Monday, February 23, 2009

Picks of the Week: February 22 - 28, 2009

Website of the Week -- Applied Research Center

The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a racial justice think tank and home for related media and activism. ARC is built on rigorous research and creative use of new technology. The ARC’s goal is to popularize the need for racial justice and prepare people to fight for it. Founded in 1981, ARC investigates the hidden racial consequences of public policy initiatives and develops new frameworks to resolve racially charged debates. With offices in New York, Chicago, and Oakland, ARC has three programs that serve these ends: Media and Journalism, Strategic Research and Policy Analysis, and the Racial Justice Leadership Action Network. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Board Member's Playbook: Using Policy Governance to Solve Problems, Make Decisions, and Build a Stronger Board by Miriam Carver and Bill Charney

From the publisher: The Board Member's Playbook--written for board members who are either familiar with or new to John Carver's Policy Governance model--offers real-world scenarios that address the challenges that confront boards of all types of organizations. Step by step, the authors walk readers through a proven problem-solving sequence that allows them to find solutions consistent with the values and policies of their organizations. Designed to be flexible, the book's problem-solving methods are applicable to any challenge boards may face. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Connections Between Annual and Bequest Giving

The Stelter Company has issued a new Donor Insight Report™ summarizing research from a national survey of Americans aged 40 and older concerning their views on bequest giving. Key findings include:

• Ninety percent of U.S. residents aged 40 and older reported making a contribution to at least one nonprofit in the past year or so. This included a majority (58 percent) who reported contributions to three or more charities, with about one in five (19 percent) giving to five or more organizations.
• Seven percent of Americans aged 40 and older name nonprofits in their wills. Another 5 percent have a will and say at some point they will definitely or probably include a bequest to a nonprofit organization. Still another 5 percent do not yet have a will in place, but say they will definitely or probably include a nonprofit when they create this document. Most of this group (73 percent) intend to create a will within the next five years.
• Prolific annual givers have a propensity for bequest giving. Bequest givers and good prospects who have a will in place are more likely than average to make annual gifts to five or more charities: 34 and 37 percent respectively, compared to 19 percent overall (a 15- to 18-point difference). Prospects who do not yet have a will in place differ, in that they give to fewer charities on average.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Communication Evaluation Tool

Track the impact of your communications strategies with a new evaluation -- Are We There Yet? A Communications Evaluation Guide produced by The Communications Network. This free tool gives nonprofits and foundations nine steps to create an evaluation plan that will assess the impact of their communications efforts. Go to:

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

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!

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