Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Picks of the Week: March 23 - 29, 2008

Website of the Week -- Asset-Based Community Development Institute

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), established in 1995 by the Community Development Program at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research, is built upon three decades of community development research by John Kretzmann and John L. McKnight. The ABCD Institute spreads its findings on capacity-building community development in two ways: (1) through extensive and substantial interactions with community builders, and (2) by producing practical resources and tools for community builders to identify, nurture, and mobilize neighborhood assets. Go to: http://www.sesp.northwestern.edu/abcd.

Publication of the Week -- Board Members Rule: How to Be a Strategic Advocate for Your Nonprofit by Ann, W. Lehman and Robert, M. Zimmerman

From the publisher: Zimmerman and Lehman, authors of Boards That Love Fundraising, have written a new and accessible hands-on book, Board Members Rule, based on their experience in working with boards and nonprofits for many years. Board Members Rule reframes a board member's role to be a strategic advocate for your nonprofit and its constituency. Given the heightened awareness of accountability and transparency, Board Members Rule shows how to pay attention to both while furthering your values, mission and vision and promoting pragmatic, effective and efficient strategies. It's filled with practical and common-sense tools, resources, grids, forms, and examples. There is a learning exercise to fit every chapter, and lists of references, resources and support centers throughout the nation. Ann Lehman and Robert Zimmerman are partners at Zimmerman Lehman, a consulting firm for nonprofits. They have over 60 years of combined experience working with nonprofits in board development, fundraising and public policy. Preview this book at Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week -- Foundation Giving Trends

The nation's largest foundations increased funding for all major subject areas in 2006, with a record number of exceptionally large grants helping to drive this growth. According to the Foundation Center's new report, Foundation Giving Trends (2008 Edition), six out of 10 fields posted double-digit rates of growth in the latest year, led by the field of international affairs/development/peace, which grew 72.5 percent. For the first time ever, health surpassed education based on the share of grant dollars received.
Key findings include:
• International giving overall increased 48.4 percent, driven by strong gains in funding for international affairs/development/peace and health.
• Foundations awarded a record 386 grants of $5 million or more in 2006.
• The 16.4 percent growth in grant dollars awarded by sampled foundations in 2006 followed a far more modest 6.1 percent gain in the prior year.

To view report highlights, go to: http://foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/research/pdf/fgt08highlights.pdf. To order the full report, go to: http://foundationcenter.org/marketplace/catalog/product_monograph.jhtml?.

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Genie

Nonprofit Genie is a collection of FAQs on topics such as board development, consultants, databases, social entrepreneurship, Federal Form 990, financial management, fiscal sponsorship, fundraising insurance, Internet and telephone systems, strategic planning, technology planning and volunteer management. Go to: www.genie.org.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Selecting a Range in Excel

In Excel, a range is a group of connected cells. When working in Excel you often need to select a range. A simple trick for quickly selecting a range is to:

• Click anywhere within the range
• Press Ctrl + Shift + *

The range is selected! This trick works in Excel 2007 as well as earlier versions.

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