 27, 2008

Website of the Week -- Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership

The mission of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership (MCNL) is to enhance the performance and effectiveness in the nonprofit sector through high quality community-oriented education, applied research, problem solving and service. MCNL applies the resources and talents of the University and the sector to the problems and issues facing the nonprofit sector so its members are better prepared to serve their communities. MCNL creates opportunities for the leaders of this vital community to come together as colleagues to learn, network and support each other, and to encourage personal, professional and organizational renewal and effectiveness. The Midwest Center is a service and outreach unit of the Department of Public Affairs in the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Nonprofit Essentials: Major Gifts by Julia Ingraham Walker

From the publisher: Part of the AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series, Nonprofit Essentials: Major Gifts is a professional guide to major gift fundraising, concisely presented in a format that is accessible, lively, and easy-to-read. With in-depth advice from experienced fundraiser Julia Walker, this book takes the reader from the early stages of establishing a program through the core elements of all major gift programs: identifying and rating prospects; preparing the case; training volunteers; cultivating donors; making the ask; and providing recognition and stewardship for the gift. Its nuts-and-bolts presentation focuses on how to create a prospect-centered program that develops the capacity to engage and solicit donors, effectively based on their unique interests and needs. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- How the Internet Affects Social Life and Civic Participation

Statistics Canada has published How Canadians' Use of the Internet Affects Social Life and Civic Participation, a report outlining the impact the Internet has on the social behaviors of Canadians in a virtual age. The study looks at how many hours people typically spend with others in person versus communicating with others online, and the impact those activities have on social networks. It also looks at how the Internet is used for volunteering and community involvement. The report is based on data collected from 2003 to 2007. The report suggests the Internet can make finding opportunities for social engagement more appealing due to the easier accessibility of information. A 2005 survey on how Canadians fill their time says those who are online for less than an hour per day typically log more volunteer hours than those who do not use the Internet and those who use it for more than an hour a day. These "moderate users" are also generally more likely to volunteer than the other classifications of Internet users. Statistics Canada's Giving, Volunteering and Participating, a survey completed in 2004, suggests eight per cent of volunteers use the Internet to look for volunteer opportunities, contact other organizations, promote events, and keep track of what is happening in their communities. The recent report says "survey data from Statistics Canada’s [General Social Survey] GSS on social engagement show that as far back as 2003, nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of Canadians who were involved in at least one group or organization conducted at least part of their involvement through the Internet." Young Canadians typically look for volunteer opportunities on the Internet more than older generations but the use of the Internet for the actual volunteer work is relatively similar between the age groups.
For a copy of the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Giving Circles Knowledge Center

Throughout history, passionate individuals have joined together to make life better in their communities. Today, thousands of donors pool their money, energy, and ideas to create giving circles. The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers has compiled an extensive collection of resources on how to start, maintain, and grow a giving circle. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Microsoft Office New Year's Templates

Microsoft Office Online offers a number of templates specifically designed for the New Year which can be freely download. These include greeting cards, postcards, shipping labels, address labels, banners, invitations, menus, labels for CD's, email messages, and even one for New Year's resolutions. You can find templates for Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote and Outlook. Click here to check it out!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Picks of the Week: December 14 - 20, 2008

Website of the Week -- Severson Center Trend Website

The Severson Center, a division of the Alliance for Children and Families, has opened their trend website to the general public, allowing more immediate access to a library of information in a readily accessible, user-friendly format. No login is needed for the website, but some reports are password protected for access by members of the Alliance. Trends and their impacts are organized under the following categories: Business/Economy, Education, Nonprofits, Technology/Science, Demographics/Population, Health, Social Service Issues, and Work. No question about it: this is the only resource of its kind and an invaluable resource for nonprofit strategic planning efforts. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to Guide Strategy by Joshua M. Birkholz

From the publisher: Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to Guide Strategy Fundraising Analytics shows you how to turn your nonprofit’s organizational data with an appropriate focus on donors, into actionable knowledge. The result? A vibrant, donor-centered nonprofit organization that makes maximum use of data to reveal the unique diversity of its donors. It provides step-by-step instructions for understanding your constituents, developing metrics to gauge and guide your success, and much more. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Public Perception of Nonprofit Overhead Spending

Study results released from Ellison Research, a marketing research firm that specializes in working with non-profit organizations, show most Americans believe non-profit organizations and charities are not financially efficient enough in their work. Sixty-two percent believe the typical non-profit spends more than what is reasonable on overhead expenses such as fundraising and administration. The findings are from a study independently designed and conducted by Ellison Research among a representative sample of over 1,000 American adults. Respondents were asked what proportion of every dollar they give to a typical non-profit organization will go towards overhead expenses such as fundraising and administration. The average person believes 36.3 cents on the dollar goes toward overhead expenses at the typical charity. The study also asked people what would be a reasonable proportion to go toward overhead expenses – and respondents were reminded to answer with a figure they feel would be reasonable, rather than what they feel is ideal. The average American believes 22.4 cents on the dollar being spent on overhead is a reasonable figure. Beyond just these averages, the study shows a number of things that are important for non-profits to understand about how Americans perceive them. For one thing, although the average American believes 36.3 cents out of every dollar is being spent on overhead expenses, this average figure comes from a very wide array of perceptions about how non-profits operate. To download a copy of the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Crisis Communication Plan: Nonprofit Toolkit

The Colorado Nonprofit Association has prepared a toolkit you can use to develop a crisis Communication plan for your association. The toolkit is designed to help staff respond in a unified, professional manner that reinforces sector leadership and creates loyalty; strategically enhance the organization’s brand/role, and the public understanding of the value provided by the nonprofit community; and manage the distribution of critical, often sensitive, information to the media, members, and public. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Microsoft Access 2007 Online Tutorials

If you’re trying to learn Microsoft Access 2007 there are excellent online resources available. I recommend checking these out:

Microsoft Office Online offers several Access 2007 Courses
• Access 2007 Tutorial developed by Florida Gulf Coast University

Monday, December 8, 2008

Picks of the Week: December 7 - 13, 2008

Website of the Week -- National Human Services Assembly

The National Human Services Assembly is an association of the nation’s leading national non-profits in the fields of health, human and community development, and human services. Many of the member organizations are national offices of large networks of local health & human service organizations. Others are national research or resource organizations or national programs. Goals include providing collective leadership to shape national human development/health & human service strategies, serving as a catalyst for sharing of resources for the purposes of individual/professional development and organizational efficiency and effectiveness, and, increasing awareness of the importance of and trust in the nonprofit health & human service sector. Major programs and activities include development and support of issue coalitions and peer networking groups; offering an annual Executive Leadership Institute for CEOs and board chairs on current national nonprofit leadership challenges with cutting edge presenters as well as The Leaders Summit which is geared towards nonprofit leaders and managers of Assembly member organizations. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Influential Fundraiser: Using the Psychology of Persuasion to Achieve Outstanding Results by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal

From the publisher: With the explosion of uninspired e-mail solicitations, dull fundraising dinners, and cookie-cutter direct mail campaigns, donors are demanding a new, personalized approach when being asked for money. Drawing on the authors' practical experience and the most current psychological and neurological research, The Influential Fundraiser offers a wealth of approaches that will help fundraisers make significant and successful creative "asks" for money from donors . . . in person. Written by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal—two leading experts in the field of international nonprofit fundraising—the book offers step-by-step guidance for gaining confidence and learning the necessary skills and techniques fundraisers must have to build successful relationships and raise substantial amounts of money. Written in an accessible, engaging style, The Influential Fundraiser will help you to be both highly effective and very flexible. The 5 P model outlined in the book—Passion, Proposal, Preparation, Persuasion, and Persistence—will help fundraisers and volunteers learn invaluable skills needed for fundraising success. The Influential Fundraiser is international in scope and includes helpful suggestions for dealing with a wide range of cultural and diversity issues. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Significant Challenges for Charities

