Monday, January 26, 2009

Picks of the Week: January 25 - February 7, 2009

Website of the Week -- National Poverty Center

The National Poverty Center (NPC) was established in the fall of 2002 as a university-based, nonpartisan research center. We conduct and promote multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research on the causes and consequences of poverty and provide mentoring and training to young scholars. Located within the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the NPC benefits from close proximity to an extensive and diverse group of University of Michigan-based scholars from such units as the Institute for Social Research; the Department of Economics; and the Schools of Education, Public Health, and Social Work. In addition, the NPC draws on the work of over forty nationally recognized scholars from around the country. The website includes extensive links to research, poverty data and statistics, publications and other resource in the field. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Organization of the Future 2: Visions, Strategies, and Insights on Managing in a New Era by Frances Hesselbein and Marshall Goldsmith

From the publisher: With 26 inspiring chapters, this book celebrates the wisdom of some of the most recognized thought leaders of our day: emerging and established experts who share their unique vision of what the organization of the future should look like and must do to survive in the turbulent 21st Century. A partial listing of chapters and authors includes:

• Organization Is Not Structure but Capability, Dave Ulrich & Norm Smallwood
• The Leader’s Mandate: Create a Shared Sense of Destiny, James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner
• The Values That Build a Strong Organization, Thomas J. Moran
• Mobilizing Emotions for Performance: Making the Most of the Informal Organization, Jon R. Katzenbach & Zia Khan
• Beyond Retirement: Mature Workers Are Essential Talent for Organizations of the Future, Richard J. Leider
• Reframing Ethics, Spirit, and Soul, Lee G. Bolman &Terrence E. Deal
• Designing Organizations That Are Built to Change, Edward E. Lawler III & Christopher G. Worley
• Refounding a Movement: Preparing a One-Hundred- Year-Old Organization for the Future, Kathy Cloninger
• Three Challenges Facing Nonprofits of the Future: People, Funding, and Strategy, Roxanne Spillett
• The Leader of the Future, William A. Cohen

Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- What Girls Say about Election 2008

The Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), building on its comprehensive survey of girls’ leadership conceptions and aspirations, “Change It Up! What Girls Say About Redefining Leadership” (2007), decided to explore the impact of the 2008 election on girls’ leadership aspirations. GSRI conducted a survey from November 11 through December 2, 2008. The total sample of 3,284 respondents included 2,309 girls and 975 boys. Key findings include:

• Nearly one in two (49%) respondents reported an increased interest in politics; 44% reported an increased interest in social and political activism; and 71% said they intend to vote when they are eligible.
• 59% of girls and 52% boys reported that the election had a positive impact on their confidence in being able to achieve their goals in the future, and 51% of girls and 45% of boys said it positively impacted their confidence in being able to change things in this country.
• Substantial numbers (46% of girls and 38% of boys) reported that they think more highly of women’s ability to lead than they did before the election. Yet substantial numbers also reported a heightened appreciation for the difficulties women face in reaching leadership positions in our country.
• Barack Obama would have won the 13- to 17-year-old vote with a wider margin than he did the national election: 60% of the survey respondents said they would have voted for the Democratic Party nominee and 26% said they would have voted for John McCain, compared to the 53% - 46% split in the national election. Obama’s victory would have been based on majorities of both girls’ (61%) and boys’ (57%) votes.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Constant Contact

With more than 300 easily customized email templates, a step-by step Email Wizard, and point-and-click interface, Constant Contact is a powerful resource for nonprofits wishing to create high-impact email newsletters and promotions, manage contact email lists and measure results of email marketing efforts. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Back up a Microsoft Access 2007 Database

• Open the Database you want to back up
• Click the Microsoft Office Button (top left)
• Point to Manage
• Click Back up Database to open the Save As dialog box
• Choose the name and the location (By default Access 2007 adds the date of the backup to the name of the file.)
• Click the save button

Monday, January 19, 2009

Picks of the Week: January 18 - 24, 2009

Website of the Week -- is a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states including info on Medicaid, uninsured populations, and more. provides data on more than 500 health topics and is linked to both the Kaiser Family Foundation website and The data are based on an analysis of the Census Bureau’s March 2007 and 2008 Current Population Surveys (CPS; Annual Social and Economic Supplements) and are restricted to the civilian (not active duty military) population. The state data represent 2-year averages. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Storytelling for Grantseekers: A Guide to Creative Nonprofit Fundraising, 2nd Edition by Cheryl A. Clarke

