Monday, March 9, 2009

Picks of the Week: March 8 - 14, 2009

Website of the Week -- Alliance for Nonprofit Management

The Alliance for Nonprofit Management is the professional association of individuals and organizations devoted to improving the management and governance capacity of nonprofits. The Alliance is a learning community that promotes quality in nonprofit capacity building. The Alliance convenes a major annual conference, networks colleagues year-round online, and provides member discounts on books and other publications. The Alliance provides visibility to its members in the online “Find a Consultant or Service Provider” directory, the People of Color Roster, Alliance Insights eNewsletter, Member Spotlights and membership directory. Alliance members include management support organizations (MSOs), individual professionals, and a range of national/regional, umbrella, research and academic, publishing and philanthropic organizations that provide technical assistance (training and consulting) to nonprofits. Available to members and non-members alike, the Alliance Resource Center is a searchable database of resources for nonprofits. It includes information on organizations, websites, books, newsletters and other products and services for nonprofit organizations. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact: A Social-Entrepreneurial Approach to Solving Social Problems by Andrew Wolk and Kelley Kreitz

From the publisher: Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact applies the strategic rigor and financial savvy of traditional private-sector business planning to social problem solving. This practical guide provides an introduction to business planning for enduring social impact and leads readers through a four-step process for creating an actionable business plan. Key features include a glossary of business planning terms, plus an outline, sample workplan, and sample business plan for enduring social impact. Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact draws on Root Cause's unique business planning methodology, developed through consulting engagements with dozens of organizations, and through the organization's experience with the Root Cause social enterprises that it has started and grown. The guide is the first in a series of Root Cause How-to Guides, which provide practical advice for organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors dedicated to solving social problems. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Nonprofit Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are much more common in the nonprofit world than most would think, as a Bridgespan Group study of 3,300 deals across four states over 11 years shows. But nonprofit mergers often come about through default—due to financial distress or leadership vacuums. At the same time, relatively few nonprofits are using M&A strategically, as a way to strengthen organizations' effectiveness, spread best practices, expand reach, and to do all of this more cost-effectively. Yet the potential for M&A to create real value in the nonprofit sector exists, particularly if more philanthropists take on the mantle of matchmaker and help nonprofits explore and evaluate M&A opportunities. This report summariizes research conducted by the Bridgespan Group on nonprofit M&A; explores the Child and Family Services (CFS) field, where "market" conditions are especially favorable to combinations; and profiles two nonprofits making the most of acquisitions. It also issues a call to action to philanthropists to further strategic, social sector M&A. To download a copy of the study, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Grantstation Series: How to Increase Office Productivity Using Free Software

How to Increase Office Productivity Using Free Software from Grantstation is an eight-part series that covers everything nonprofits need to know about moving from costly desktop office software to Google's free online office tools suite. This series offers tutorials for getting started with Google – using and configuring Google Mail (Gmail); Google Calendar; and Google Docs, including the spreadsheet and presentation functions – as well as a host of other free applications that increase productivity and are fun to learn. This series will show you how your organization can easily make use of Google's tools to achieve organizational objectives for both novice and experienced computer users. "Introducing Google's Free Online Suite of Tools," the first article in this series, briefly outlines why nonprofit organizations might use free software and explores its benefits. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Add Commands to Quick Access Toolbar in Office 2007

• Right click on any command
• Select Add to the Quick Access Toolbar from the shortcut menu

This trick works in Microsoft 2007 Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.

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