Monday, June 22, 2009

Picks of the Week: June 21 - 27, 2009

Website of the Week – GoodSearch

GoodSearch is a search engine which donates 50-percent of its revenue to the charities and schools designated by its users. You use GoodSearch exactly as you would any other search engine. Because it's powered by Yahoo!, you get proven search results. The money GoodSearch donates to nonprofits comes from its advertisers at no charge to the users of the website or the nonprofits that are recipients of funds. In 2007, GoodSearch was expanded to include GoodShop, an online shopping mall of world-class merchants dedicated to helping fund worthy causes across the country. Each purchase made via the GoodShop mall results in a donation to the user's designated charity or school – averaging approximately 3% of the sale, but going up to 20% or more. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Winning Grants Step by Step, 3rd Edition by Mim Carlson, Tori O'Neal-McElrath

From the publisher: In the highly competitive arena of grantseeking, fundraisers need resources in order to win grants and fulfill their organization’s mission. This new, thoroughly updated edition of the bestseller offers a guide that any organization can use to secure funding from private foundations or the government. Filled with updated examples, this guide directs the novice grantseeker and offers a refresher course for experienced grantwriters. Following the process presented will improve anyone’s ability to transform an idea that needs support into a proposal that demands funding. As part of the new Jossey-Bass Nonprofit Guidebook Series, Winning Grants has sold over 75,000 copies in its first two editions and has established itself as a leader in the grantseeking market. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- U.S. charitable giving estimated to be $307.65 billion in 2008

Charitable giving in the United States exceeded $300 billion for the second year in a row in 2008, according to Giving USA 2009. Donations to charitable causes in the United States reached an estimated $307.65 billion in 2008, a 2 percent drop in current dollars over 2007. The 2008 number is the first decline in giving in current dollars since 1987 and the second since Giving USA began publishing annual reports in 1956, says the annual. Key findings include:

• Compared with 2007, 54 percent of human services charities saw an increase in need for their services in 2008; 30 percent saw little change in need; and 16 percent saw a decline;
• For 2009, 60 percent of the surveyed human services organizations were cutting expenses, including cutting services or staff, due to funding shortages;
• The type of human service agency most likely to be under funded was youth development/serving children and youth. Of this type of group in the study, 74 percent said they are under funded or severely under funded, meaning that current available funding was insufficient to meet current demand; and
• Among organizations working to meet people’s basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, etc.), more than half (53 percent) said they are under funded or severely under funded for 2009.

For more information and to order a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Capacity Building Toolkit

The Capacity Building Toolkit has been designed to support nonprofit leaders who wish to engage in capacity building in a systematic way. The toolkit facilitates an organization’s engagement in the four Capacity Building Process core activities: capacity building assessment and benchmarking, capacity building action plans based on the results of the assessment, implementation of the action plan, and reassessment to track actual gains in organizational capacity. This toolkit further outlines the four capacity building activity components along with specific capacity building tools designed to guide an organization’s engagement in each of the four activities. This Capacity Building Action Planning Toolkit was originally developed by Frank Martinelli and Shelly Schnupp for use by local associations of the Great Lakes Alliance of the YWCA as part of the GLA Capacity Building Project. To access the capacity building toolkit, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Data Validation in Excel 2007

Data Validation lets you restrict what goes into a cell. For example, if dates being entered must be between a certain range, do this:

•Select the range of cells that you want to apply data validation to
• Click the Data tab on the Ribbon
• In the Data Tools group click the Data Validation button
• Under Validation criteria choose Date from the Allow drop-down menu
• Enter the acceptable date range
• Click OK

If someone tries to enter a date outside this range a warning is displayed that says, "The value you entered is not valid.”

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