From the publisher: Grantwriters often have little or no training in the practical task of grantseeking. Many feel intimidated by the act of writing, and some don't enjoy writing. In Storytelling for Grantseekers, Second Edition, Cheryl Clarke presents an organic approach to grantseeking, one that views the process through the lens of the pleasures and rewards of crafting a good story. Grantseekers who approach the process as one in which they are connecting with an audience (grantmakers) and writing a narrative (complete with settings, characters, antagonists and resolutions) find greater success with funders. The writing process becomes a rewarding way to tell the organization's tale, rather than a chore, and their passion and creativity lead to winning proposals. This book walks readers through all the main phases of the proposal, highlighting the creative elements that link components to each other and unify the entire proposal. The book contains resources on crafting an effective synopsis, overcoming grantwriter's block, packaging the story, and the best ways to approach the "short stories" (inquiry and cover letters) that support the larger proposal. Clarke also stresses the need to see proposal-writing as part of a larger grantseeking effort, one that emphasizes preparation, working with the entire development staff, and maintaining good relations with funders. In Storytelling for Grantseekers, new and experienced grantseekers alike will discover how to write and support successful proposals with humor and passion. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- The Obama Effect: Trends Affecting Volunteering

Susan Ellis of has identified a number of ways several ways that the Obama Administration may impact volunteering in the United States. According to Ellis:

• The Obama campaign leaders and the Obamas themselves have and will probably continue to encourage volunteer involvement on the part of those who volunteered during the election campaign.
• Candidate Obama made campaign promises about enlarging stipended service programs such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. Many also believe that he will favor the proposed U.S. Public Service Academy. So we may see legislation and appropriations that fund these efforts.

For more commentary on the “Obama Effect” as well as trends impacting the volunteer management profession, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Community Organizing Resources

GrantCraft has just released a new guide, “Funding Community Organizing: Social Change through Civic Participation,” on community organizing for grantmakers. The purpose of the guide is to offer a grounding in the basics of community organizing, as well as examples of what the work can accomplish in many different fields and communities. Though is primary audience is the grantmaking community, others interested in community organizing will find the publication very helpful. To download a copy of the guide, go to: You’ll need to register in order to access the download. While developing this guide, grantmakers offered a wide range of resources in several areas of community organizing. GrantCraft has compiled an extensive listing of books, films, articles, research reports, toolkits, and more on community organizing. To access the resource list, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Text to Columns in Excel 2007

This feature can be useful for creating a database using existing information which is improperly formatted. For example, if both first and last names have already been entered into a cell, use text to columns to split names into 2 columns.

• Select the range of cells that contains the text values
• Click the Data tab
• In the Data Tools group, click Text to Columns
• Follow the instructions in the Convert Text to Columns Wizard

Click here if you're using an earlier version of Excel.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Picks of the Week: January 11 - 17, 2009

Website of the Week -- Economic Xchange

The Council on Foundations, in collaboration with partner organizations, has launched Economic Xchange, an online platform for the exchange of information, ideas, strategies, tactics, and dialogue.
Be sure to follow the link on the home page to The Foundation Center’s new online feature, Focus on the Economic Crisis which provides a wide array of resources to help nonprofits and foundations alike as they face the challenges of an unstable economy. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Designing Your Future: Key Trends, Challenges, and Choices Facing Association and Nonprofit Leaders by ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership

From the publisher: Some organizations have a clear sense of how they will shape their future, but many do not. Keeping abreast of current events is one thing; viewing trends through the lens of implications and action plans for your organization is another. That's where Designing Your Future can serve as a valuable resource. Identifying and analyzing trends, issues, and events that are likely to cause transformational change within the association and nonprofit sector are critical undertakings if organizations are to pinpoint and execute their options and opportunities for sustainability, growth, and responsive strategies. Thinking through the implications of the environment that is continually evolving around your organization is not a one-time exercise. It is a continual process of reflection and action. Designing Your Future began with the analysis of several hundred trends. Association leaders and other experts and practitioners have winnowed the lengthy list of impacts to the most critical trends ranging from social to economic to political to environmental to technological impacts likely to affect associations. Use Designing Your Future and subsequent resources to prepare yourself, your board, and your staff to anticipate and plan for the realities of the world in which we all work. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Trends Affecting Social Entrepreneurship has identified seven trends shaping social entrepreneurship in 2009 and beyond. They include:

• Globally-Engaged Education
• Measuring Social Impact
• Mobile Technology
• Online Action Platforms
• Blended Value Investing
• Green Innovation
• A Partner in the White House

To learn more about the impact of these seven trends: Go to:

Resource of the Week -- Free GuideStar Webinars

Last year, GuideStar began offering free on-line seminar for grantmakers and nonprofits. Based on the success of these webinars, GuideStar will continue to series. Future Webinars will focus on a variety of topics, such as grantmaker due diligence, fundraising, the new IRS Form 990, and governance. Check back at to learn about future offerings.

