Monday, June 15, 2009

Picks of the Week: June 14 - 20, 2009

Website of the Week -- Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations

The Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations (TANO) is the statewide association reflecting and promoting Texas’ growing nonprofit community in all its diversity. Envisioning a Texas Nonprofit Sector that works together to be among the healthiest and most vibrant in the nation, TANO’s concern and focus is every nonprofit entity within our state no matter their size or budget. Its mission is to connect, strengthen, and support the nonprofit community for the public good of Texas. TANO creates learning communities of nonprofit professionals, volunteers and others interested in the nonprofit sector. TANO also offer conferences, seminars, and electronic forums and listservs which enable its members to share information, learn from one another, and expand their networks. As one of 42 state associations of nonprofits in the United States, TANO is a member of the National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA). While the focus is Texas nonprofit community, there are many resource links that will benefit any nonprofit organization. Go to and click on the”Knowledge Center” link in the left margin.

Publication of the Week -- Over Goal! What You Must Know to Excel at Fundraising Today by Kay Sprinkel Grace

From the publisher: In its first incarnation, Over Goal! attained classic status. But now Grace has invigorated the first edition with 12 new chapters while updating trends and figures. The final product is arguably the most perceptive fundraising book since Harold Seymour’s Designs for Fund Raising. In 40 comprehensive chapters, Over Goal! ranges over the entire landscape of fundraising and board development. Virtually every subject (e.g. understanding the motivations of major donors, keeping your prospect pipeline full, the dynamics of a solicitation call, the new realities of capital campaigns) is explored, and every technique explained. And there are surprising topics, too, such as using the Internet for stewardship, soothing disgruntled donors, and what you should always communicate to your donors. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Economic Downturn Impact on Major Gift Fundraising

“A Current Overview of Philanthropy and the Economy”, a report by CSS Fund-Raising in New York summarizes the impact of the current economic downturn on philanthropy with a focus on the impact on major gift fundraising. According to the authors, this economic crisis is more immediate and severe than other recessions and has had a dramatic impact on high wealth individuals. 60% of all US philanthropy comes from high net worth individuals who represent just 3% of the total population. The authors also note that new donor acquisition from the direct mail has declined precipitously for many nonprofit organizations. Income from some major special events is experiencing a 10 to 15% fall off from the previous year. The authors suggest 10 strategies for major gift fundraising including:

• Reaffirm your organization's mission and continuously remind donors of the impact and the urgency of philanthropic support.
• Develop immediate short-term action plan specifically designed for your organization.
• Significantly increase activity including visits and briefings with donors and friends and provide consistent communication with all constituencies.
• Redouble efforts to help motivate development staff, administrative leadership, and trustees by reminding them of the resilience of philanthropy in tough times.
• Encourage trustees and volunteers to help open doors and introduce new potential supporters to the institution.
• Reorder prospect lists to reflect the current state of affairs. Undertake additional research to help identify new potential donors and sectors of support.
• Explore the possibility of donors making challenge or matching gifts to stimulate giving from others and multiply the impact of their gifts.
• Share the latest philanthropic information to both motivate leadership and temper expectations.
• Provide donors with greater flexibility in fulfilling their commitments including extended payment periods and plans and deferred giving opportunities.
• Whenever possible, explore practical ways to diversify your fundraising program

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- 185 Cutback Strategies

185 Cutback Strategies Excerpted from Coping with Cutbacks: The Nonprofit Guide to Success When Times Are Tight published by the Fieldstone Alliance. The first two categories address strategies for reducing costs and increasing revenues and will be helpful in budget planning. The authors note: "Use these suggestions as a starting point for your own brainstorming, and use the categories to help you organize your thinking and analyze your current approach to fulfilling your mission. But don't get locked into any one strategy--cut them up, pull them out of a hat, mix and match them. Do whatever helps you spur new ideas that fit your specific situation. Here's our caveat: Just because we've listed a strategy, don't think we endorse it. In fact, we dislike some, and some may conflict with your mission, values, or human resource policies." Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Import a Custom Auto Fill List in Excel 2007

• Select the range of cells on the worksheet which contains the list
• Click the Microsoft Office button
• Click the Excel Options to display the Excel Options dialog box
• Click the Popular tab in the left pane
• Click the Edit Custom List button in the right pane to open the Custom List dialog box
• The range of selected cells will be displayed in the Import list from cells box at the bottom
• Click the Import button
• Your list now appears in the Custom Lists window
• Click OK

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