A new GuideStar survey shows that the proportion of charity representatives reporting decreased contributions nearly doubled between 2007 and 2008, and that almost half of participants from nonprofits that rely on end-of-year gifts expect donations to decline during the last quarter of 2008 compared to the last quarter of 2007. GuideStar, the leading provider of nonprofit information, asked individuals associated with charitable nonprofits how their organizations fared financially during the first nine months of 2008 compared to the first nine months of 2007. Some 38 percent reported increased contributions, 25 percent said contribution levels had remained about the same, 35 percent reported a decrease, and 2 percent did not know. By contrast, in 2007, 52 percent of participants said that contributions had increased, 25 percent said they were about the same, 19 percent said they had decreased, and 4 percent did not know. In both 2007 and 2008, nearly half (46 percent) of the participants said that their organizations receive the majority of contributions during the last quarter of the year, the period known as the giving season. Last year, however, 60 percent of this group predicted that contributions during the 2007 giving season would exceed those from 2006, whereas this year, 49 percent said they expect decreased end-of-year donations. GuideStar's seventh annual nonprofit economic survey was conducted on-line October 6-20, 2008. Some 2,927 individuals representing at least 2,730 charitable organizations participated. The survey report is available at Survey results for a particular state can be requested.

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Economic Vitality Center

The National Council of Nonprofits developed this resource to help nonprofits better understand the current economic situation and have ready access to strategies to help them navigate the economy so they can serve their communities more efficiently. Resources are organized in three broard categories:

• Basic Facts & Analysis: This section provides links to materials designed to help the public, policymakers, journalists, and nonprofits understand the mounting economic challenges.
• Impact on Nonprofits: This section identifies ways the economy is hurting nonprofits - and thereby the communities they serve.
• Proactive Positioning - Action Steps for Nonprofits: This section shares resources to help nonprofits not only weather this economic storm, but also emerge even stronger.

The site is updated regularly. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Microsoft Excel 2007 Online Tutorials

If you’re trying to learn Microsoft Excel 2007 there are excellent online resources available. I recommend checking these out:

Microsoft Office Online offers several Excel 2007 Courses
• Excel 2007 Tutorial developed by Florida Gulf Coast University

Monday, December 1, 2008

Picks of the Week: November 30 - December 6, 2008

Website of the Week -- Harvard Family Research Project

The Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), a program of the Harvard Gradate School of Education, strengthens family, school, and community partnerships, early childhood care and education, promotes evaluation and accountability, and offers professional development to those who work directly with children, youth, and families. The audiences for HFRP's work include policymakers, practitioners, researchers, evaluators, philanthropists, teachers, school administrators, and concerned individuals. Areas of Expertise include: early care and education, out-of-school time, and family and community involvement in education. HFRP also believe that evaluation is essential to improve and maintain the quality of all programs. Therefore, a large part of its research includes piloting new approaches to evaluation and sharing field-wide innovative trends, strategies, and techniques through our quarterly journal, The Evaluation Exchange. The Evaluation Exchange will be of particular interest to nonprofits in general. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Search for Social Entrepreneurship by Paul Charles Light

From the publisher: Research on social entrepreneurship is finally catching up to its rapidly growing potential. In The Search for Social Entrepreneurship, Paul Light explores this surge of interest to establish the state of knowledge on this growing phenomenon and suggest directions for future research. Light begins by outlining the debate on how to define social entrepreneurship, a concept often cited and lauded but not necessarily understood. The subsequent section examines the four main components of social entrepreneurship: ideas, opportunities, organizations, and the entrepreneurs themselves. The copious information available about each has yet to be mined for lessons on making social entrepreneurship a success. The third section draws on Light s original survey research on 131 high-performing nonprofits, exploring how they differ across the four key components. The fourth and final section offers recommendations for future action and research in this burgeoning field. Paul C. Light is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University. He is also Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he founded the Center for Public Service. Light is the author of numerous books on public service and management, among them Pathways to Nonprofit Excellence (2002), Government's Greatest Achievements (2002), Making Nonprofits Work (2000), and The New Public Service (1999). Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Trends in Corporate Philanthropy

The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy released Giving in Numbers 2008 Edition, the annual analysis report on corporate giving trends. Giving in Numbers offers a comprehensive study of 2007 corporate giving data drawn from 155 prominent companies, including 69 of the Fortune 100.
2007 Findings highlight the industry's most-watched data points, such as matching gifts, volunteerism, international giving, corporate foundation giving, and management and program costs:

• Corporate Foundations: Consistent with prior years, 88% of companies have a corporate foundation. According to the preliminary data, pass-through foundation structures appear to be the most common.
• Matching Gifts. Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported an employee matching-gift program. The median corporate match was $2.03 million and matching as a percentage of total giving was 9%.
• Program Areas. For the first time, the average percentage of total giving allocated to Health & Social Services programs was equaled by that of giving to Education (which includes K-12 and Higher Education); these giving categories each garnered 28% of the typical company’s total giving budget.
• International Giving. As a percentage of total giving, grants serving international recipients increased from 10% in 2005 to 12% in 2007. Manufacturing companies in 2007 dedicated an average of 20.6% of total giving internationally compared to 4.6% on average by Service companies.
• Management Costs and Staffing. The typical cost of administering a giving program is equivalent to 6.1% of total giving. However, this figure likely under-represents actual expenses. The data also show that philanthropy staffing levels do not increase proportionally as giving budgets expand.

For a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Managing in Tough Times: 7 Steps

The Bridgespan Group offers advice to nonprofits looking for ways to respond to these challenging times. According to the authors “this position paper presents seven steps for navigating economic turbulence distilled from the real-world experiences of our clients, other nonprofit leaders and experts, and our own research”. The steps include:

1. Act quickly, but not reflexively, and plan contingencies.
2. Protect the core (the programs and services that have the greatest impact on those you serve; and the organizational infrastructure required to support them).
3. Identify the people who matter most and keep that group strong.
4. Stay very close to your key funders.
5. Shape up your organization (changes that could make your operations more efficient and your impact greater).
6. Involve your board.
7. Communicate openly and often.

For a copy of the full article, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 Online Tutorials

If you’re trying to learn Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 there are excellent online resources available. I recommend checking these out:

Microsoft Office Online offers more than twenty PowerPoint 2007 Courses.
• PowerPoint 2007 Tutorial developed by Florida Gulf Coast University.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Picks of the Week: November 23 - 29, 2008

Website of the Week -- Office Depot Foundation

The Office Depot Foundation was created to support non-profit organizations around the world and to make a positive impact on many lives and communities. The Office Depot Foundation will focus on the following strategic priorities for the next five years. Known collectively as the “5 X 5 Program,” these initiatives exemplify the Foundation’s mission – Listen Learn Care:

• Helping children get ready for life and work.
• Helping non-profit (civil society) organizations become more professional and productive.
• Promoting global development
• Enhancing disaster relief and recovery.
• Strengthening local communities.

