Monday, July 27, 2009

Picks of the Week: July 26 - August 8, 2009

Website of the Week -- The American Marketing Association Foundation

The American Marketing Association (AMA) Foundation's mission is to be an essential resource to nonprofits, helping them achieve greater success through effective marketing. As the nonprofit philanthropic arm of the American Marketing Association (AMA), the AMA Foundation achieves this goal through support of nonprofit marketing conferences and other training initiatives, scholarships, research, on-line and electronic resources. The Foundation works in partnerships and other strategic collaborations with the AMA, AMA chapters, marketing practitioners and academics, and scores of voluntary and community organizations. The Foundation also champions and supports excellence in marketing and diversity in the marketing profession. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook Part II: Unifying the Organization after a Merger by La Piana Associates

From the publisher: You've completed the merger agreement. Now, how do you make the merger work? Nonprofit Mergers Part II helps you create a comprehensive plan to achieve integration. It addresses large, strategic issues as well as small practical ones. Integration issues and how to handle them Section I: Going the Distance provides a broad view of integration, its challenges, and how to meet them. Topics include: The basic tenets of organizational change; What success looks like in a well-implemented merger; The purpose and content of an integration plan; How to address people issues through leadership and planning; The relationship between effective leadership, effective communication, and their combined contribution to integration success; How to create a useful integration plan Section II: Creating an Integration Plan takes you step-by-step through this essential process. You'll learn about: Integration of boards, cultures, management, staff and volunteers, programs, communications and marketing, and systems one by one, in detail; The steps needed to create each section of the plan; Common challenges, roadblocks, and crises that will arise, and how to respond when they do; Processes, procedures, and interventions likely to be most helpful and necessary; Software helps you create an organized plan Included with the book is a CD-ROM with a detailed integration plan template. Use it to keep your planning organized and on track. This useful guide also includes: Sample integration plans; Worksheets; Checklists; Tips and quotes from leaders of merged organizations; Nonprofit Mergers Part II is a must-read for anyone considering, embarking on, of just completing a merger!

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Private and Community Foundation Trends

The Foundation Center has just released the Foundation Yearbook, 2009 Edition which provides an overview of the state of foundation giving in the current year and beyond, comparisons of foundation activities by foundation size, and breakdowns of foundation resources by geographic location and grantmaker type. The 2009 edition's key findings include:

• Overall foundation giving rose by an estimated 2.8 percent in 2008 to $45.6 billion
• Foundation assets dropped an estimated 21.9 percent in 2008, setting a record
• Estimated 2009 foundation giving will decrease by 8 to 13 percent

To download the report highlights, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Giving Circles

Giving circles are one of the fastest growing and most varied of giving models. Giving circles can range from extremely informal settings such as four or five donors seated around a kitchen table deciding how to allocate their “coupon money” to extremely sophisticated, structured and formal programs. The concept behind giving circles, no matter what the composition or disposition, is that pooled giving has greater impact on making a difference in the community. New Ventures in Philanthropy, a program of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, has developed a comprehensive web site on initiating and managing a giving circle. For more information about giving circles, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Create Duplicate Slides in PowerPoint 2007

Here's how to create duplicate slides in PowerPoint 2007:

• In Normal view or Slide Sorter view make sure the slides you want to duplicate are selected
• From the Home tab on the Ribbon in the Slides group click the small arrow beside New Slide
• From the drop-down menu select Duplicate Selected Slides

The new slides are inserted after the current slide. If you use Slide Sorter view you can select and duplicate more than one slide at a time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Picks of the Week: July 19 - 25, 2009

Website of the Week -- The Linchpin Campaign

Linchpin is a project of the Center for Community Change (CCC), which seeks to expand the resources available to community organizing efforts in the United States. Linchpin aims to persuade a wider range of donors and funders to support organizing and assists community organizing groups in effectively communicating the impact of community organizing. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Nonprofit Mergers Workbook Part I: The Leaders Guide to Considering, Negotiating, and Executing a Merger, by David La Piana

From the publisher: From assessing reasons and readiness, to finding a partner, to negotiating the best path, to budgeting and implementation, author David La Piana guides you through the maze of options with a steady hand. Based on experience with more than sixty mergers, this handbook is the perfect starting point for any nonprofit exploring a possible merger—and a basic resource for all nonprofit managers. You'll find:

