Monday, August 25, 2008

Picks of the Week: August 24 - 31, 2008

Website of the Week -- Volunteering in America

Hosted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Volunteering in America is a new website that will enable you to access volunteering trends, statistics, tools, resources, and information for the nation, U.S. regions, states, and major cities. You will also be able to see how states and cities rank on different factors related to volunteering. The data for this Web site were collected through a supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) September Volunteer Supplement. The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households (approximately 100,000 adults), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Marketing Research: A Practical Approach by Bonita Kolb

From the publisher: Essential to any student of the discipline, this innovative new book offers a uniquely comprehensive and applied approach to both understanding and designing market research. Sensitively balancing the fundamental quantitative methodologies and theoretical structures with practical applications of qualitative techniques, this book is a vastly accessible, useful, and insightful text. This is a valuable resource both for the novice researcher, and for those more familiar with the discipline. Drawing on many years of academic teaching experience, the author crafts a comprehensive and practical student text with an emphasis on both critical thinking and hands-on application. Providing several real life case studies - from the large corporation, through to the small business or the nonprofit organization - Marketing Research is packed with useful learning features such as key terms, definitions, and discussion topics. Offering comprehensive support from a companion website, this book is an indispensable guide to the varied domains of market research. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Social Return on Investment in Youth Intervention Programs

A report by the Minnesota Youth Intervention Programs Association puts forward a framework for doing social return on investment (SROI) analysis of youth intervention programs. It then uses the framework to estimate the return to two representative programs: a comprehensive intervention program and a targeted program designed to discourage property crimes. Major findings include:

• Effective intervention programs are likely to produce some of the highest returns of any youth programs since they deal with more concentrated populations, many of whom have been identified through truancy, juvenile crime, or other problem behaviors.
• Based on the study of intervention programs in Minnesota, effective youth intervention programs can produce some or all of the following direct benefits: Reduced truancy, improved school performance, reduced near-term court costs, reduced costs of adult crime, reduced needs for social services, and improved health outcomes.
• An effective comprehensive program costing around $2,000 per participant returns benefits of $4.89 for every dollar of cost, based on very conservative assumptions about effects and valuations. Moreover, the program returns $14.68 for every State dollar invested, assuming a 2 to 1 match of other funding.

To view a summary of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- American Management Association Scholarship Program

Managers and executives in the nonprofit social sector can benefit from a scholarship program developed in partnership between the American Management Association (AMA) and the Leader to Leader Institute. AMA is providing up to 75 scholarships administered by the Leader to Leader Institute to qualified recipients. Scholarship recipients will select and receive admission to an AMA seminar as well as a one year membership to each organization. To apply, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Calculate a Person's Age in Excel

The DATEDIF() function in Excel calculates the number of days, months, or years between two dates. This function makes it easy to calculate a person's age. To try this:

• In a blank worksheet, type a birth date in cell A1, using slashes to separate day, month, and year.
• In cell A2, type =DATEDIF(A1,TODAY(),"y") and press ENTER.

The age (in years) will be displayed in cell A2.

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