Monday, March 17, 2008

Picks of the Week: March 16 - 22, 2008

Website of the Week -- Association of Donor Relations Professionals

The Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) is the international association of professionals who advance their non-profit institutions by building and sustaining the donor relationships that lead to fund-raising success. ADRP support the development community by promoting the professional status of donor relations and stewardship offices through educational, professional development and networking opportunities. Conferences and workshops are open to members and non-members alike. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Nonprofit Financial Planning Made Easy by Jody Blazek

From the publisher: This Second Edition of Nonprofit Financial Planning Made Easy presents easy-to-implement strategies to make financial management a more streamlined, effective process in nonprofits of all types and sizes. Addressing five key areas of financial planning, it provides practical forms and checklists to aid nonprofit managers in managing their organizations' financial resources.

Filled with numerous checklists, worksheets, and forms to guide nonprofit professionals step-by-step through the financial planning processes, this straightforward book avoids technical financial language and trendy business terms in favor of simple, down-to-earth advice filled with examples of proven financial planning strategies based on the author's firsthand experience advising nonprofits.

Jody Blazek (Houston, TX) is a partner in Blazek & Vetterling, LLP, a Houston-based CPA firm providing tax-compliance and auditing services to tax-exempt organizations as well as tax consulting services to other accountants and lawyers who serve nonprofits. She worked with the 1023 Revision Task Force, is currently on the 990 Revision Task Force, and is past chair of the AICPA Exempt Organization Resource Panel. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Givers See Nation's Charities as Crucially Important But Wary of Slick, Pushy Marketing

According to a report, The Charitable Impulse, by the nonpartisan research organization Public Agenda, American donors are passionate and positive about the charities and nonprofits they support. But at the same time, according to focus groups, they are concerned when these organizations market themselves in ways that mimic "big business." The study was conducted in collaboration with the Kettering Foundation and in partnership with the Independent Sector. Donor sentiment about charitable organizations, Public Agenda reports, is "enthusiastic and positive," especially when it comes to smaller, local charities and human service organizations, and typical giving tends to be based on personal experience and emotional connections. But givers also have a long memory for scandal and waste. Focus groups took past misdeeds "quite personally and the breach is nearly impossible to repair," the report states.

Givers also had strong and spontaneous negative reactions when nonprofits adopt big-business type marketing and sales techniques. Glossy brochures, unsolicited "gifts," telephone solicitations, and high-pressure appeals "all came in for criticism and generated a high level of annoyance." For the most part, donors associated the term "nonprofit" almost entirely with the work of charitable, human services organizations. Many seemed surprised and even a little resentful that large nonprofits such as hospitals and universities (organizations that charge significant fees for their services) actually fall into this category. Report highlights are available in a news release at For the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Fundraising Web Resources

Hosted by the Michigan State University Libraries, this collection pf resources compiied by Jon Harrison, is intended as a starting point for those who are interested in learning more about foundations, fundraising, proposal writing, philanthropy and philanthropists, corporate philanthropy, international philanthropy, government funding, nonprofit organizations, nonprofit organization administration, planned giving, prospect research, and voluntarism, but only want to look at resources available on the web. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Creating Lines in Word

One of our 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.

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