• How to decide what kind of structure—from collaboration to merger—meets your goals
• What kind of merger best fits your goals, structure, and financial situation
• How to seek merger partners and objectively assess the pros and cons of each
• How to manage the board’s essential role in merger considerations
• How to exercise due diligence and write the merger agreement
• What you can do yourself, when to call in attorneys and consultants, and how to select them
• Typical roadblocks and how to beat them
• How to move past old history and build new traditions as you integrate staff, management, boards, systems, and corporate cultures
• How to budget for and raise funds to implement the merger

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Resurgence in Social Justice Philanthropy

After a number of years of declining faith in the efficacy of social justice philanthropy, grantmakers and practitioners alike are showing renewed optimism, according to Social Justice Grantmaking II, a benchmarking study by the Foundation Center that provides an in-depth look at current attitudes and giving patterns of social justice philanthropists. Grantmakers and practitioners interviewed cite a changed political environment, the success of community organizing in the recent election, and new ideas and energy in the field among a number of factors reinvigorating a commitment to social justice philanthropy. To download report highlight or to order the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Community Organizing Fundraising Guide

In this guide, UNTAPPED: How Community Organizers Can Develop and Deepen Relationships with Major Donors And Raise Big Money, the authors examine how to apply the basics of community organizing to raising money from major donors. The guide begins with an overview of the potential and the challenges of major donor fundraising. The authors introduce findings from a survey of major donors and other sources of information. They go on to describe different types of major donors, how and where to find them, and some key things to keep in mind about major donor fundraising. At the heart of the guide is an examination of each of the five main findings from the survey and the implications for organizers, leaders, and those raising money for community organizing. Sample scenarios, talking points, organizing examples, reference information, and a list of other resources are included. To download a copy of the guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Keep a file on the Office 2007 Recent Documents List

An excellent new feature in Office 2007 which works in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, is the ability to keep or “pin” a file in the Recent Documents list, here’s how:

• Click the Microsoft Office Button
• Click the pin icon beside the document you want to keep on the list
• The pin button changes to a push pin viewed from the top

Monday, July 13, 2009

Picks of the Week: July 12 - 18, 2009

Website of the Week -- Craigslist Foundation

Founded in 2000 by Craig Newmark and others, Craigslist Foundation is a publicly supported, non-endowed 501(c)3 operating foundation. The Foundation’s programs are designed to help strengthen communities and spark community engagement. Since 2004, the Craigslist Foundation has hosted Craigslist Foundation's Boot Camp, an in-person event that focuses on skills for connecting, motivating and inspiring greater community involvement and impact. Boot Camp has drawn more than 10,000 people since its inception. Over the past few years, the foundation has recorded the workshops at Nonprofit Boot Camp and released them as a free podcast series. You can subscribe via itunes, subscribe to the rss feed, or download directly from the website at no charge. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Managing Executive Transitions: A Guide for Nonprofits by Tim Wolfred

From the publisher: A leadership transition can be a time of high vulnerability for a nonprofit organization. On the other hand, an executive turnover offers unique opportunities for renewal and fresh thinking. Managing Executive Transitions shows how this state of transition can give board and staff members a chance to put things back together in new and creative ways to discard some old pieces and to bring in fresh elements. Nonprofit boards and executive directors will find practical advice on how to manage leadership turnovers in ways that can heighten mission impact while avoiding potential downsides. Author Tim Wolfred recommends a transformational process of three phases: Prepare, Pivot, and Thrive. Engaging case studies and hands-on tools such as planning agendas, timelines, sample letters, and communication tips will smooth the transition to new executive leadership. Tim Wolfred is a Senior Projects Director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. He inaugurated in 1998 CompassPoint's Executive Transitions program, which has now worked with over 300 nonprofit agencies. Tim is the author of Interim Executive Directors: The Power in the Middle, which is one in a series of monographs on best practices for executive transitions published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. He is also co-author of two seminal studies of executive director tenure and experience, Leadership Lost and Daring to Lead, which were published by CompassPoint. Click here to preview the book on

Trend of the Week -- Wisconsin Nonprofits Coping with Economic Crisis

In May 2009, Forward Community Investments released the report “Wisconsin Nonprofits: Coping with Economic Crisis”. The report contains the results of a survey of 245 nonprofits from all over the state of Wisconsin, diverse in geographic location, staffing size, budget, and mission. The commonality is that all these nonprofits are providing important services and strengthening the livelihood in our statewide communities. Key findings of the survey results are:

• Organizations are tapping cash reserves to meet budget shortfalls.
• Uncertainty about future financial health is creating anxiety.
• Demand for services is increasing while donations are decreasing.
• Commitment to fulfilling missions remains strong.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Crisis Management Plan Templates

