Monday, November 3, 2008

Picks of the Week: November 2 - 8, 2008

Website of the Week -- Nonprofit Technology Network

The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) aspires to a world where all nonprofit organizations skillfully and confidently use technology to meet community needs and fulfill their missions. NTEN is a membership organization of nonprofit technology professionals who share the common goal of helping nonprofits use all aspects of technology more effectively. NTEN facilitates the exchange of knowledge and information, provides professional development opportunities, educates the membership on issues of technology use in nonprofits, and spearheads groundbreaking research, advocacy, and education on technology issues affecting the nonprofit sector as a whole. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Results that Matter: Improving Communities by Engaging Citizens, Measuring Performance, and Getting Things Done by Paul Epstein, Paul M. Coates, Lyle D. Wray, and David Swain

From the Publisher: Today's communities—whether they are currently strong, or struggling to survive—face difficult challenges if they want to be tomorrow's healthy, vibrant communities. The challenge for leaders and citizens of modern communities is not just to solve specific problems today. Their real challenge is to keep learning from their experience so they can keep improving their communities tomorrow. Results That Matter will provide a new governance framework for using valuable tools of community improvement—especially performance measurement and citizen engagement—to empower communities to achieve the outcomes their citizens most desire. Government and nonprofit managers will learn how to combine these tools in new ways, not only to achieve one-time improvement of their organizations and communities, but to foster continual community renewal and improvement. The benefits and practicality of the framework and related practices will be reinforced by case examples from 25 communities across the country. The book will offer "how to" guidance to public and nonprofit managers, including promising practices for effective communities, and new roles for citizens, community leaders, and managers. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Giving During Recessions And Economic Slowdowns

Issue 3, 2008 of Giving USA Spotlight looks at recessions and economic slowdowns and their impact on charitable giving in order to help nonprofit organizations anticipate what might occur in 2008–2009 and plan accordingly. According to Giving USA, the most important step a charitable organization can take to raise funds during a recession or downturn is to ask people for contributions in a clear and focused manner. Important steps to successful fundraising include:
• Work closely with the board of trustees to make sure that each board member is a current donor and an advocate for the organization’s vision and purpose.
• Develop and follow a fundraising, communications, and stewardship plan. With a plan, it is easier to stay focused and maintain momentum.
• Focus efforts on renewing gifts from current donors. Take no donor for granted. Thank donors, recognize their contributions and let them know of the accomplishments they have made possible.
• Maximize the use of all fundraising tactics available. This can include: thank you calls made by volunteers; online giving options; information about planned giving sent to loyal, long-term donors; and effective use of public relations and media relations to communicate.

To download a copy of the report, go to: and click on the link for “Giving USA Spotlight – Giving During Recessions And Economic Slowdowns – 2008”.

Resource of the Week -- is one of the more well known online scheduling tools. It is a free service that helps anyone trying to schedule a meeting with people who have complicated schedules and/or work in different locations. It is very easy to use, both for setting up the meeting, confirming the time and location, and sending reminders. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Creating Lines in Word 2007

One of my favorite shortcuts from previous versions of Word still works in Word 2007! To create lines across the page of a Word document:

• Type three consecutive hyphens and press Enter for a normal line
• Type three underscores and press Enter for a bold line
• Type three equal signs and press Enter for a double line

These lines extend from the left margin to the right margin and the size of these lines will change if you change the margins of your document or if you change the orientation from Portrait to Landscape.

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