The website includes information and resources on the 5x5 program, philanthropic partnerships, community investments, and volunteerism as well as a number of publications and reports. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Lunch and Learn: Creative and Easy-to-Use Activities for Teams and Work Groups by Carolyn Nilson

From the publisher: Lunch and Learn is filled with ready-to-use activities designed for full-time trainers, managers, team leaders, supervisors, and anyone else who acts as a trainer within their organization. The activities are on-the-job learning sessions that explore targeted topics relevant to almost any team or group. Each of the 25 sessions is a short 55-minute learning experience that is based on the best principles of discussion and reflection, creative thinking, problem solving, and action planning. All the book’s activities are organized in a step-by-step fashion and include everything a session leader needs to conduct a successful learning event, from discussion starters and activity handouts through suggestions for wrapping up the session. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- New Research on Corporate Citizenship

A new research study from Imagine Canada finds that the community investment initiatives of many of Canada’s largest corporations have moved beyond "check-book philanthropy" and are leveraging their assets in more ways than the public, or even the charities and nonprofits they support, might think. Corporate Community Investment Practices, Motivations & Challenges: Findings from the Canada Survey of Business Contributions to Community ─ puts a spotlight on 93 of Canada’s largest companies (annual revenues exceeding $25 million) and their community investment practices. "While the demand for these companies to give is persistent and increasing, they are doing more than just cutting a check for charities that have asked for help," says Dr. Michael Hall, Imagine Canada’s Vice President of Research. "What really stood out in the research is their strategic approaches to community investment and the ways in which they are engaging their employees and their broader stakeholder networks - clients, customers and suppliers - to leverage their philanthropy. They are putting a lot of thought into how and where they give, and are quite innovative in their approaches." While the research focuses on Canadian corporations, the findings mirror the pattern that has emerged in the US. For a summary of key findings, go to:

Resource of the Week -- The Resource Center for Effective Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships

Mission & Market: The Resource Center for Effective Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships, a service of Independent Sector, aims to provide the resources nonprofit and corporate executives need to help them build effective partnerships that enhance both mission and business goals—and serve to build the public trust for the nonprofit sector as a whole. In a marketplace of proliferating brands and products, corporations are constantly seeking innovative ways to differentiate their products and services in sustainable ways. And in a time of ever greater societal needs, nonprofit organizations are looking for new sources of revenue, enhanced visibility, expertise, and creative ways to promote their messages and advance their missions. As a result, there is a growing trend of companies and nonprofits creating a variety of partnerships that advance both the mission of the nonprofit organization and the business purpose of the company. This online resource includes:

• Expert Briefings and Model Guidelines
• "Lessons Learned" Partnership Profiles
• Types of Partnership Models
• Motivations for Partnering
• Glossary of Terms
• Tax and Legal Issues

Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Worksheet Selection in Excel

If you have several worksheets in an Excel workbook, it can be time consuming to select the one you want to view. This shortcut can help you speed up the process.

• Right click on the sheet tab navigation arrows in the lower left of the worksheet
• A menu of worksheet tabs pops up
• Left click the worksheet you want to view

This tip works in Excel 2007 as well as earlier versions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Picks of the Week: November 16 - 22, 2008

Website of the Week -- Bridgespan Group

The Bridgespan Group has launched a newly redesigned website. Founded in 2000, the Bridgespan Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps nonprofit and philanthropic leaders in the hard work of developing strategies and building organizations that inspire and accelerate social change. Bridgespan works to build a better world by strengthening the ability of nonprofit organizations to achieve breakthrough results in addressing society’s most important challenges and opportunities. Bridgespan pursues its mission through three sets of activities:

• Strategy consulting, executive search, and philanthropy advising, to help nonprofit organizations and philanthropists develop and implement strategies with the potential to achieve significant results.
• Sharing insights, strategies and tools developed by us and by others through research and client engagements, and
• Developing or supporting strategic initiatives that aim to improve performance across the nonprofit sector. Notable among these is the Bridgestar initiative, which seeks to help nonprofits attract, connect, and develop strong leadership teams

Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Mercifully Brief, Real World Guide to Attracting the Attention Your Cause Deserves by Joseph Barbato

From the publisher: First, let's make clear what this book is NOT. It is not a guide for writing press releases. It is not a manual for creating a speaker's bureau. It is not a treatise offering PR palaver. After reading Attracting the Attention Your Cause Deserves, here are just a few of the skills you'll become more proficient at: -Sharpening your organization's niche -Identifying the range of people who benefit from your work … thereby targeting your audiences with greater precision - Cultivating the right media people, locally, regionally, and nationally if appropriate - Organizing your website most efficiently for the press - Making a persuasive pitch, in writing and over the phone - Becoming the "go to" person for reporters and others, and - Learning how to package your expertise to gain even greater exposure. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Giving Trends among the “Wired Wealthy”

A recent study by Convio, a relationship management software company that serves the not-for-profit sector, showed that the ‘wired wealthy’ are increasingly active online, with the intention of becoming even more so. These are individuals who donate a minimum of $1,000 dollars annually to a single cause and give an average of $410,986 to various charities each year. Major findings from the research include:

• 51 percent of those surveyed said they prefer giving online and 46 percent said that five years from now they will be making a greater portion of their charitable gifts online
• Most charity Web sites are missing opportunities to fully engage wired wealthy with their organization. Only 40 percent of those surveyed said that most charity Web sites made them feel personally connected to their cause or mission. Only 40 percent of those surveyed said that most charity Web sites are inspiring
• Email shows signs of lost opportunities to connect with various donors. 74 percent of those surveyed said it was appropriate for the charity to send an email reminding them to renew an annual gift. 74 percent of those surveyed said that an email from the charity about how their donation was spent and what happened as a result would make them more likely to give again

To download the study, go to:

Resource of the Week -- The Partnering Toolbox

The Partnering Toolbox offers a concise, step-by-step overview of the essential elements that make for effective partnering. The Toolbook was written by Ros Tennyson and produced by the Partnering Initiative in co-operation with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Partnering Toolbook builds on the experience of those who have been at the forefront of innovative partnerships and offers a concise overview of the essential elements that make for effective partnering. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Create a Cent Sign in Word

To create a cent sign in Word using a keyboard shortcut:

• Hold down the Ctrl key and press /
• Type the letter c

This tip works in Word 2007 and in older versions as well.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Picks of the Week: November 9 - 15, 2008

Website of the Week -- Tides Shared Spaces

Tides Shared Spaces was formed in response to the ongoing difficulties that social change organizations and nonprofits have in finding quality, affordable work and program space. Workspace is often the second largest budget item after salaries. Lack of affordable space has forced dislocation on many nonprofits, both in times of economic boom – due to rising commercial rents - and in times of government and funding cutbacks. MTNC’s, or Multi Tenant Nonprofit Centers, are an effective social investment with the ability to provide tenant organizations with shared services and meeting spaces, as well as opportunities for collaboration and cost-sharing to support their missions. These centers also provide hubs for community organizing and economic development. Stable costs and increased visibility lead to job creation and enhanced program services. To date, hundreds of these centers have been created across the country-regionally and internationally. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World by Tom Watson

From the publisher: An eye-opening guide to the massive societal impact of online social networks. For today's super-wired, always-on, live-life-in-public young Americans, the causes they support define who they are. Societal aspirations have so permeated the "net native" population that causes have become like musical tastes. CauseWired illustrates wired causes in action, bringing real-world stories to readers. The first book to track the massive societal impact on causes of online social networks--from blogs, to video, to the rise of social networks, CauseWired reveals the extraordinary influence of online social networks--in raising money for charity, in changing the political climate and electing candidates, and in raising consciousness for causes. From Facebook causes and campaigns on MySpace, to a raft of new startups and innovative projects, and political movements like the Obama campaign and Save Darfur, this immensely relevant book delivers actionable research and recommendations to help readers launch their own successful wired social campaigns. Tom Watson is the publisher of and founder of, an online journal of culture. A contributing writer to the Huffington Post with a 25-year professional career that includes the founding of two companies and several popular online publications, he is Chief Strategy Officer of Changing Our World Inc., a national philanthropic services company. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- High-Net-Worth Donor Trends