The first webinar in 2009, "Compensation Best Practices," will be held Tuesday, January 27, 2009, at 1 p.m. ET. Attorney and former state charity official Karl Emerson and GuideStar vice president Chuck McLean will discuss IRS regulations governing nonprofit compensation and the steps nonprofit leaders should take to protect their organizations from penalties. The Webinar is being offered at no charge; for more information or to register, go to

Tech Tip of the Week -- Turning Photos into PowerPoint 2007 Slide Shows

To turn your digital pictures into PowerPoint 2007 slide shows:

• Click the Insert tab
• In the Illustrations group, click Photo Album
• On the Photo Album dialog box, click the File/Disk button to Insert pictures
• Click the Create button

Click here if you're using an earlier version of PowerPoint.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Picks of the Week: January 4 - 10, 2009

Website of the Week -- Center on Wealth and Philanthropy

The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) is a multidisciplinary research center specializing in the study of spirituality, wealth, philanthropy, and other aspects of cultural life in an age of affluence. Founded in 1970, CWP is a recognized authority on the relation between economic wherewithal and philanthropy, the motivations for charitable involvement, and the underlying meaning and practice of care. You can sign up for CWP's e-mail newsletter, "Wealth and the Commonwealth," to stay informed about the latest news, research, and trends in the areas of wealth and philanthropy. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Leading Up: Transformational Leadership for Fundraisers by Lilya Wagner

From the publisher: Fundraisers know that in order to be successful in their demanding profession, they have to get things done. And to get things done, they need to exercise leadership from whatever rank or position they hold--often from the middle. This concept is called "leading up." Recognizing that all fundraisers must be leaders, Leading Up teaches professionals the skills and traits they need to be successful in their philanthropic roles. Leading Up centers around author Lilya Wagner's unique model, which exemplifies the concept of leading up. Here, fundraisers will discover: how to get things done when they're not in charge; how to motivate others when they don't have formal authority; how to convince or persuade their colleagues and superiors about their need for action and involvement; and how to lead when they're not recognized leaders by virtue of power or position. Focusing on problem-solving concepts, Leading Up is packed with thought provoking questions, exercises, and practical application steps that allow professionals to practice and implement the principles they've just learned. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Rise in Charitable Bequests

Giving USA 2008 reports that charitable bequests rose to $23.15 billion and giving from foundations, an increasingly popular vehicle for donor bequests, also rose dramatically by 10.3 percent to $38.52 billion. These data suggest the nonprofit world may be beginning to see the much-anticipated generational transfer of wealth. In addition to catching the wave of increased bequest and foundation philanthropy, organizations with effective planned and major giving strategies and knowledgeable staff could find their bottom lines less affected by the current economic slowdown than organizations that rely heavily on lower-level annual donors. Effective planned giving programs are approaching prospects earlier, when they are in their 50s and 60s, as previous Campbell & Company-sponsored research has shown that donors begin to think about their estate plans at this stage in their lives. To download other key report findings, go to:

Resource of the Week -- NCCS FAQs

The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) is the national repository of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States. The NCCS FAQs provide answers to many frequently asked questions about the nonprofit sector. More detailed technical notes are also available by clicking on the "FAQ+/KnowledgeBase" link on the margin of the page link referenced below. The frequently asked questions are organized in the following categories:

• General Nonprofit Information
• Nonprofit Funding and Finances
• Nonprofit Employment and Wages Information
• Foundation Information
• Charitable Giving
• Legal Questions

Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Freeze a Formula into its Current Value in Excel

To freeze a formula into its current value:

• Select the formula
• Press F2 (Edit)
• Press F9 (Calc)
• Press Enter

Now you can copy or move the value anywhere you need it. This trick works in all versions of Excel, even 2007!