Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Picks of the Week: June 22 - 28, 2008

Website of the Week -- Civic Practices Network

Civic Practices Network (CPN) is a collaborative and nonpartisan project bringing together a diverse array of organizations and perspectives within the civic renewal movement. CPN shares a commitment to bring practical methods for public problem solving into every community and institutional setting in America. The site includes manual and resource guides, sample course syllabi and much more. Go to: www.cpn.org.

Publication of the Week -- Power in Policy: A Funder's Guide to Advocacy and Civic Participation by Hodding, III Carter and David F. Arons

From the Publisher: Why should funders try to shape public policy? Simply put, because public policy has impact on mission. And, it’s the only way to affect the laws that determine how people will be treated, what services will be provided, and what behaviors are acceptable. But what role should foundations play? Power in Policy, written primarily by foundation practitioners for foundations, is the first book that:

• Makes a strong case for why advocacy and civic participation are fundamental roles for foundations
• Shares insights, lessons, and perspectives from foundation leaders and legal and philanthropic experts on how to engage in, talk about, and incorporate advocacy into philanthropy—and the nature of their role in the policymaking arena
• Answers frequently asked questions including, “How does my foundation assess various risks?” “How do we organizationally prepare for public policy work, and develop partnerships and advocacy strategies?”
• Gives rich case stories of how private and community foundations—including large and small foundations—are meeting their missions through public policy and civic activity
• Presents clearly and concisely key policy principles, legal rules, and evaluation methods
• Provides a toolkit for foundations to develop the capacity to engage in advocacy at their own speed and resource level

Click here to preview this book on Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week -- Using Employee Volunteering Benefits HR Departments

In a recent survey of executives of large Canadian and US companies, more than two thirds of responding companies reported that volunteerism will grow in importance as a management priority (The Conference Board, 2006). One reason is the growing belief that employee volunteering benefits business. The last few decades have produced claims regarding the HR value of company-supported employee volunteer programs. According to recent research about the practices of pioneering companies, it is increasingly clear that the HR areas that employee volunteering best supports are employee professional development, recruitment, morale and retention, and teamwork. For a description of trends and best practices in each of these areas, download a copy of the report at: www.pointsoflight.org.

Resource of the Week -- KIDS COUNT Data Center

A service of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Center is an online database that features more than 100 indicators of child well-being for the 50 largest U.S. cities. You can select a state or city to find a range of major indicators of child well being such as child poverty rates, health insurance coverage, etc. You can also compare specific data across states or cities. Results can be viewed as a ranking, map, or trend line. Go to: http://www.kidscount.org/datacenter.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Find Your Excel 2007 Serial Number

When you first installed Excel 2007 you had to enter a product key number which was probably located on the CD. This ID is your serial number. You will need to have this number If you ever try to get technical support from Microsoft. Here’s how you can find it:

• Click the Office button on the Ribbon
• Click the Excel Options button
• Click Resources
• Click the About button to display the About Microsoft Excel dialog box
• Your product ID code is displayed on this dialog box

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