Monday, March 10, 2008

Picks of the Week: March 9 - 6, 2008

Website of the Week --'s mission is to improve the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector by offering software tools and services, training, and consulting that help nonprofit organizations raise funds and communicate with their stakeholders online, and manage their operations more effectively. serves over 1,500 nonprofit organizations and has processed $17.3 million in online donations, including individual contributions as well as matching funds from partner Working Assets Funding Service through their site. Backed by foundations such as Carnegie Corporation, Ford, Kellogg, Surdna, and Tides, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by the Tides Foundation in 1999, and is a member of the Tides family of organizations. offers a free newsletter providing Get free online fundraising & nonprofit marketing tips twice a month. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Integrating Mission and Strategy for Nonprofit Organizations by James A. Phills

From the publisher: Today's nonprofit organizations face an environment characterized by higher levels of competition for funding, clients and audiences, talent, and recognition. Integrating Mission and Strategy for Nonprofit Organizations applies and adapts the core body of general management knowledge about mission, strategy, and execution to help nonprofit leaders deal with the special challenges they face. It strives to draw on this knowledge in a way that does not dilute or oversimplify, and at the same time recognizes the unique features of the nonprofit or voluntary sector. James A. Phills develops an action-oriented framework that combines rigorous analysis with the practical challenge of execution and change. In addition to helping nonprofit leaders think through important decisions and make concrete choices, the book also provides a shared language and a discipline that can serve as the basis for more productive discussions between the individuals who lead nonprofits, their boards, and the philanthropists who support their organizations and programs. James A. Phills, Jr., is on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he is also Co-Director of the Center for Social Innovation and Faculty Director of the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders. His research focuses on strategic change, organizational learning, and social innovation. He has previously taught at Harvard University and Yale University. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Next Generation Leaders Speak Out

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, the Meyer Foundation and have released a report entitled Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out. This new study is based on surveys of nearly 6,000 nonprofit employees who do not hold executive director jobs. Among the survey's key findings:

• Potential nonprofit leaders find the traditional duties of an executive director unappealing.
• 69 percent of respondents said that they felt underpaid in their current positions, while 64 percent said that they have financial concerns about committing to a nonprofit career.
• Thirty-two percent of respondents indicated that it would be at least six years before they felt ready to take on an executive role, citing the need to develop management, technical, and leadership skills.
• Of the respondents who do aspire to become executive directors, 40 percent said that they are either ready now or will be ready to lead within five years.
• Members of minority groups were more likely than whites to express an interest in leading a nonprofit organization, as did individuals who reported growing up poor.

For a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- What is the Role of an Attorney on the Board?

The latest issue of Board Café, published by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, includes a brief article with excellent advice on structuring the role of an attorney on your board of directors. The article includes a listing of the advantages and disadvantages of having an attorney on the board and concludes with three tips for working effectively with an attorney on the board:
• Do reference checks with boards on which the attorney has served before. Does the attorney bring the best of the profession to the board room?
• When recruiting attorneys as board members, consider which types of issues your organization regularly confronts, and seek an attorney with expertise in that area.
• Give the attorney (and the board chair) a copy of the Board Café article!

To view the full article, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Protect Cells in Excel 2007

You can prevent users from overwriting formulas or inadvertently changing labels or formats by protecting cells in a worksheet. When you protect a worksheet all cells are protected, or locked, and cannot be changed. To allow users to change certain cells in the worksheet you first identify which cells should NOT be locked. Then you protect, or lock, the worksheet. In Excel 2007, follow these steps:

Unlock cells that can be changed

1. Select the cells that users should be able to change
2. Click the Home tab on the Ribbon
3. In the Font group, click the small arrow in the lower right corner to open the Format Cells dialog box
4. Click the Protection tab
5. Deselect the Locked checkbox and click OK
6. Repeat these steps for each range of cells that can be changed, then protect the worksheet

Protect the worksheet
1. Click the Review tab on the Ribbon
2. In the Changes group, click Protect Sheet and click OK
3. In the Protect Sheet dialog box enter a password, or leave blank if you don’t want a password, and click OK

Now users can only change the cells that are unlocked. If users try to change any other cells they receive a message saying they must unprotect the cells to modify them.

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