Monday, October 6, 2008

Picks of the Week: October 5 - 11, 2008

Website of the Week -- Leading Transitions

Leading Transitions, a consulting firm founded and led by Mindy Lubar Price, strengthens non-profit organizations through assessment, education and empowerment of leadership during periods of transition and change. Leading Transitions uses time-tested, healthy principles to work with executive directors, boards of directors and senior staff to increase their operating capacities. Committed to the future vitality of non profit organizations, Leading Transitions recognizes the inherent challenges in leadership succession, fund development and executive support. The practice has been refined to provide the flexibility necessary to adapt to the intricacies and dynamics of any non-profit organization. At the site, the newest and most exciting resources you will find are the Succession Planning Toolkits presented at the Executive Transition Initiative of the 2008 Greater Milwaukee Foundation Succession Planning Conference. There is a summary booklet that covers all types of nonprofit succession planning and three toolkits on each specific type:

• Departure Defined Succession Planning -- Provides a roadmap through an upcoming and anticipated executive transition in an organization.
• Emergency Succession Planning -- Provides the information and tools needed to create an emergency succession plan that is unique to a specific organization's needs.
• Strategic Leadership Succession Planning -- Provides a road through the ongoing and evolving succession planning and leadership development needs in an organization.

To visit the website and access the toolkits, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Disaster Recovery Planning for Nonprofits by Michael K Robinson

Disaster Recovery Planning for Nonprofits offers advice to help nonprofits plan for natural disasters, equipment failures, terrorist attacks, thefts, scandals, and other emergencies. It explains components of a disaster plan and lays the framework for plan development and is intended to be used as a starting point for organizations that wish to form comprehensive disaster recovery plans. The book also examines current trends identified through a recent nonprofit study. Includes appendices with disaster recovery planning resources and a bibliography. Recommended Peter Brinckerhoff of Corporate Alternatives Incorporated. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Younger Donors Just as Generous as Other Generations

Donors across all generations tend to give roughly the same amount to philanthropic causes, when controlling for other factors such as income, education and frequency of attendance at religious services, according to "Generational Differences in Charitable Giving and in Motivations for Giving," a study conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and sponsored by Campbell & Company. There are some generational difference in giving, mostly between the “Silent” and Great generations and Boomer and later generations. Key findings include:

• Giving differs mostly by factors other than generation – educational attainment, frequency of religious attendance and income. To the extent that these differ by generation, they explain the observed difference in giving by people of different generations.
• Motivations do vary by income, race, education, region of the country and religious attendance but vary little by generation after controls for these other factors.
• Millennial donors are most likely to be motivated by a desire to make the world a better place. They give consistent with their income, education level, frequency of religious attendance and marital status.

To download and executive summary, go to: To request a copy of the full results, please e-mail

Resource of the Week -- Effective Advocacy at All Levels of Government

While federal legislation certainly affects the operations of nonprofits, the funding and policy decisions that most affect locally-based nonprofits and their constituents come from city, county, and state governmental bodies. This timely publication from the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is designed to prepare nonprofits for engagement at the state and local levels - where most nonprofits are likely to have the capacity to engage, and the potential to see quicker results - as well as for opportunities at the federal level. The challenge with a publication of this type is the lack of uniformity among local and state governments across the United States. Capturing the individual practices of 50 state legislatures and thousands of city and county governments would be impossible here. This publication thus focuses on three elements to aid nonprofits in their advocacy at all levels of government:

• Generalized processes and principles of how to influence public policy in our federal system of government. By becoming familiar with general practices in policy development, nonprofits can better adapt to the specific ways of a particular jurisdiction's government.
• Guiding questions that will help translate an understanding of general principles into appropriate strategies for specific issues at specific levels of government.
• Case stories that bring key ideas to life and allow nonprofits to imagine themselves in similar situations.

To download a copy, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Change Heading Styles in Word

To quickly change a heading style in Word, click in the line containing the heading and use these keyboard shortcuts:

• Ctrl + Alt + 1 to apply Heading 1 style to current paragraph
• Ctrl + Alt + 2 to apply Heading 2 style to current paragraph
• Ctrl + Alt + 3 to apply Heading 3 style to current paragraph

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

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