Monday, September 7, 2009

Picks of the Week: September 6 - 12, 2009

Website of the Week -- The Nonprofit Portal

The Nonprofit Portal seeks to strengthen the knowledge and skills of nonprofit organizations in the Greater Milwaukee region through the collaborative development and use of on-line technologies. The Nonprofit Portal connects nonprofit leaders to online information resources, training and learning events, news, and local organizations with a focus on nonprofit management. Many of the listed resources will be of use to all nonprofits regardless of geographic location. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets: Why Philanthropy Doesn't Advance Social Progress by Steven H. Goldberg

From the publisher: In Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets, Steven Goldberg explores the debilitating financial constraints that prevent so many nonprofit organizations from producing substantially greater social impact, and sheds new light on how the nonprofit capital market should be structured to best allocate funds in support of high-performing organizations that deserve additional resources to achieve optimal scale. He presents sweeping historical evidence, rigorous economic analysis, and extensive case studies of social enterprises, venture philanthropies, independent researchers, and the emerging array of "prediction markets" to show that the time has come to develop new financial institutions and tools that can consolidate much larger sums of money with much less effort, time, and cost, and distribute it in ways that dramatically magnify its impact. Goldberg makes a compelling case for an intelligent capital allocation system—a virtual nonprofit stock market—based on the "wisdom of crowds" to help highly engaged social investors efficiently find and fund the best nonprofits, instead of forcing nonprofits to spend so much unproductive time looking for too little money with too many strings attached. His petition for financial intermediation challenges accepted orthodoxies of nonprofit fundraising and offers an informed pathway toward performance-driven philanthropy. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Impact of Health Care Crisis on Nonprofits

"Health Care and Nonprofits: The Hidden Dimension of America's Health Care Crisis", a new study by the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project, reveals that health care costs are producing a so-far hidden crisis for America's nonprofit organizations and the nearly 13 million workers they employ. Virtually all (98 percent) of the responding nonprofits offering health benefits indicated that they are concerned about their organization's health care costs, and a striking 59 percent ranked health care costs as one of their organization's top challenges. Other findings from the Johns Hopkins health benefits survey include:

• A striking 80 percent of the nonprofit respondents reported offering health insurance coverage for their employees. Nevertheless, the proportion not offering such coverage rose by 62 percent compared to the results from a comparable survey in 2004.
• Virtually all (99 percent) of the large nonprofits responding reported offering health benefits to employees but less than half (46 percent) of the smallest organizations did, and cost was a major factor at work.
• Nearly three out of every four nonprofits offering health benefits reported that their organization's total direct health insurance costs increased during the past year, and for over a third of the respondents the increase was over 10 percent—well above the national average of 5 percent per year.
• These recent increases come on top of increases in previous years: based on an earlier Listening Post survey of a comparable set of organizations, average health benefit costs for these organizations grew by nearly 40 percent between 2004 and 2009• In the process, health benefits as a share of total employee compensation grew by over 12 percent, suggesting that health benefit costs are squeezing out pay increases and other aspects of employee compensation.
• The vast majority of nonprofit executives (80 percent of respondents) expect such increases to continue in the future, and about a third expect the increases to exceed 10 percent.

To download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Comparison of Board Governance Models

Ruth L. Johnson has prepared a monograph entitled Stewardship to Leadership in which she compares and contrasts 13 approaches to board governance. The descriptions of each governance model, accompanied by graphics are especially helpful in seeing the differences and similarities among the various governance approaches. Johnson has served as a three term Board member for the Clark County School District, one of the largest school districts in the nation. She was repeatedly elected by her peers to serve as president of her Board and also served in other officer positions including president of the Nevada Association of School Boards and Vice-president of the Pacific Region of the National School Boards Association. To download the monograph, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using a Startup Form in Access 2007

Make it easy to use an Access database by automatically displaying a form when the database is opened. Access 2007 has made this process easier than ever before. Here’s how:

• Open the database and click the Office Button
• Click the Access Options button at the bottom of the menu
• Click Current Database on the left pane
• Under Application Options click the Display Form drop-down and choose the form you want users to see when they open the database
• Click OK

You may also want to clear the checkbox next to Display Navigation Pane to further simplify the environment for users.

No comments: