Monday, December 8, 2008

Picks of the Week: December 7 - 13, 2008

Website of the Week -- National Human Services Assembly

The National Human Services Assembly is an association of the nation’s leading national non-profits in the fields of health, human and community development, and human services. Many of the member organizations are national offices of large networks of local health & human service organizations. Others are national research or resource organizations or national programs. Goals include providing collective leadership to shape national human development/health & human service strategies, serving as a catalyst for sharing of resources for the purposes of individual/professional development and organizational efficiency and effectiveness, and, increasing awareness of the importance of and trust in the nonprofit health & human service sector. Major programs and activities include development and support of issue coalitions and peer networking groups; offering an annual Executive Leadership Institute for CEOs and board chairs on current national nonprofit leadership challenges with cutting edge presenters as well as The Leaders Summit which is geared towards nonprofit leaders and managers of Assembly member organizations. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Influential Fundraiser: Using the Psychology of Persuasion to Achieve Outstanding Results by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal

From the publisher: With the explosion of uninspired e-mail solicitations, dull fundraising dinners, and cookie-cutter direct mail campaigns, donors are demanding a new, personalized approach when being asked for money. Drawing on the authors' practical experience and the most current psychological and neurological research, The Influential Fundraiser offers a wealth of approaches that will help fundraisers make significant and successful creative "asks" for money from donors . . . in person. Written by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal—two leading experts in the field of international nonprofit fundraising—the book offers step-by-step guidance for gaining confidence and learning the necessary skills and techniques fundraisers must have to build successful relationships and raise substantial amounts of money. Written in an accessible, engaging style, The Influential Fundraiser will help you to be both highly effective and very flexible. The 5 P model outlined in the book—Passion, Proposal, Preparation, Persuasion, and Persistence—will help fundraisers and volunteers learn invaluable skills needed for fundraising success. The Influential Fundraiser is international in scope and includes helpful suggestions for dealing with a wide range of cultural and diversity issues. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Significant Challenges for Charities

A new GuideStar survey shows that the proportion of charity representatives reporting decreased contributions nearly doubled between 2007 and 2008, and that almost half of participants from nonprofits that rely on end-of-year gifts expect donations to decline during the last quarter of 2008 compared to the last quarter of 2007. GuideStar, the leading provider of nonprofit information, asked individuals associated with charitable nonprofits how their organizations fared financially during the first nine months of 2008 compared to the first nine months of 2007. Some 38 percent reported increased contributions, 25 percent said contribution levels had remained about the same, 35 percent reported a decrease, and 2 percent did not know. By contrast, in 2007, 52 percent of participants said that contributions had increased, 25 percent said they were about the same, 19 percent said they had decreased, and 4 percent did not know. In both 2007 and 2008, nearly half (46 percent) of the participants said that their organizations receive the majority of contributions during the last quarter of the year, the period known as the giving season. Last year, however, 60 percent of this group predicted that contributions during the 2007 giving season would exceed those from 2006, whereas this year, 49 percent said they expect decreased end-of-year donations. GuideStar's seventh annual nonprofit economic survey was conducted on-line October 6-20, 2008. Some 2,927 individuals representing at least 2,730 charitable organizations participated. The survey report is available at Survey results for a particular state can be requested.

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Economic Vitality Center

The National Council of Nonprofits developed this resource to help nonprofits better understand the current economic situation and have ready access to strategies to help them navigate the economy so they can serve their communities more efficiently. Resources are organized in three broard categories:

• Basic Facts & Analysis: This section provides links to materials designed to help the public, policymakers, journalists, and nonprofits understand the mounting economic challenges.
• Impact on Nonprofits: This section identifies ways the economy is hurting nonprofits - and thereby the communities they serve.
• Proactive Positioning - Action Steps for Nonprofits: This section shares resources to help nonprofits not only weather this economic storm, but also emerge even stronger.

The site is updated regularly. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Microsoft Excel 2007 Online Tutorials

If you’re trying to learn Microsoft Excel 2007 there are excellent online resources available. I recommend checking these out:

Microsoft Office Online offers several Excel 2007 Courses
• Excel 2007 Tutorial developed by Florida Gulf Coast University

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