Monday, August 31, 2009

Picks of the Week: August 30 - September 5, 2009

Website of the Week -- The Center for Social Innovation

The Center for Social Innovation was created in 2000 by a group of faculty, alumni, and other leaders committed to social change at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Building on a long history at the School of engaging students and alumni in social and environmental issues, the Center has quickly developed new ways to strengthen the capacity of individuals addressing social problems. The Center has begun to build a vibrant community of active change agents through a variety of activities that contribute through thought leadership, student engagement, and community engagement. Through basic and applied research, case writing, course development, and publications, the Center creates new knowledge and disseminates important ideas and tools for social innovation. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Annual Campaign by Erik J. Daubert

From the publisher: The Annual Campaign reveals how to run a well-managed and well-coordinated annual campaign effort from the perspective of the large or small nonprofit organization. Centering on real-world campaigns and best practices in the 21st century for annual support, this book presents step-by-step guidance and practical tools including diagrams of annual campaign structures for use in local nonprofits, checklists for annual support campaigns, assessments for annual support campaign readiness, annual support campaign case statement examples, sample pledge cards, cultivation tips for obtaining larger gifts, and much more. The author Erik Daubert currently serves as Association Financial Development Consultant for the YMCA of the USA, assisting YMCA associations across the country with consulting for annual, capital, and endowment efforts. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Shrinking Generational Digital Divide

Americans 50+ are increasingly becoming immersed in the Internet and in many ways can be compared to users who are decades younger, according to findings from the Center for the Digital Future released in conjunction with AARP. The study takes a look at online behaviors of those age 50+ compared to the under 50 demographic. The following are selected key findings from the study comparing Internet users 50 + to those under 50 that will be of interest to nonprofits:

• Participation in online communities – A large percentage of Internet users 50 and older who are members of online communities report extensive involvement in their communities and benefits from their participation. Fifty-eight percent of members 50 and older log in to their online community daily or several times a day, compared to 47 percent of members under 20.
• Social activism – Thirty-six percent of members 50 and older said their social activism has increased since they began participating in online communities for social causes, compared to 29 percent of members under 20.
• Importance of online information - A larger percent of users under 20 compared to those over 50 (85% vs.76%) said that the Internet is an important or very important source of information. However, the percentage of those over 50 who state this has grown substantially in five years (2002 to 2007), up slightly more than half (51%).
• Importance of online communities – Both 50+ and under 20 online community members say their online community is very important or extremely important to them: (70 percent of members 50 and older, and 58 percent of members under 20).

Go to:

Resource of the Week -- Hallmarks of A Risk Aware Nonprofit

Over the past two years, the Nonprofit Risk Management Center has identified 12 Hallmarks, along with practical strategies and tools to help turn your nonprofit organization into one that manifests the hallmarks of a risk-aware nonprofit. This Hallmarks tool developed by the Nonprofit Risk Management Center has three purposes:

• To inspire thoughtful risk-taking by nonprofit leaders
• To illuminate risk management Hallmarks common in risk-aware nonprofits, and
• To provide specific and practical guidance as well as ‘how-to’ insights for leaders seeking to strengthen risk management practices in their nonprofit organizations.

Each Hallmark is followed by practical suggestions and additional resources to help you get started. To access the Hallmark Tool, go to:

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

Charts are great for presenting data in an easy-to-understand way. Here’s how to create a chart in Word 2007:

• Position your cursor where you would like to insert the chart
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• Click Chart in the Illustrations group
• Select the style of chart you would like to insert
• Click OK
• The chart appears in your document and an Excel worksheet opens
• Enter your data in the Excel worksheet
• Your chart data is automatically updated in Word as you change it in Excel
• Use the Chart Tools in Word to change the chart style, layout and formatting options

Monday, August 24, 2009

Picks of the Week: August 23 - 29, 2009

Website of the Week -- CompassPoint Nonprofit Services

CompassPoint Nonprofit Services is a consulting, research, and training organization providing nonprofits with management tools, strategies, and resources to lead change in their communities. With offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, CompassPoint works with community-based nonprofits in executive transition, planning, boards of directors, finance systems and business planning, fundraising, and technology. While CompassPoint’s focus is on nonprofits in the Bay area, there are many resources that will be of use to all nonprofits. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Principles of Fundraising: Theory and Practice by Wesley E Lindahl

