Monday, September 21, 2009

Picks of the Week: September 20 - 26, 2009

Website of the Week -- Sustainable Measures

Sustainable Measures develops indicators that measure progress toward a sustainable economy, society and environment. The organization works with communities, companies, regional organizations and government agencies at all levels. The website offers:

• Free training materials
• A searchable database of indicators
• Explanations of indicators and sustainability
• A list of online, print, and other resources, and
• Answers to frequently asked questions about indicators and sustainability.

Go to:

Publication of the Week -- No Risk No Reward: Mergers of Membership Associations and Nonprofits by Louise C. Dickmeyer

From the publisher: No Risk - No Reward: Mergers of Membership Associations and Nonprofits is a straightforward discussion on the process of merging two nonprofits or membership associations. It provides a practical guide to merging nonprofit organizations a topic of interest to a growing number of nonprofit leaders as they seek to continue to provide services in an era of reduced resources. The book aims to provide general direction to staffs and board members involved in mergers to help prepare for the complexity of the process and avoid the inherent pitfalls. The book by Minnesota-based nonprofit consultant, Louise Dickmeyer, writes from personal experience. As president and chief executive officer of Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, she learned first-hand the difficulties and complexities of merging nonprofits in 2001 when her organization merged with the Bloomington (Minn.) Chamber of Commerce. In the book, Dickmeyer uses the merger as a case study and shares insights gained through years of consulting to nonprofit and membership organizations. No Risk- No Reward: Mergers of Membership Associations and Nonprofits addresses the increasing need for mergers as a strategy for coping with shrinking financial and leadership resources. The book also provides helpful how-to information on key aspects of mergers, including finances, governance, legal considerations, the integration of cultures and the role of communications in merger success. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Milwaukee Area Nonprofits Under Stress

Local nonprofit organizations are cutting budgets and staff in an effort to keep up with increased demand for services and falling donations, according to a new and expanded survey of local agencies commissioned by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and conducted by the Public Policy Forum.
Sixty-eight percent of the nonprofits surveyed for the 13th Annual Report Card on Charitable Giving say the economic downturn has caused a drop in giving. Sixty-three percent of the agencies feel the state of philanthropy is getting worse. Of the organizations providing direct services to clients, 62 percent say demand for assistance is increasing. Other key findings of the Report Card include:

• More than 80 percent of organizations have cut costs due to budget constraints, and one in four has laid off staff.
• Only one in four organizations describe themselves as financially healthy and not currently vulnerable.
• Over half of organizations have six months or less operating reserve. Thirty-one percent say they are running an operating deficit in the current fiscal year.
• Half the nonprofits responding to the survey have considered collaborating with another nonprofit within the past year. Nearly one in three has explored merging with another nonprofit. Five organizations have considered closing.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Resource Library

The Non-Profit Sector Leadership Program at the Dalhouse University College of Continuing Studies has developed an online resource library for nonprofits. The library offers program resource materials as well as selected links to other websites that also offer useful information on leadership and management topics. Under all three headings one will find links to a number of the most active organizations, in North America and beyond, working on behalf of the nonprofit sector in advocacy, research and education. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Nudging Objects on PowerPoint 2007 Slides

Have you ever tried to move an object on a slide just a little? Try this:

• Select the object
• Press Ctrl + an arrow key

This tip also works in earlier versions.

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