Portraits of Donors is a report that reveals specific behavioral patterns and motivations of the nation’s wealthy and ultra-wealthy donors. The report is based on data from the 2006 Bank of America Study of High Net-Worth Philanthropy, the most in-depth quantitative study ever conducted of the wealthiest 3.1% of U.S. households. The original study revealed that wealthy donors possess very different philanthropic traits when compared to the general U.S. population. In response to high levels of interest in the original study from non-profit strategists and donors, Bank of America has delivered on its promise to provide a more in-depth analysis of its findings. Developed in partnership with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Bank of America’s Portraits of Donors digs deeper to unveil the unique behaviors, charitable practices and motivations among 12 types of wealthy and ultra-wealthy donors. Donors can leverage these findings to help determine what they want to accomplish with their philanthropic missions and identify like-minded donors or strategists for advice. Non-profit organizations can leverage these findings to help determine how best to approach and communicate with wealthy donors based on the characteristics they’re likely to possess. To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Technology Planning Tools

The following tools developed by Npower can help your organization assess its technology and plan for the future:

• TechAtlas: Managed by NPower, TechAtlas is a suite of online tools that help nonprofits assess, plan for and manage the technology they need to make an even greater difference in their communities. TechAtlas walks nonprofits through the technology planning process, from creating a vision of how technology could be most effective in their org, to assessing and prioritizing their needs, to generating a final report that can be shared with board and staff. Additionally, advanced features of TechAtlas provide tools to manage existing technology more effectively, such as online inventorying, help desk tracking and special assessments. More than 10,000 nonprofits have used TechAtlas to help manage their technology today, and plan for tomorrow. Go to:

• Total Cost of Ownership Calculator: The TCO Calculator is an important part of technology planning designed to help you analyze the long-term costs associated with owning technology on a per PC basis and then compare your results to industry benchmarks. Download the TCO Calculator at:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Shading Alternate Rows in Excel 2007

One way to quickly add shading to alternate rows in Excel 2007 is by applying a predefined table style. By default, shading is applied to alternate rows in an Excel 2007 table to make the data easier to read. The alternate row shading will remain accurate even if you add or delete rows.

• Select the range of cells you want to format
• On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click Format as Table
• Under Light, Medium, or Dark, click the table style you want to use
• In the Format as Table dialog box, click OK. Notice that the Banded Rows check box is selected by default in the Table Style Options group. To apply shading to alternate columns instead of alternate rows, clear this check box and select Banded Columns
• If you want to convert the Excel table back to a regular range of cells, click anywhere in the table to display the tools necessary for converting the table back to a range of data
• On the Design tab, in the Tools group, click Convert to Range

Monday, November 3, 2008

Picks of the Week: November 2 - 8, 2008

Website of the Week -- Nonprofit Technology Network

The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) aspires to a world where all nonprofit organizations skillfully and confidently use technology to meet community needs and fulfill their missions. NTEN is a membership organization of nonprofit technology professionals who share the common goal of helping nonprofits use all aspects of technology more effectively. NTEN facilitates the exchange of knowledge and information, provides professional development opportunities, educates the membership on issues of technology use in nonprofits, and spearheads groundbreaking research, advocacy, and education on technology issues affecting the nonprofit sector as a whole. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Results that Matter: Improving Communities by Engaging Citizens, Measuring Performance, and Getting Things Done by Paul Epstein, Paul M. Coates, Lyle D. Wray, and David Swain

From the Publisher: Today's communities—whether they are currently strong, or struggling to survive—face difficult challenges if they want to be tomorrow's healthy, vibrant communities. The challenge for leaders and citizens of modern communities is not just to solve specific problems today. Their real challenge is to keep learning from their experience so they can keep improving their communities tomorrow. Results That Matter will provide a new governance framework for using valuable tools of community improvement—especially performance measurement and citizen engagement—to empower communities to achieve the outcomes their citizens most desire. Government and nonprofit managers will learn how to combine these tools in new ways, not only to achieve one-time improvement of their organizations and communities, but to foster continual community renewal and improvement. The benefits and practicality of the framework and related practices will be reinforced by case examples from 25 communities across the country. The book will offer "how to" guidance to public and nonprofit managers, including promising practices for effective communities, and new roles for citizens, community leaders, and managers. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Giving During Recessions And Economic Slowdowns

Issue 3, 2008 of Giving USA Spotlight looks at recessions and economic slowdowns and their impact on charitable giving in order to help nonprofit organizations anticipate what might occur in 2008–2009 and plan accordingly. According to Giving USA, the most important step a charitable organization can take to raise funds during a recession or downturn is to ask people for contributions in a clear and focused manner. Important steps to successful fundraising include:
• Work closely with the board of trustees to make sure that each board member is a current donor and an advocate for the organization’s vision and purpose.
• Develop and follow a fundraising, communications, and stewardship plan. With a plan, it is easier to stay focused and maintain momentum.
• Focus efforts on renewing gifts from current donors. Take no donor for granted. Thank donors, recognize their contributions and let them know of the accomplishments they have made possible.
• Maximize the use of all fundraising tactics available. This can include: thank you calls made by volunteers; online giving options; information about planned giving sent to loyal, long-term donors; and effective use of public relations and media relations to communicate.

To download a copy of the report, go to: and click on the link for “Giving USA Spotlight – Giving During Recessions And Economic Slowdowns – 2008”.

Resource of the Week -- is one of the more well known online scheduling tools. It is a free service that helps anyone trying to schedule a meeting with people who have complicated schedules and/or work in different locations. It is very easy to use, both for setting up the meeting, confirming the time and location, and sending reminders. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Creating Lines in Word 2007

One of my favorite shortcuts from previous versions of Word still works in Word 2007! To create lines across the page of a Word document:

• Type three consecutive hyphens and press Enter for a normal line
• Type three underscores and press Enter for a bold line
• Type three equal signs and press Enter for a double line

These lines extend from the left margin to the right margin and the size of these lines will change if you change the margins of your document or if you change the orientation from Portrait to Landscape.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Picks of the Week: October 26 - November 1, 2008

Website of the Week -- Mentoring Canada

Mentoring Canada, a nonprofit informational site that provides resources and training to mentoring organizations and related charities. The site contains on-line interactive training, along with a library of downloadable materials. Mentoring Canada is a program of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, made possible only through the support of the Muttart Foundation. Its primary focus is to promote and support mentoring initiatives in communities across Canada. All community organizations, corporations and others interested in mentoring are invited to use this website of resources and training materials to further their efforts in support of our young people through the provision of quality mentoring programs.
Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The One Page Business Plan for Non-Profit Organizations by James T. Horan Jr.

From the publisher: The edition of the One Page Business Plan Series has been specifically designed for Non-Profits. If you are responsible for founding or managing a non-profit organization, this book was written for you. Now you can easily write a draft plan on a single page in less than two hours. Thousands of non-profits have already successfully written and implemented One Page Plans with this simple and effective planning methodology. This special version of The One Page Business Plan has been called "The One Page Promise" because it helps directors, boards, management and volunteers clearly define and live up to their promises at organizational, departmental, project and program levels, all in fast, easy to communicate and actionable terms. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Year-End/Holiday Giving Trends

Convio commissioned Jupiter Research to help gain insight into the online giving plans of the more than 175 million online consumers in the US. According to the report, “$3 Billion Is A Click Away,” the research results indicate that the silver lining in this economic cloud just may be that nonprofits and consumers are aligning around online giving. Fifty-one percent, more than 89 million, online consumers say that despite the economic situation they plan to donate online during the 2008 holiday season. This level of online planned support shows that nonprofits of all sizes need to make sure their websites and other electronic communications meet consumer expectations. Among those who find online resources helpful in selecting a charity, they are 20 percent more likely to donate than the average online user. It is also important to make sure that traditional appeals such as direct mail, television and events provide people with the option to give online. Some of the research findings include:

• 54% of women plan to donate versus 48 percent of men.
• 64% of people with household income of more than $100K plan to donate online with 9% donating more this holiday season.
• 46% of 18-24 year olds and 50% of 25-34 year olds plan to donate online, with 13% of 18-24 year olds planning to donate more this holiday season than last.
• 53% of 55-64 year olds plan to donate online showing that it is no longer just for the younger age groups.
• 46% of the group who said their financial situation became substantially worse over the past 12 months still plan to donate online this holiday season.

