Monday, June 29, 2009

Picks of the Week: June 28 - July 4, 2009

Website of the Week -- Nonprofit Hub

Nonprofit Hub is a site created to help the nonprofit neophyte, whether student, staff member, volunteer, donor, or simply a citizen with a question about jargon used in the nonprofit world or an aspect of management or fundraising practices. This for profit site, which generates revenue through sponsored links, is very easy to navigate and has resources arranged in 14 categories. There is no charge for the resources. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Jump-Starting the Stalled Fundraising Campaign by Julia Ingraham Walker

From the publisher: Things have suddenly gotten a lot tougher in the fundraising business. Nonprofits have begun searching for new ways to make budgets stretch further, to do more with less, and to maximize their return on investment. Part of the AFP / Wiley Fund Development Series, Jump-Starting the Stalled Fundraising Campaign will help your nonprofit develop a strategic approach to fundraising in the weak economy, with advice on knowing if your campaign is in trouble, what short-term steps you can take to stem your losses, and how to avoid the Top 10 campaign mistakes. Concise and practical, Jump-Starting the Stalled Fundraising Campaign discusses:

• Fundraising in a challenging economic environment
• Knowing how to identify opportunities
• How to re-engage board, staff, and volunteers
• Prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation
• Communicating more effectively to attract additional support
• Building on opportunities for change across the organization

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Nonprofits Employ Tougher Measures as Downturn Deepens

The negative effects of the economy on nonprofit organizations has accelerated over the last six months, according to responses from nearly 100 nonprofit leaders participating in a Bridgespan study initiated in November 2008 and updated in May 2009. The percentage of nonprofits that have resorted to layoffs, broad-based programmatic reductions, and reserve draw-downs has increased measurably. Nevertheless nonprofit leaders appear to be optimistic about the future. Almost half of the respondents reported that they believed their organization would be on stronger financial footing in a year's time. Key tactics employed by nonprofits to manage the impact of the economic downturn include:

• Work closely with existing funders to address challenges
• Redesign programs to achieve outcomes in a less costly manner
• Examine and improve key processes and structures (e.g. improve decision-making, cross functional teams) to increase organizational efficiency
• Have a clearly-defined contingency plan
• Consciously identify key positions and shift resources to keep these positions filled
• Renegotiate terms of funding to focus on core programs
• Create new programs that are related to mission and can attract greater funding
• Reduce the level of activity across all programs
• Lay off staff
• Dip into reserve funds
• Cut staff salaries
• Examine opportunities to merge with or acquire other nonprofit organizations

For a comparison of changes in responses from November 2008 to May 2009, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Mashable Launches Hub for Twitter Resources

Founded in July 2005, Mashable bills itself as the world's largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Media news. Mashable has prepared the "The Twitter Guide Book" to help organizations use twitter effectively. The guidebook is described as a one-stop shop for getting up to speed with everything Twitter, from managing your Twitter stream to promoting an organization. The Twitter Guide Book will be updated a regular basis to bring the latest tips and tricks as Twitter evolves. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Creating Lines in Word 2007

One of my favorite shortcuts from previous versions of Word still works in Word 2007! To create lines across the page of a Word document:

• Type three consecutive hyphens and press Enter for a normal line
• Type three underscores and press Enter for a bold line
• Type three equal signs and press Enter for a double line

These lines extend from the left margin to the right margin and the size of these lines will change if you change the margins of your document or if you change the orientation from Portrait to Landscape.

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