Monday, November 16, 2009

Picks of the Week: November 15 - 21, 2009

Website of the Week -- Our Shared Resources is a free service where those who work in the field of volunteer management are able to add useful resources and others in the field are able to access them. With many people contributing a little we all avoid re-inventing the wheel time and time again. Resources include:

• Downloadable, real-world examples of forms, manuals or position descriptions
• Templates & tools for creating resources
• Tips, ideas and how-to articles

Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The 21st Century Nonprofit, 2nd Edition by Paul Firstenberg

From the publisher: The second edition of this popular title explores the increasing emphasis on nonprofit governance, including accountability, transparency, and responsibility. Author Paul Firstenberg opens with an examination of the pivotal role of the board in organizational governance, particularly since the Sarbanes-Oxley statute was introduced in 2002. That bill, designed for public corporations, includes provisions that can be used to strengthen the integrity of financial reporting in the nonprofit sector. Special chapters focus on preparing board members for coming changes in governance, reducing costs while enhancing performance, and effective public relations. Go to

Trend of the Week -- Foundation Giving Trends 2009

To gauge how foundation thinking has evolved since the Foundation Center’s January 2009 giving forecast survey, the Center resurveyed leading funders in September 2009. Based on their responses, foundation giving will likely be down by more than 10 percent from 2008. Many funders expect that they will come out of the downturn being far more strategic than they were before the crisis, and a majority expect that the nonprofit sector will emerge stronger but that there will be fewer organizations. Key findings include:

• New survey of leading grantmakers suggests steeper than anticipated reduction in 2009 foundation giving.
• Indicators point to a continued reduction in foundation giving in 2010.
• More than two-thirds of respondents have reduced their operating expenses to shore up giving and for other purposes.
• Grantmakers expect that the field of philanthropy will become more strategic as a result of the economic crisis.
• Most funders expect the nonprofit community to emerge stronger from the economic crisis, although some express doubts.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Writing Effective Job Descriptions

A clear and comprehensive job description is key to attracting candidates who are well suited to the position you're trying to fill. Before embarking on the process of writing a job description, however, you'll need to have developed a clear sense of the role in question, its responsibilities, and the qualifications that an ideal candidate would possess. Once your team has clarified these dimensions, you can begin to craft the job description. Besides offering tips for writing the job description, this article from Bridgespan provides an Organization Overview Sample to start your descriptions off on the right foot, an Email Job Announcement Sample to help you spread the word of your open position, and several Nonprofit Job Description Samples for a number of senior management roles. 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
• 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.

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