For the full report, go to: (Note free registration is required to download the report.)

Resource of the Week -- Urban Institute Outcome Indicators Project

The Urban Institute has developed and applied an Outcome Framework to 14 specific program areas Examples include Transitional Housing, Youth Tutoring and Mentoring, Emergency Shelter, Advocacy, and more. For each program, there is a sample mission statement, an outcome sequence chart, a table of candidate program-specific outcomes, and data collection strategies with suggested data sources for each outcome indicator. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Flipping Data in an Excel 2007 Worksheet

Ever create an Excel 2007 table and then wish the columns were rows and the rows were columns? Here's a solution:

• Select the table
• Press Ctrl + c to copy (Or click the copy button on the Home tab of the Ribbon)
• Select the cell where you want the new table to begin (this cell CAN be in the old table)
• Right click to display the shortcut menu and select Paste Special (Or on the Home tab of the Ribbon, click the Paste arrow to display the Paste Special option)
• In the Paste Special dialog box, select Transpose and click OK

Monday, October 20, 2008

Picks of the Week: October 19 - 25, 2008

Website of the Week -- Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development

The purpose of the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development is to connect thinkers and leaders of all ages to develop fresh ideas, forge new partnerships, and design strategies that engage young people and their communities. The Center helps innovative programs become strong, sustainable ventures by offering technical assistance and practical guidance to organizations that want to deepen, expand, and launch new initiatives. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership by Frances Kunreuther, Helen Kim and Robby Rodriguez

From the publisher: The authors provide a range of ideas on how to approach generational shifts in leadership so that the contributions of long-time leaders are valued, new and younger leaders' talent is recognized, and groups are better prepared to work across generational divides. Giving context to these differences, they explore the current assumptions about the upcoming transition between generations in the social sector; introduce new ideas or frames for thinking about generational leadership change; and examine how this change poses individual, organizational, and systemic challenges for those in the social sector. In addition, they provide numerous examples and practical exercises to show how to address these issues. The book concludes with critical advice on how to communicate across generations and key recommendations for future research and action. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Donors of the Future: Key Trends

The Donors of the Future scanning project was undertaken with the joint sponsorship of the New Ventures in Philanthropy Initiative at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the Community Foundation Leadership Team at the Council on Foundations. The authors describe the following key trends which emerged from the Donors of the Future Scan:

• Racial and ethnic diversity will increase in almost all communities at large.
• Wealth appreciation in virtually all distinct/different population groups will become significant — e.g., more wealthy African Americans,, Asians, Hispanics, women, gay, young, self-made.
• The concept of endowment will face continuous pressure as new donors – from recent immigrants to self-made high-wealth entrepreneurs – enter the system.
• Interest in giving internationally will increase among all types of donors.
• Sending money home, among foreign born living in the U.S., in income categories from top to bottom, will increase significantly.
• Flash giving– triggered by international conflict, famine, natural disasters, all unfolded instantaneously by the media – has the potential to engage and empower many donors; may be the entry point of primary mode of giving for many donors.
• Donors will be increasingly attracted to self-formed learning and giving communities or gatherings, that foster connectivity and exploration, sponsor events, etc.
• More and more donors will take care of all of their giving – flash and more sustained – with internet giving portals.
• A more mobile population of all ages, combined with out-migration from smaller towns and rural areas, and more frequent “caravanning” among retirement aged adults, may continue to diminish the appeal and incidence of place based giving.
• Giving by faith-based donors, long acknowledged as providing the majority of all giving in the US, will become even more complex to deal with. Polarization around Christian and evangelical giving will increase, as “mainstream” philanthropy institutions tag it all as “evangelical”. In current political context, Muslim giving may also become very hot.
• Donor demand for a streamlined, 24-7, customized interface will push community foundations on the business operations side.
• Peoples’ need to see themselves (i.e., people of their kind), in the leadership of the institutions to whom they give their money, time or allegiance will increase.
• All the trends above are now evident among today’s adult population. All will become more extreme as generations X and Y – and those that follow them -- enter and assume leadership in the system.

For a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Three Toolkits from the Kellogg Foundation

The Kellogg Foundation has developed three toolkits for nonprofits. The Communications and Marketing Kit is designed to help non-profit organizations use communications to achieve their social change goals. The Evaluation Toolkit is designed for nonprofits seeking to design an effective, useful evaluation. The Policy Toolkit has been designed to support nonprofits and grassroots organizations in understanding the role of policy at all levels of government - local, state and national, and more importantly, prepare them for engagement in the policy process. This web-based handbook features the policy process and principles, guiding questions to help translate and understand the process and principles, as well as case stories to illustrate key ideas. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Navigation Pane in Access 2007

In Access 2007, the Navigation Pane has replaced the Database Window as the main way to get around in a database.

• To change the width of the Navigation Pane, Position the pointer over the right edge of the Navigation Pane and then, when it changes to a double-sided arrow drag the edge to increase or decrease the width.
• To expand or collapse the appearance of the Navigation Pane, click the Shutter Bar Open/Close Button, or press F11 to toggle the pane between the open and closed views.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Picks of the Week: October 12 - 18, 2008

Website of the Week -- Leadership Learning Community

The Leadership Learning Community (LLC) is a national organization of people who run, fund, study, and provide services to leadership development programs in the belief that leadership can change our communities, organizations, and the world. The aim of the LLC is to strengthen collective and individual capacity to transform society by connecting the learning, practice and resources of those committed to leadership development. To this end the Leadership Learning Community continuously documents learning and knowledge development to share with the field. LLC also encourages others in the community to do the same and contribute documents to the knowledge and resources available on the website You will find documents in Adobe PDF format that include program materials, evaluations, meeting notes, scans, reports, guidelines, and learning reflections as well as links to videos, images and other websites relevant to the field. You can browse all documents or search by key word, tag, or author below. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Charismatic Organization: Eight Ways to Grow a Nonprofit that Builds Buzz, Delights Donors, and Energizes Employees by Shirley Sagawa, Deborah Jospin and Jonathan M. Tisch

From the publisher: The authors offer a framework that allows organizations to go beyond quick fixes and fundraising strategies to a broader paradigm that encompasses community and organization building. What if every person involved with an organization was fully engaged and shared a common goal? What if the efforts of a relatively small ring of staff and board members were amplified by everyone touched by the organization, including current and former volunteers, staff, board members, clients, constituents, funders and supporters? That, the authors show, is the way a charismatic organization operates. The book provides numerous examples of how successful organizations have made this shift, as well as action steps that all organizations can take to perform better. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Younger Prospects for Planned Giving

Recently, The Stelter Company combined forces with the research firm Selzer & Company Inc. to provide new research into who names charities in their wills, when and why. According to the new report, “Discovering the Silent Giver”, fundraisers should be targeting a younger age segment than is traditionally the case for planned giving. The researchers found that 41% of adults prepare a will by the time they reach age 40, and that the percentage bumps up to 84% for those age 40 and younger with average annual incomes over $100,000. Key findings of the report include:

• 7% of Americans have currently made a bequest to charity in their wills. In addition, another 10% are good prospects
• 5% of Americans have wills and say they will definitely or probably make a bequest to a charity.
• 5% of Americans do not have wills but say they will definitely or probably make a bequest to charity when they have this document in place.

