Monday, May 11, 2009

Picks of the Week: May 10 - 16, 2009

Website of the Week -- Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies

The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies seeks to improve understanding and the effective functioning of not-for-profit, philanthropic, or “civil society” organizations in the United States and throughout the world in order to enhance the contribution these organizations can make to democracy and the quality of human life. The Center is part of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies and carries out its work through a combination of research, training, and information-sharing both domestically and internationally. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today's Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems by Peggy Holman, Tom Devane and Steven Cady

From the Publisher: Originators and practitioners of such change methods as Future Search, Real Time Strategic Change, Gemba Kaizen, and Open Space Technology outline the distinctive aspects of their approaches, detail roles and responsibilities, share stories illustrating their use, and answer frequently asked questions. This extensively updated new edition of the classic bestseller features profiles of sixty-one change methods by the originators and foremost practitioners of such high-leverage change methods as Appreciative Inquiry, the World Café, Six Sigma, Future Search, and Open Space Technology. Each author outlines distinctive aspects of their approach, answers frequently asked questions, and provides case studies and references to learn more. A one-stop comparative chart helps you determine which methods will work best for you, along with chapters on mixing and matching and sustaining results. This tremendously expanded second edition is the definitive resource in the exciting area of engaging "whole systems" of people to create their own future. Click here to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Foundations Respond to Increased Needs as Assets Decline

A recent study by the Council on Foundations reveals that foundations continue to respond to the increased needs of families in spite of a decline in foundation assets. This report is another in a series of Council research reports on the relationship between philanthropy and the economy.This new report is based on data collected from 430 foundations in March 2009. It assesses how foundation endowments and grantmaking have been affected. It also considers how foundations have changed their grantmaking to focus on individuals and families hurt by the recession. Finally, it looked at the changes foundations have made in their own operations. Highlight of the study include:

• Foundation endowments, which started the year at $682 billion, fell precipitously in 2008 leading to a majority of foundations (62 percent) reporting they will reduce their grantmaking in 2009. However, the vast majority (82 percent) of foundations providing assistance to those adversely affected by the economic downturn will continue to do so, either at the same or higher levels, or have added it as a new area.
• Three out of four foundations saw their assets decline by 25 percent or more, with a higher proportion of independent and larger foundations experiencing such a drop.
• About half (48 percent) of foundations said that they will reduce the value of their total grantmaking for 2009 by 10 percent or more
• More than one in three foundations (38 percent) reported that they will maintain or increase the value of their grantmaking in 2009, with more than half of corporate grantmakers and 41 percent of family foundations maintaining or increasing the value of their grantmaking.
• Ninety-two percent of foundations stated they are making grants in 2009 to aid low-income individuals and families and others adversely affected by the economic downturn.
• Eighty-two percent of these foundations reported that their grantmaking in 2009 will be at least as much as it was in 2008; in fact, 31 percent said they are increasing their support for basic needs (food, emergency shelter, utility payments, and employment) and 6 percent said they have added it as a new grantmaking area.
• Most foundations are taking actions to reduce or contain their own operating costs by implementing hiring or salary freezes, cutting travel budgets, or reducing or eliminating conference attendance.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Sustainability Guide

NeighborWorks America today released a comprehensive sustainability guide to help community development corporations and other non-profits to evaluate and improve the environmental and sustainable footprint of their organizations, or in short, "Go Green." Produced in association with Strategic Sustainability Consulting, Herndon, VA, the easy-to-read, straight-forward guide, "Greening Your Non-Profit from the Inside Out: A NeighborWorks Guide for Community Development Organizations" is built off of 22 actual sustainability audits of nonprofit organizations and uses these examples to tailor a "Go Green" guide for non-profit organizations. To download the practical, hands-on guide for free, 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.

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