Monday, July 21, 2008

Picks of the Week: July 20 - 26, 2008

Website of the Week -- Commonfund

Commonfund's mission is to enhance the financial resources of nonprofit institutions and to help them improve investment management practices. Commonfund, founded with assistance from the Ford Foundation, offers a wide range of investment funds and high quality programs and services to nonprofit organizations, including educational institutions, foundations, health care organizations, and other mission-based and public benefit nonprofits and their pension plans. Visit the website listed above for more information on Commonfund's programs and services. Go to:

Publication of the Week - Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact: A Social-Entrepreneurial Approach to Solving Social Problems by Andrew Wolk and Kelley Kreitz

From the publisher: Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact applies the strategic rigor and financial savvy of traditional private-sector business planning to social problem solving. This practical guide provides an introduction to business planning for enduring social impact and leads readers through a four-step process for creating an actionable business plan. The guide is an essential tool for organizations seeking to:

• Define organizational focus and strategy and establish a clear road map
• Build a financially sustainable model by creating a plan to establish reliable streams of philanthropic support, earned income, and/or in-kind resource
• Establish rigorous methods of measuring impact for the organization and its stakeholders
• Make data-driven decisions that lead to improvements to the organization and its activities
• Build partnerships with stakeholders in all three sectors public, private, and nonprofit

Key features include a glossary of business planning terms, plus an outline, sample workplan, and sample business plan for enduring social impact. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- U.S. Charitable Giving Up in 2007

Charitable giving in the United States is estimated to be $306.39 billion in 2007, exceeding $300 billion for the first time in history, according to Giving USA 2008, the yearbook on philanthropy released today by Giving USA Foundation. Every type of public charity receiving donations saw gains in 2007. The estimates for 2007 indicate that giving rose in 2007 by 3.9 percent (1 percent adjusted for inflation), says the report, which is researched and written by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. This year’s report also includes results from a survey of 366 charities about their fundraising practices and the impact they believe national events had on giving in 2007 and will have in 2008. The survey concentrated on charities in the public-society benefit subsector. These include combined purpose funds that reallocate received gifts to other charitable recipients, community and economic development organizations, research institutes, and organizations registering voters or working on civil rights issues. Combined-purpose funds include such entities as United Ways, religious campaigns and the Combined Federal Campaign. The increase in 2007 is attributable largely to stock market performance in the first half of the year, overall growth in the economy measured by gross domestic product, and increases in corporate and personal income as reported at the end of the year. Charitable giving was 2.2 percent of gross domestic product for 2007. Go to:

Resource of the Week -- Root Cause Solutions E-Newsletter

Root Cause Solutions is a bi-monthly e-newsletter covering key issues and topics facing problem solvers working in nonprofits, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. It includes leading-edge strategies for building enduring solutions to our most pressing social problems, drawn from our work with our consulting clients and our social enterprises. In addition, each issue provides our recommendations of other important articles and tools on the featured topic. Root Cause is a nonprofit organization that accelerates enduring solutions to social and economic problems by supporting social innovators and educating social impact investors. To subscribe to the newsletter, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Remove Duplicate Records in Excel 2007 Database

• Click in the database
• Click the Design tab
• In the Tools group click Remove Duplicates

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