Monday, June 9, 2008

Picks of the Week: June 8 - 14, 2008

Website of the Week -- Center for Community-Based and Nonprofit Organizations at Austin Community College

The Center for Community-Based and Nonprofit Organizations at Austin Community College promotes, leverages and facilitates community collaborations and partnerships that broaden the horizons and possibilities for the Central Texas Nonprofit Sector. These collaborations reflect the Center’s ability to bring business, government and nonprofit sectors together around common goals. The Center has achieved considerable credibility in Central Texas as well as throughout the State. Established in 2000, the Center for Community-Based and Nonprofit Organizations at Austin Community College has served over 9000 individuals from over 3500 nonprofits, small businesses, and law firms, through the over 500 learning opportunities it has provided with the mostly pro bono services of over 200 session leaders. A highlight of this website is the Online Library, a compilation of easily accessible and free resources as well as articles, e-books, checklists, tools, links, etc. collected here for the benefit of those engaged in the Nonprofit Sector. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters by Mal Warwick

From the Publisher: Write with confidence and reach your donors. You'll learn all the essential components of writing for success from this go-to book for writing for fundraising! Mal Warwick, the nation's premier letter-writing tutor and direct mail expert, shows you the essential tools for making your direct marketing program a success. He gives you both general advice about the most effective direct mail strategies and specific guidance. Learn his step-by-step model through all the critical stages -from laying the groundwork for a prosperous campaign through the importance of thanking donors. Includes new chapters on E-mail solicitations, monthly and legacy giving and free downloads on In this revised and updated edition, you will:

• Gain insight into current trends in the field with updated cases, samples, and examples
• Access more content for small to medium NPOs with limited budgets and resources
• Learn the latest technology with new sections on typography and lay out

To preview this book on, click here.

Trend of the Week -- Governance Trends in Midsize Nonprofits

According to a recent Urban Institute study “Boards of Midsize Nonprofits: Their Needs and Challenges“, nonprofit boards are receiving increased attention from policymakers, media, researchers and the public. Yet most research, policy proposals, and best practice guidelines have been oriented toward large organizations. This study helps fill a major gap by focusing on governance among midsize nonprofits, identifying certain problem areas, and suggesting strategies that those engaged with midsize nonprofits may find helpful in strengthening their boards. The discussion uses data on the subset of 1,862 midsize organizations in the Urban Institute National Survey of Nonprofit Governance, the first national representative study of nonprofit governance. Comparing midsize nonprofits with their larger counterparts, the study finds that their boards are less engaged in many basic stewardship responsibilities. Midsize nonprofits’ boards also have greater difficulty attracting new members. These comparisons underscore the need for efforts targeted at midsize nonprofits to help them strengthen their governance. For an abstract as well as the full study, go to:

Resource of the Week -- The Mission-Based Management Newsletter

Peter Brinckerhoff of Corporate Alternatives, Inc. publishes an excellent monthly newsletter. Each issue includes the following features: Sites of the Month, Management Tip of the Month, Recommended Publications, and Marketing Tip. Also included are links to all past issues over the last five years. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Combining Text from Two Cells in Excel

In Microsoft Excel you can combine the text in two or more cells into a single text string by using “concatenation”. The result is displayed in the cell where you type the formula. For example, If you have a worksheet that contains the First name in cell A1 and the Last name in cell B1, enter the following expression in cell C1 to create a text string that displays the values of the First and Last names separated by a space: =A1&" "&B1. See example at (June 8-15 Tech Tip)

Be sure to put a space between the double quotes in the expression. Copy this formula down to each row containing the names. Then copy the cells containing this formula back to their original position using Paste Special to convert the formula into a value:

• Select the column by clicking the column name
• Choose Copy
• Right click and choose Paste Special from the short-cut menu
• Choose Values and click OK

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

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