Monday, February 16, 2009

Picks of the Week: February 15 - 21, 2009

Website of the Week -- National Center for Children in Poverty

The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is the nation’s leading public policy center dedicated to promoting the economic security, health, and well-being of America’s low-income families and children. NCCP uses research to inform policy and practice with the goal of ensuring positive outcomes for the next generation. NCCP promotes family-oriented solutions at the state and national levels. Founded in 1989 as a division of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, NCCP is a nonpartisan, public interest research organization. The website includes state by state profiles of child poverty, data tools and a host of other resources. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The New Form 990: Law, Policy, and Preparation by Bruce R. Hopkins et al

From the publisher: The New Form 990 covers the law, policy, and preparation of the new IRS Form 990. It includes summaries of the law underlying each of the parts and questions in the return, so that the preparer can understand the background law in formulating answers on the return. In December 2007, the IRS released the newly redesigned Form 990. Recognizing that far too many nonprofit organizations are unprepared for what is coming their way, The New Form 990 provides tax-exempt organizations and tax return preparers with the help they need to properly, effectively, and accurately prepare the new return. Professionals working to prepare this new labyrinthine form are guaranteed to encounter many unexpected hurdles. Authors Hopkins, Anning, Gross, and Schenkelberg provide readers with guidance and a road map to help maneuver through the revised Form 990, including summaries of the law underlying each of the parts and questions in the return, so that tax-exempt organizations and their advisors can understand the background law when formulating answers to the questions. Deftly covering both pre-existing and newly created laws as well as discussions of policy and preparation, The New Form 990 brims with line-by-line analyses as well as numerous checklists of steps to take to be in the best possible position to prepare the return. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Long-Distance Volunteering in the United States

The first-ever national study of "Voluntourism" (long-distance volunteering) in the U.S. finds that in the Gulf area visiting volunteers significantly bolstered disaster recovery efforts, supplying one in four of the total volunteers in Mississippi in 2007 and one in five in Louisiana. Other findings include:

• In 2007, about 3.7 million volunteers – about 6 percent of all volunteers age 16 and over – reported doing at least some long-distance volunteering, traveling at least 120 miles to volunteer with an organization located within the U.S., but outside their communities.
• The ten most popular destinations for long-distance volunteering that occur outside one’s own state include several of the most populous states, plus the five states affected by the 2005 Gulf hurricanes, Katrina, Rita and Wilma: Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
• Compared to all adult volunteers, a larger proportion of long-distance volunteers are single and do not have children. Adult volunteers in general are considerably more likely to be married or raising children.
• Compared to all adult volunteers, a larger proportion of long-distance volunteers are young adults, aged 16-24.
• The most committed volunteers are also the most likely to engage in long-distance volunteering. For example: individuals who volunteer more than 100 hours per year, serve more than 12 weeks per year with their main organization, or serve with more than one organization, are much more likely to serve as long-distance volunteers.

For a copy of the report prepared by the Corporation for National and Community Service, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Avoiding Common Hiring Pitfalls

There are a number of ways that recruiting and hiring processes can go wrong, and hiring the right people into the right positions is too important to leave to chance. Whether your organization has dedicated human resources professionals or not, there are a number of common hiring mistakes that can be easily avoided as outlined in this article prepared by GuideStar. 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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