From the publisher: Principles of Fundraising: Theory and Practice provides readers with an overview of the theory and practice of fundraising for nonprofit organizations. It approaches fundraising from a marketing position, yet incorporates concepts from the law, economics, accounting, history, sociology, psychology, theology, and ethics. While many fundraising textbooks are heavily geared toward practice, this textbook balances the approach and provides a basis for further study in the field of fundraising. Some features include: Comprehensive overview of the theory and practice for fundraising; Extensive chapter on models of fundraising; Historical background on fundraising included to set the context for current practice; Highlights the religious motivations for giving that represent the largest category for giving in the USA; Entire chapter dealing with ethical issues in fundraising; Builds in recent and classic academic research on fundraising. Principles of Fundraising: Theory and Practice also features boxed articles, examples, summaries, and short case studies to enhance the reading.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Nonprofit Job Cuts

Organizations across the nonprofit sector are using combinations of staff management strategies, including salary freezes and layoffs, to deal with the recession, according to a survey Campbell & Company conducted in July 2009. Nearly half of nonprofit organizations (47.5 percent) have laid off staff members to cut costs as donations dwindle. Fifty percent of groups in the survey have frozen salaries, 15.8 percent have put a freeze on hiring, and 10.5 percent have mandated unpaid time off or reduced salaries and other benefits. The survey found that fund raisers were slightly less likely than their peers to be affected by the cuts. Roughly 43.5 percent of charities had laid off fund raisers, and 13 percent had hired more fund raisers in recent months to help win more donations. In addition to salary freezes and layoffs, organizations noted that they are:

• Imposing furloughs or reducing salaries, hours, raises or benefits, such as decreasing employer contributions to deferred compensation plans (10.5 percent each).
• Decreasing or eliminating bonuses (7.9 percent)
• More than half of respondents (51.2 percent) reported that their operational budgets are lower this fiscal year.

For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week -- GuideStar Webinar Archive

GuideStar maintains an online archive of on demand webinars for nonprofits on a variety of subjects. Recent titles include: How to Build an Organizational Dashboard: Track and Measure Organizational Performance Easily and Inexpensively, Creating Sustainable Funding in Economically Challenging Times, Frictionless Fundraising, Nonprofit Research and Analysis Tools to Get the Job Done, and more. Go to:

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

One of our 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
• Type three pound symbols ( ### ) and press Enter for a triple line
• Type three tildes ( ~~~ ) and press Enter for a wavy line
• Type three asterisks ( *** ) and press Enter for a dotted line

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

Monday, August 17, 2009

Picks of the Week: August 16 - 22, 2009

Website of the Week -- Venture Philanthropy Partners

Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) is a philanthropic investment organization that helps leaders build strong, high-performing nonprofit institutions. VPP concentrates money, expertise, and personal contacts to improve the lives of children and youth of low-income families in the National Capital Region and cultivate an engaged donor community to generate funding and influence in support of these institutions and of social change. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Truth About What Nonprofit Boards Want: The Nine Little Things That Matter Most by June J. Bradham

From the publisher: The Truth About What Nonprofit Boards Want is a must read for every executive and fundraiser who wonders how to attract and retain passionate and generous board members. Find out what really makes nonprofit board members tick with the candid, groundbreaking interviews found in The Truth About What Nonprofit Boards Want. Here, fundraising veteran and author June Bradham shares her expertise, insights, and research to uncover the truth: giving or raising money is the last motivator for seasoned board members to join a board. Their motivation is surprisingly simpler. Interviewing elite board members from around the world, Bradham's qualitative data overwhelmingly proves that board members want an experience that is infused with work that is poignant, thought-provoking, and actionable. By sharing their stories, these successful board members dispel many commonly held myths regarding nonprofit boards to reveal the Nine Truths of the Board Experience. Among them:

• Current board makeup is the biggest motivator for a top-flight candidate to consider board service
• Engaged boards have an inspired CEO who forms a partnership with board members and demonstrates a passion for the mission while keeping the ego in check
• Board giving follows a great board experience

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Volunteering in America Remains Strong

A new report released by the Corporation for National and Community Service finds that even during a time of prolonged economic recession, volunteering has remained steady, fueled by a compassion boom led by young adults and a wave of do-it-yourself volunteers working with their neighbors to fix problems. Volunteering in America 2009, the most comprehensive data ever assembled on volunteer trends and demographics, found that a total of 61.8 million Americans volunteered through an organization in 2008, up one million from the previous year. America's volunteers dedicated more than 8 billion hours of service in 2008, worth an estimated $162 billion. While the formal volunteering rate in America remained relatively stable at 26.4 percent, other less-formal ways of serving in communities have dramatically increased. The number of people who worked with their neighbors to fix a community problem rose by 31 percent, from 15.2 million in 2007 to 19.9 million in 2008, suggesting an emerging trend of self-organized 'do-it-yourself' service, a trend the Obama Administration is working to encourage through its United We Serve initiative and website. For a summary of key findings, go to:

