Monday, April 13, 2009

Picks of the Week: April 12 - 18, 2009

Website of the Week -- FSG Social Impact Advisors

FSG Social Impact Advisors (FSG) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1999 as the Foundation Strategy Group by Mark Kramer and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. FSG is dedicated to accelerating social progress by advancing the practice of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility in three ways:

• Consulting services on strategy and implementation, evaluation, organizational alignment, and corporate social responsibility that help individual foundations, corporations, and nonprofits increase their effectiveness and social impact.
• Breakthrough ideas are at the core of what FSG does, from original writing on the ways foundations can create value, to more recent work on evaluation, corporate social responsibility, and community foundation sustainability. FSG’s research and writing has appeared in such publications as Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
• Multi-year initiatives in collaboration with external partners, guided by expert advisory boards, and supported by major funders. The goal of such action initiatives is to advance the field by creating tools, identifying best practices, and fostering constructive collaboration to accelerate the pace of social progress.

Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential by Dan Pallotta

From the publisher: Pallotta TeamWorks was the for-profit brainchild behind several campaigns to raise funds for breast cancer and AIDS research and awareness, creating several nationwide, marathonlike events that raised millions. But its founder came under attack for violating the sacred premises of charitable organizations: low profile, low budget, and little or no profit. Pallotta turns on its head the assumption that charity and capitalism should be forever divided. Don’t charitable causes deserve the same kind of competitive forces that work to get results in the for-profit sector? Wouldn’t social causes be better served if charitable organizations were headed by the kind of bright, aggressive executives that work in the for-profit sector? Pallotta traces the history of nonprofit organizations to Puritan notions of charity and self-denial. He also offers a detailed case study of TeamWorks and other trends in the nonprofit sector that only tweak around the edges of a system that is sorely in need of change if it is to deliver on its mission to improve social inequities or cure diseases. A passionate, thought-provoking look at the nonprofit sector. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Major Trends in Education and Learning

According to the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, over the next decade, the most vibrant innovations in education will take place outside traditional institutions. The Foundation’s recently released comprehensive trend resource, “2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning”, is a tool for thinking about, preparing for, and shaping the future of learning and education. It outlines key forces of change that will shape the landscape of learning over the next decade. This resource will be important for nonprofits engaged in work related to education and learning. The forecast contains four major types of information:

• “Drivers of Change”: major forces of transformation that will shape our efforts to remake learning.
• “Trends”: distinct directions of change that point to new concepts or new patterns of behavior that will shape the future of learning.
• “Signals”: examples, or early indicators, of the changes described by the trends and the drivers of change. By providing analogies, data, and explicit stories, signals help make the future seem more concrete.
• “Learning agents”: New roles and functions that might emerge in the future ecosystem of learning.

To access this amazing resource, go to: You can download a pdf version and also order multiple hard copies at no charge.

Resource of the Week -- Video: Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

These 11 videos from BoardSource are based on BoardSource's Governance Series. The videos will help board members, chief executives, and senior staff understand the fundamental elements of service common to most boards, including board member responsibilities, how to structure the board in the most efficient manner, and how to accomplish governance work in the spirit and mission of the organization. The Governance Series can be purchased in the BoardSource bookstore. To access the videos, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Display Formulas in Excel 2007 Worksheet

When creating Microsoft Excel worksheets formula results are shown in the worksheet NOT the formula. There may be times when it would be helpful if you could SEE the formula in the worksheet.
To display formulas in Excel 2007:

• Click the Office button
• Click the Excel Options button
• In the Excel Options dialog box, click Advanced
• Scroll down to the Display options for this worksheet section
• Click to select the option Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated values

To resume seeing the results of the formula, just repeat the above steps. Or you can use the shortcut keys for toggling formula viewing on and off: Ctrl+` (accent key below the tilde ~). This shortcut works in earlier versions of Excel as well.

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