To download a summary of the report, go to: (Note: You will have to register at the website to access the report summary)

Resource of the Week -- Research Summary on Nonprofit Sector Workforce

Workforce Issues in the Nonprofit Sector: Generational leadership change and diversity authored by R. Patrick Halpern and published by American Humanics is a topically organized report that highlights much of the research regarding the nonprofit sector workforce. The paper is intended to serve as a resource for practitioners, researchers, funders, and advocates within the nonprofit sector by providing a point-in-time snapshot of nonprofit sector workforce issues. Research on the sector constantly is revealing new insights and accepted best practices. This study should not be considered a comprehensive overview of workforce issues within the sector. The paper reviews a selection of existing literature covering workforce issues within the nonprofit sector from 1995 to the present. Additionally, considering the enormous diversity within the sector in terms of organizational size, scope, sub-sector, etc., the studies included in this analysis may not be applicable to or representative of all organizations operating within the sector. However, the paper provides relevant, general insights into the current state of the nonprofit workforce, especially insights related to executive turnover, diversity, and the next generation of nonprofit employees. Go to: and click on “Literature Review and Bibliography.”

Tech Tip of the Week -- Use Text-to-Speech in Excel 2007

Text-to-speech was not included in the Excel 2007 Ribbon. To use this feature in Excel 2007 you must first add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. Here’s how:

• Click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar arrow
• Click More Commands from the drop-down menu
• From the Choose commands from list, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
• Scroll down and select the Speak Cells commands you want to use and click Add
• Click OK when you are finished adding commands to your Quick Access Toolbar

Monday, October 6, 2008

Picks of the Week: October 5 - 11, 2008

Website of the Week -- Leading Transitions

Leading Transitions, a consulting firm founded and led by Mindy Lubar Price, strengthens non-profit organizations through assessment, education and empowerment of leadership during periods of transition and change. Leading Transitions uses time-tested, healthy principles to work with executive directors, boards of directors and senior staff to increase their operating capacities. Committed to the future vitality of non profit organizations, Leading Transitions recognizes the inherent challenges in leadership succession, fund development and executive support. The practice has been refined to provide the flexibility necessary to adapt to the intricacies and dynamics of any non-profit organization. At the site, the newest and most exciting resources you will find are the Succession Planning Toolkits presented at the Executive Transition Initiative of the 2008 Greater Milwaukee Foundation Succession Planning Conference. There is a summary booklet that covers all types of nonprofit succession planning and three toolkits on each specific type:

• Departure Defined Succession Planning -- Provides a roadmap through an upcoming and anticipated executive transition in an organization.
• Emergency Succession Planning -- Provides the information and tools needed to create an emergency succession plan that is unique to a specific organization's needs.
• Strategic Leadership Succession Planning -- Provides a road through the ongoing and evolving succession planning and leadership development needs in an organization.

To visit the website and access the toolkits, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Disaster Recovery Planning for Nonprofits by Michael K Robinson

Disaster Recovery Planning for Nonprofits offers advice to help nonprofits plan for natural disasters, equipment failures, terrorist attacks, thefts, scandals, and other emergencies. It explains components of a disaster plan and lays the framework for plan development and is intended to be used as a starting point for organizations that wish to form comprehensive disaster recovery plans. The book also examines current trends identified through a recent nonprofit study. Includes appendices with disaster recovery planning resources and a bibliography. Recommended Peter Brinckerhoff of Corporate Alternatives Incorporated. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Younger Donors Just as Generous as Other Generations

Donors across all generations tend to give roughly the same amount to philanthropic causes, when controlling for other factors such as income, education and frequency of attendance at religious services, according to "Generational Differences in Charitable Giving and in Motivations for Giving," a study conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and sponsored by Campbell & Company. There are some generational difference in giving, mostly between the “Silent” and Great generations and Boomer and later generations. Key findings include:

• Giving differs mostly by factors other than generation – educational attainment, frequency of religious attendance and income. To the extent that these differ by generation, they explain the observed difference in giving by people of different generations.
• Motivations do vary by income, race, education, region of the country and religious attendance but vary little by generation after controls for these other factors.
• Millennial donors are most likely to be motivated by a desire to make the world a better place. They give consistent with their income, education level, frequency of religious attendance and marital status.

To download and executive summary, go to: To request a copy of the full results, please e-mail

Resource of the Week -- Effective Advocacy at All Levels of Government

While federal legislation certainly affects the operations of nonprofits, the funding and policy decisions that most affect locally-based nonprofits and their constituents come from city, county, and state governmental bodies. This timely publication from the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is designed to prepare nonprofits for engagement at the state and local levels - where most nonprofits are likely to have the capacity to engage, and the potential to see quicker results - as well as for opportunities at the federal level. The challenge with a publication of this type is the lack of uniformity among local and state governments across the United States. Capturing the individual practices of 50 state legislatures and thousands of city and county governments would be impossible here. This publication thus focuses on three elements to aid nonprofits in their advocacy at all levels of government:

• Generalized processes and principles of how to influence public policy in our federal system of government. By becoming familiar with general practices in policy development, nonprofits can better adapt to the specific ways of a particular jurisdiction's government.
• Guiding questions that will help translate an understanding of general principles into appropriate strategies for specific issues at specific levels of government.
• Case stories that bring key ideas to life and allow nonprofits to imagine themselves in similar situations.

To download a copy, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Change Heading Styles in Word

To quickly change a heading style in Word, click in the line containing the heading and use these keyboard shortcuts:

• Ctrl + Alt + 1 to apply Heading 1 style to current paragraph
• Ctrl + Alt + 2 to apply Heading 2 style to current paragraph
• Ctrl + Alt + 3 to apply Heading 3 style to current paragraph

This tip works in Word 2007 as well as earlier versions.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Picks of the Week: September 28 - October 4, 2008

Website of the Week -- Community Tool Box

The Community Tool Box bills itself as the world's largest resource for free information on essential skills for building healthy communities. It offers more than 7,000 pages of practical guidance in creating change and improvement, and is growing as a global resource for this work. The Table of Contents on the site lists 46 Chapters through which you can reach nearly 300 different sections providing practical, step-by-step guidance in community-building skills. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Yours for the Asking: An Indispensable Guide to Fundraising and Management by Reynold Levy

From the publisher: Yours For the Asking is a how-to guide for anyone with an instinct to raise funds who has fears, qualms, or hesitancies to do so. It explains in easy to understand language how to reach wealthy people face to face, in writing, in large groups, at special events, and over the Internet. And—once their attention has been gained—how to bring home the bacon. It solves the mystery of fundraising from foundations, those notoriously elusive entities that seem to house experts in closing doors, ignoring solicitations, and, when pressed for an answer, saying no. It also demonstrates how many ways there are to tap the resources of donors—large and small—for the institution that commands your respect, affect, and attention. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Bequest Giving Trends

According to a study conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and funded by Campbell & Company, individuals aged 40 to 60 and those with at least a bachelor’s degree education were the most likely to be willing to consider naming a charity in their will. Key findings include:

• Individuals with a charity in their will donated more than twice as much money (over $2,000 more on average) in any given year than those who do not have a charity in their will.
• People with a charity named in their will tended to be between 40 and 50 years of age, indicating that fundraisers should focus on younger individuals for charitable bequests. Individuals between 40 and 60, the Boomer generation, are a significant proportion of the population. This group was also found to be a significant share of those who have already named a charity in their will and also those who are willing to consider making a bequest (50% and 51% respectively).
• The three most likely motivations for charitable giving, selected by people with a charity named in their will, were “helping others;” “religious beliefs;” and “giving back to society.”
• Income was not found to affect the likelihood that a donor would bequest, or consider the bequest of a charitable gift in his/her will. This finding indicates that fundraisers should not focus only on those with high incomes, regardless of income, fundraisers have between a one-in-three and one-in-four chance of speaking with an individual who would consider giving to a charity in a will.