Resource of the Week -- The Just Enough Planning Guide™

Developed by Spitfire Strategies, and the Communications Leadership Institute, with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The Just Enough Planning Guide™ was developed to help those looking to create winning policy campaigns, issue campaigns, corporate campaigns or public education campaigns. Based on findings from a comprehensive search to find the perfect approach to campaign planning, this unique tool provides organizations and coalitions with just enough of a process for planning successful campaigns. The Interactive Just Enough Planning Guide™ provides users with an online, interactive approach to the planning process. As you work your way through the tool, you'll have several opportunities to evaluate your answers and ensure you are making the smartest choices. You can also stop and save your answers at any time, and come back and finish later. This allows you to finish the planning process in your own time — and gives you maximum flexibility so you can get input on your choices from staff, board members or other outside resources as needed. At the end of the process, you will have a fully completed plan that links your organization's objectives to the many strategic decisions necessary for a successful campaign. To download a copy of the guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Selecting a Range in Excel

In Excel, a range is a group of connected cells. When working in Excel you often need to select a range. Here is a simple trick for quickly selecting a range:

• Click anywhere within the range
• Press Ctrl + Shift + *

The range is selected. This trick works in all versions of Excel.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Picks of the Week: August 9 - 15, 2009

Website of the Week -- Resilient Organizations Fund

The Resilient Organizations Fund was established by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation to provide capacity building support to their grantee organizations, helping them tap into and enhance their own powers of resiliency. The site includes an extensive resource directory designed to connect you with tools that can make a difference in your nonprofit organization. While the website focuses on Minnesota organizations, many of the resource will be useful to any nonprofit. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Chief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO by Don Tebbe

From the publisher: When a nonprofit finds itself in need of a new chief executive, managing the transition effectively is crucial to the organization’s future impact and continued success. Properly handled, the process can be an opportunity to enhance the organization and add to its effectiveness. Chief Executive Transitions will not only help boards navigate the hiring process but also oversee a successful leadership transition. It includes checklists, key questions board members will need to answer as they go through the process, and practical real-life examples. The accompanying CD-ROM includes 13 helpful documents, including a resume scoring sheet, sample timeline, sample interview questions, and a sample 90-day entry plan to help ensure the success of the newly hired chief executive. This publication was awarded this year’s McAdam Book award by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Nonprofit Professionals Expect the Recession to Have Long-Term or Permanent Negative Effect

America's nonprofits, including the "lifeline" organizations that many depend on for food, shelter, and other basic services, are strained to the breaking point, according to a survey released by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF). The survey of over 1,100 nonprofit leaders in markets nationwide captures the financial state and particular challenges facing these organizations. Key findings include:

• Only 12% of all respondents expect to operate above break-even this year.
• Just 16% anticipate being able to cover their operating expenses in both 2009 and 2010.
• 31% don’t have enough operating cash in hand to cover more that one month of expenses, and another 31% have less than three months’ worth.
• In 2009: 43% anticipate a decrease in funding from government; 62% anticipate a decrease in funding from foundations; 52% of respondents expect the recession to have a long-term (2+ years) or permanent negative financial effect on their organizations.
• 93% of lifeline organizations that provide essential services anticipate an increase in demand in 2009.

For additional survey information, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Capacity Building Resources

The Fieldstone Alliance has compiled an extensive collection of capacity building resources including links to all types of providers active in the field of capacity building. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Save All and Close All Open Files in Word 2007

Prior to Word 2007 there was a quick way to close all open files. However, this trick does not work in Word 2007. But it can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar. Here's how:

1. Click the Office button
2. Click the Word Options button at the bottom of the menu
3. Click Customize in the left-hand pane
4. Click the small arrow next to the Choose Commands From box and select Commands Not In Ribbon
5. Scroll down to Close All and click to select
6. Click the Add button
7. Scroll down to Save All and click to select
8. Click the Add button
9. Click OK.

Now you can click these icons in the Quick Access Toolbar to use the Save All and Close All commands. Click here to view the trick for doing this in earlier versions.