Holly Hart, a Wisconsin based consultant, has completed crisis management, pandemic and continuity of operations plan documents for non-profits, small businesses and schools. They are available for download at no charge. The materials are in word documents so that people can take sections of the documents to add to what they already have or so that they can take the entire document and customize it to fit their organization’s needs. Also included are training manuals in PDF form to explain the reasoning behind the contents of the crisis response plan documents. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Freeze a Formula into its Current Value in Excel

To freeze a formula into its current value:

• Select the formula
• Press F2 (Edit)
• Press F9 (Calc)
• Press Enter

Now you can copy or move the value anywhere you need it. This trick works in all versions of Excel, even 2007!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Picks of the Week: July 5 - 11, 2009

Website of the Week -- Philanthropy Project

The Philanthropy Project is an exciting, ambitious nonprofit initiative funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The mission is to enhance America's culture of generosity by inspiring and enabling every man, woman, and child to become a philanthropist. Philanthropy Project is attempting to accomplish this by using the moving image to tell the untold stories of our nation's 72,000 foundations and their innovative good works ... along with the stories of citizen philanthropists who are "giving and glowing" in their communities nationwide. Philanthropy Project is funding three groundbreaking initiatives:

• An inspiring, philanthropy-themed, family-friendly motion picture that is being produced in partnership with Anonymous Content in Hollywood;
• A Web TV channel in partnership with AOL that aspires to be the #1 destination on the Internet for all things related to American philanthropy;
• A Filmanthropy Scholarship Competition that is being held at six of America's top-ranked film schools.

Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Achieving Excellence in Fund Raising by Eugene R. Tempel

From the publisher: This thoroughly revised and updated edition of the classic book in the field provides a conceptual foundation for the fund raising profession. Hank Rosso's Achieving Excellence in Fund Raising examines the profession's principles, strategies, and methods and is filled with practical examples. Guided by the enduring philosophy of fund raising master Henry A. Rosso, contributors explain the reasoning behind the planning and selection of strategies for all fund raising activities, including building your case for support, approaching donors, managing campaigns, and demonstrating stewardship. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Impact of the 2007-09 Economic Recession

Eighty percent of nonprofit organizations are experiencing fiscal stress according to a survey released today by Johns Hopkins University, and close to 40 percent of them reported that this stress was “severe” or “very severe.” Theaters and orchestras were particularly hard hit, with nearly 75 percent of the former and half of the latter reporting “severe” or “very severe” stress. The 363 organizations that participated in the survey as part of the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post differ widely in size, cover all regions, and represent a diverse array of fields, including children and family services, elderly services and housing, community development, education, arts and culture, and others. Despite the dire challenges, more than two-thirds of the organizations indicated that they have been “successful” or “very successful” in coping with the current fiscal crisis. To achieve this result, nonprofits have displayed unusual resolve and launched inventive coping strategies:

• Well over half of all organizations have launched new or expanded fund-raising efforts, targeting individuals, state and local government, the federal government and foundations.
• Substantial proportions of organizations are tightening their belts further, cutting administrative costs, creating collaborative relationships with other nonprofits, instituting salary freezes, postponing new hires, and relying more heavily on volunteers.
• Substantial numbers are also stepping up their marketing and their advocacy.

To download for the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Cost Analysis Toolkit

Bridgespan has developed a Nonprofit Cost Analysis Toolkit. This toolkit is intended primarily for senior leaders (e.g. executive directors, directors of finance, development directors, regional directors) of small to medium nonprofit organizations with multiple programmatic areas or multiple geographic sites. It may also be useful for leaders of larger nonprofits in those cases where this knowledge does not exist already among the organization's staff. Smaller nonprofits with a single program area and a single geographic site are unlikely to require true-cost analysis as offered in this toolkit, which focuses on allocating financials across multiple areas. This toolkit may also prove useful for foundations looking to understand their grantees’ true-cost structure, or to help their grantees gain economic clarity. The toolkit assumes that its users possess a basic understanding of financial concepts and a strategic purview of the organization. To access the Toolkit, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Recording Narrations in PowerPoint 2007

Did you know you could easily record narrations for your PowerPoint slides? Here’s how:

• Click the Slide show tab on the Ribbon
• In the Set Up group click the Record Narration icon
• In the Record Narration dialog box you can set microphone level and change recording quality
• Click OK and choose to start from the current slide or from the first slide
• When you are finished you will be asked if you want to save the timings for each slide

For more information on recording narration for your PowerPoint slides, go to