For an executive summary of the report, go to: To request a copy of the full report from Campbell & Company, send an email to

Resource of the Week -- Governance Policies the IRS Thinks Your Organization May Need

Effective for tax years beginning after January 1, 2008, the revised Form 990 requires most tax-exempt organizations to make new disclosures regarding certain governance policies and practices. In order to respond fully to the policy questions asked on the revised form, an organization generally must review its existing policies and consider whether it is appropriate to amend them or adopt new ones, in many cases by December 31, 2008. The law firm of Quarles & Brady has prepared a briefing paper that summarizes the policies focused upon within the revised Form 990. These policies can be used by tax-exempt organizations as a basic checklist in reviewing their existing policies and in considering whether additional policies should be adopted before year-end. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Display Tabbed Documents in Access 2007

A new feature in Access 2007 is the option to use a tabbed interface. This allows you to open multiple objects (tables, forms, reports, or queries) at once. Each object is a separate tab so you can easily see the available objects and click on the one you want. To use this feature:

• Click the Office button in the left corner of the screen
• Click the Access Options button at the bottom of the window
• Select the Current Database in the left pane
• Under Document Window Options, select Tabbed Documents

Monday, September 22, 2008

Picks of the Week: September 21 - 27, 2008

Website of the Week --Hispanics in Philanthropy

Founded in 1983 to promote stronger partnerships between organized philanthropy and Latino communities, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) has developed into a transnational network of grantmakers committed to strengthening Latino communities across the Americas. As a membership organization, HIP seeks to share with funders the needs of the Latino community. To this end, the organization sponsor regional, national and international conferences and briefings, research and publications, professional development programs, as well as providing referrals for foundations seeking Latino staff and trustees. In addition, HIP seeks to increase resources for the Latino civil sector by leading a funding collaborative, which focuses foundation, corporate, government and individual dollars on supporting Latino nonprofits. Concentrating specifically on building the capacity of Latino nonprofits, the Funders' Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities further serves HIP’s mission of strengthening Latino leadership, while at the same time increasing awareness about Latino issues and stimulating dialogue about how to better serve the Latino community and Latin America. Check out the “Resources” link. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- First-Time Leaders of Small Groups: How to Create High Performing Committees, Task Forces, Clubs and Boards by Manuel London and Marilyn London

From the publisher: First-Time Leaders of Small Groups offers novice and experienced leaders the information they need to keep their members interested and involved, resolve conflicts and deal with difficult people, and ultimately have their group achieve results . . . quickly. The book includes four steps for preparing to lead (selecting members, setting the groundwork for high performance, planning, and establishing your leadership style) and four steps for taking the lead (starting right, working smart, coaching, and assessing). These steps will help you take the lead with confidence. First-Time Leaders of Small Groups is filled with illustrative examples of a wide range of small groups and provides clear suggestions for action. The book includes:
• Questions and answers based on research on what works well, and what does not
• Diagnostics for determining your group’s strengths and weaknesses
• Leadership challenges—ideas for overcoming common difficulties
• Self-assessments to help build confidence as a group leader
• Examples of approaches for different group situations
• Models for understanding how groups work
• Activities for improving group functions
• Key research findings
• Easy-to-follow suggestions for practice

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- How Children Fare in the Federal Budget

Kids' Share 2008: How Children Fare in the Federal Budget, published by The Urban Institute, looks comprehensively at trends in federal spending and tax expenditures on children. Key findings suggest that historically children have not been a budget priority. In 2007, this trend continued, as children's spending did not keep pace with GDP growth. Absent a policy change, children's spending will continue to be squeezed in the next decade. Key findings include:

• Children’s share of domestic federal XX spending—spending that excludes defense, non-defense homeland security, and international affairs—actually declined during this period from 20.2 to 16.2 percent.
• Spending over time on individual children’s programs has tended to fall behind growth in the economy and often inflation. The children’s budget has maintained its share of GDP mainly through the introduction of major new programs every few years.
• The majority of spending on children in 2007 (63 percent) was on 13 major programs enacted since 1960.
• By contrast, the sums spent on elderly entitlement programs tended to outpace both growth in the economy and prices. Growth in entitlement programs is automatic, driven by rising wages, medical costs, and the aging of the American population. Although a number of children’s programs are either entitlements or permanent features of the tax code, they do not tend to have automatic growth built into them.
• Tax programs (specifically, the dependent exemption) and income security programs, which composed 92 percent of federal spending on children in 1960, declined to just 51percent by 2007. During this same period, health, education, and nutrition programs grew from 7.6 percent of federal spending on children to 36 percent.

To download the entire report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Strategic Thinking and Planning: A Resource Bibliography

We have just updated our Strategic Thinking and Planning Resource Bibliography. It contains books, articles and other web based resources. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel 2007

If you are a fan of keyboard shortcuts you will be happy to know that most of the shortcuts we've used for years work exactly the same in Excel 2007. Here's a list of some of my favorites:

• Selects the entire worksheet -- Ctrl + A
• Undoes the last action -- Ctrl + Z
• Redoes the last action -- Ctrl + Y
• Calculates all worksheets in all open workbooks -- F9
• Copy selected cells -- Ctrl + C
• Paste -- Ctrl + V
• Select data range -- Ctrl + Shift + *

For a complete listing of all Excel 2007 keyboard shortcuts, go to Excel shortcut and function keys published on where you can find lots of other great resources for learning Microsoft Office.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Picks of the Week: September 14 - 20, 2008

Website of the Week -- Keystone

Keystone's mission is to improve the effectiveness of organizations working in the human development field by developing new ways of planning, measuring and communicating social change Keystone seeks to influence development practice through a model of civil society accountability that views accountability as a potential driver of social activity and performance rather than a constraint upon organizations. A highlight of the website is a downloadable tool for developing a theory of change. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Strategic Communications for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide to Working with the Media, 2nd Edition by Kathy Bonk, Emily Tynes, Henry Griggs, and Phil Sparks

From the publisher: This is a new edition of Strategic Communications for Nonprofits, which was first published in 1999. It is an up-dated, nuts-and-bolts guide to helping nonprofits design and implement successful communications strategies. The book offers a unique combination of step-by-step guidance on effective media relations and assistance in constructing and developing an overall communications strategy aimed at creating social or policy change. It first explains the basic principles of a strategic communications strategy that will define the target audiences you need to reach and tells how to develop the messages and messengers you use to reach them. The book then goes on to address specific issues like earning good media coverage, building partnerships to increase available resources, handling a crisis, and more. This second edition builds on the earlier work and includes new case studies, new trends in media and branding, ethnic media issues, and trends in technology. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Poverty Reduction Linked to Race and Gender

A new report by the Great Lakes Alliance of the YWCA, “Economic Empowerment: Poverty Reduction With Race And Gender At The Center” links poverty reduction to race and gender. The study finds that women have higher poverty rates than men; African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are twice as likely to experience poverty as whites. African American and Puerto Rican women experience a “double disadvantage,” where the combined impact of racialized and feminized poverty results in disproportionately high poverty rates. In nearly every community in the Great Lakes Region where a YWCA exists, single women with dependant children are most likely to live in poverty. The dynamics of poverty for women and people of color in the U.S. are diverse and complex, but they are also amenable to change. Key strategies include:
• Advocating to protect working families through living wage policies, extending paid sick days and health care to more workers, establishing universal early childhood education and connecting women and people of color to higher education.
• Advocating to protect financially vulnerable consumers by demanding protections against predatory lending, extending financial literacy and consumer education programs to young women, and advancing public policies on behalf of those working to gain and maintain economic self-sufficiency.
• Advocating to make poverty a priority in each community and state by seeking the establishment of state-level poverty reduction benchmarks and adopting targeted, timely, collaborative community-level poverty reduction strategies.
• Advocating for employees who may be economically vulnerable themselves, to ensure that they are equal recipients of efforts aimed at “economically empowering” women.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Logic Model Resources

The Center for Civic Partnerships has compiled an extensive collection of resources on development and use of logic models to guide program and service development. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Change Font Size in Word

To change the font size in Word, select text and press:

Ctrl ] (right square bracket) to increase font size by one point, or
Ctrl ] (left square bracket) to decrease font size by one point

This tip works in Word 2007 as well as earlier versions.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Picks of the Week: September 7 - September 13, 2008

Website of the Week -- The Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation, nationally recognized today for its involvement in educational and cultural programs, traces its origins back a half century to the philanthropic impulses of DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of The Reader’s Digest Association. A highlight of the website is the The Wallace Knowledge Center which offers credible, useful knowledge that can help policymakers, practitioners, researchers and concerned citizens make progress in the fields in which they work. It is at the core of Wallace’s effort to share ideas and practices that can help organizations expand opportunities for people. Click on any topic to view or download a variety of documents for free, such as national surveys, summaries of field knowledge, practical guides, and profiles of Wallace partners. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Generations: The Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit by Peter C. Brinckerhoff

Generations: The Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit, by Peter C. Brinckerhoff was awarded the 2008 Terry McAdam Book Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Nonprofit Management. Congratulations Peter! Though we listed this publication as our pick when it was first published, we are offering it again as this week's pick.

From the publisher: Generational change presents as many opportunities for nonprofits as challenges. In Generations: The Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit, nonprofit mission expert Peter Brinckerhoff tells you what to expect and how to plan for it. From iPod policies to recruiting younger board members, Brinckerhoff shows how you can address generational trends, today, to keep your nonprofit organization relevant and able to meet the changing needs of your staff, volunteers, donors, and the community you serve. You’ll come away with an understanding of six key generational trends and how they will impact your nonprofit. Individual chapters provide in-depth information on how to deal with generation issues in each area of your organization—staff, board, volunteers, clients, marketing, technology, and finances. This hands-on guides includes the Generational Self-Assessment Tool. This tool gives you a baseline to measure your success as you bring generations into your planning. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Time-Use Habits of Volunteers in America

According to new research published by the Corporation for National Service, volunteers and non-volunteers in general tend to spend their time in very similar ways, spending similar amounts of time in work, leisure, and other activities. However, there are some important differences, including the amount of time each of these groups spends watching television. In a typical week, volunteers spend approximately 15 hours watching television compared to 21 hours for former volunteers and 23 hours for those who have never volunteered. On average, those who have never volunteered watch 436 more hours of television than volunteers each year. Another interesting difference is that volunteers are more likely to spend their time in various activities with other people. For instance, volunteers spend about 78 percent their mealtimes, compared to about 70 percent for former volunteers and those who have never volunteered. To access a copy of the research brief containing more findings, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Thought Leaders Gateway

The Leader to Leader Institute Thought Leaders Gateway includes individuals whose intellectual contributions have furthered the Institute’s work. The gateway includes an alphabetical listing of all of these individuals with links to a short biography of the individual followed by a listing of their publications and any articles appearing in the Leader to Leader Journal. This listing includes hyperlinks to any books and articles available on the leader to leader Institute website. An excellent resource! Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week - - Access 2007 Report Layout View

The new Access 2007 Report Layout View is a major improvement over previous versions of Access. This view allows you to see the report as it will print (WYSIWYG) and quickly change controls. New features make it easier to group, filter and sort data. Check out Quickly summarize group data in Access 2007 reports on the TechRepublic Web site for step by step instructions on summarizing group data in Access 2007 reports.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Picks of the Week: August 31 - September 6, 2008

Website of the Week -- Center for Civic Partnerships

The Center for Civic Partnerships, based in Sacramento, CA, is a support organization that strengthens individuals, organizations, and communities by facilitating learning, leadership development, and networking. The Center has extensive experience providing technical support to over 200 cities, communities, and organizations in California and across the nation. In addition, the Center sponsors educational programs and develops resource materials for funders, local policy-makers and government administrators, nonprofit organizations and community members. The Center’s main areas of focus are community-building and organizational development with a cross-cutting emphasis on sustainability. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Discussing the Undiscussable: A Guide to Overcoming Defensive Routines in the Workplace by William R. Noonan

From the publisher: Since his 1990 landmark book Overcoming Organizational Defenses, Chris Argyris has extensively researched and written about how well-meaning, smart people create vicious cycles of defensive behavior to protect themselves from embarrassment and threat. In Discussing the Undiscussable, Bill Noonan enlivens the scholarly work of Chris Argyris through the use of reflective exercises and easy-to-read chapters that illuminate the basic human experience endemic to the creation of defensive routines. This book offers hope for altering organizational defensive routines by leveraging the greatest opportunity for change—the way we think and act. Discussing the Undiscussable provides a set of practical “how to do” exercises for detecting, surfacing, and discussing organizational defensive routines in a safe and productive way. The combination of text, business fable, and interactive and reflective exercises is versatile in its application to both individuals and groups. The companion DVD contains video vignettes of the book’s business fable where the actors model both defensive routines and virtuous cycles of behavior. Readers will instantly recognize what has long been going on in the workplace, and will be able to develop the skills to talk about it productively. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Nonprofits Target Millennial Generation Workforce

America's nonprofit organizations are focusing on their missions to attract and retain the next generation of employees, according to a new report released today by the Johns Hopkins University Nonprofit Listening Post Project. By emphasizing that the nonprofit workplace can offer a greater sense of personal fulfillment and flexibility compared to many jobs in the for-profit world, nonprofit practitioners are finding it possible to respond to the staff recruitment and retention challenges they are facing, according to the participants in a roundtable convened by Johns Hopkins researchers. Appealing to the millennial generation is one of four key workforce recruitment and retention strategies identified by the nonprofit practitioners and other workforce experts participating in the Johns Hopkins roundtable, which was convened to follow up on a prior survey on nonprofit workforce challenges. The other strategies are:
• Selling the "context" — the physical environment, the work environment, and particularly the "mission."
• Approaching recruitment proactively. Given the lack of knowledge young people have about nonprofits, organizations are actively reaching out to potential recruits.
• Redefining work and the work environment. Organizations are redesigning benefit packages to adjust to new family structures, offering flexible working hours, and utilizing focus groups to stay attuned to worker concerns.

The full text of the report "A Nonprofit Workforce Agenda: Report on the Listening Post Project Roundtable on Nonprofit Recruitment and Retention" is available online. Go to:

Resource of the Week -- YouTube Nonprofit Program

Does your organization have a compelling story to tell? Do you want to connect with your supporters, volunteers, and donors but don't have the funds to launch expensive outreach campaigns? YouTube can help. Video is a powerful way to show your organization's impact and needs, and with a designated "Nonprofit" channel on YouTube, you can deliver your message to the world's largest online video community. The Nonprofit program is currently only available in the United States and the United Kingdom. YouTube is continuing to expand the program, so check back to see if other countries have been added in the future. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Upgrading to Access 2007

If you are upgrading to Access 2007 one of the first hurdles may be opening your Access file only to find your code won't run. The solution is making sure your database is in a "trusted" location. To do this:

• Click the Office button
• Click the Access Options button
• Select Trust Center
• Click the Trust Center Settings button
• Select Trusted Locations
• Click the Add new location button
• Browse and select the location of your database
• Click OK